Owners of the former site of Gilda's Stone Rooster are busily preparing for a grand opening of what will be called The River Junction.

The lot on the Marion/Wareham line has hosted a watering hole for over 40 years, run by the legendary Gilda Pietragalla Downey, who died at 98 earlier this year.

After patiently sitting on the property through the pandemic, new owners Joe Sauro and John Mello, began to renovate the old building before realizing that it made more sense to raze the existing structure and start from scratch.

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Mello is an owner at Rose Alley Ale House in New Bedford, while Sauro owns Gateway Tavern in Wareham and self-proclaimed Mattapoisett dive bar The Stowaway.

The River Junction via Facebook
The River Junction via Facebook

The result of their rebuild is a modern and sleek yet unassuming bar with a tremendous view of the Weweantic River. While there are no plans for an extensive menu that would compete with Gateway Tavern, The River Junction will serve bar pizza. It will also feature billiards and games, with the bar area taking up most of the space.

Aside from the fact that The River Junction is brand-new construction, it differs from its predecessor in another way. Live music is not part of the business plan, while live New Orleans-style jazz and funk music went hand in hand with Gilda's Stone Rooster.

The River Junction via Facebook
The River Junction via Facebook

Also missing from the scene is Gilda's signature red Firebird, which always sat out in the parking lot.

When can we expect to see the doors of the new pub swing open and welcome revelers?

The River Junction's Facebook page only left the optimistic "coming soon" as a clue.

Stay tuned.

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