Driving through Hot Springs — appropriately on Sam Snead Highway — it’s been impossible to overlook the restaurant and tavern that bears the name of Bath County’s most famous son. The building sits squarely on the corner of Main Street in Hot Springs. As you approach from the south, you’ll be staring straight at the landmark structure that once housed a bank.
Over the decades, the restaurant has changed ownership a few times. Through all the changes, it has always been a favorite place for locals and visitors to enjoy a great meal and check out some memorabilia honoring the legendary golfer Sam Snead.
If you have visited Hot Springs in recent months, you may have found the tavern closed. That’s because something exciting has been happening behind those closed doors. New owners have been making some changes, including hiring a rock star chef and developing a whole new menu. The new Sam Snead Tavern is returning to its roots.
The menu and the chef may be new, but the tavern is filled with tradition, including owners that have a long history in Bath County. Randy Carpenter and Shirl Mendenhall took over the business earlier this year. Running the restaurant is a labor of love as well as a homecoming. Randy and old friend, Jack Snead, son of the tavern’s namesake, spent carefree days as kids in Hot Springs. His mother worked in the building when it was a bank while his father worked right next door as the local postmaster. The legacy of the Sam Snead Tavern is in good and caring hands.
The most significant step the new management has taken is recruiting a talented executive chef. James Montoya has had a 30-year culinary career that has taken him from coast to coast and to the Caribbean. He has worked alongside luminaries, like Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse. Chef Montoya is excited to bring his cuisine to Hot Springs. The new menu will include locally sourced products wherever possible.
Sam Snead Tavern is now open. Enjoy a delicious made-from-scratch meal, or stop in for beverages and an appetizer after a round of golf. Hours of operation and a glimpse of the menu can be found at SamSneadTavern.com.