Tom Foolery's Restaurant & Bar has changed its look for the better and will host a grand re-opening on Saturday.

Change isn't always painful, especially when the adjustment is an upgrade.

Tom Foolery's Restaurant & Bar has changed its look for the better and will host a grand re-opening on Saturday. Cover band Chasing Thea will provide the night's soundtrack, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Grand re-opening with extra goodies

In addition to live music, the grand re-opening will feature its Five Dollar Frenzy: $5 burgers, $5 nachos, $5 roast beef sandwiches and $5 wings. (The Frenzy is also held on weekdays, from Mondays through Thursdays, featuring specials on one food item per night, beginning with burgers on Mondays and ending with wings on Thursdays.) Lucky patrons will also receive free gifts at Tom Foolery's, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

A more stylized look

Since its renovation project, which was completed in mid-December, the interior of Tom Foolery's has gone from a vibrant color scheme with yellow and red walls to a more relaxed aesthetic with calm green and mocha hues. The ceiling has been converted into a drop one and has been repainted in a sleek black, compared to the former yellow.

Visually, Tom Foolery's dining area has received the most attention. Its previous wrap-around booths have been replaced by four green colossal and comfy booths with high backs to provide extra comfort to patrons — particularly taller ones. The booths now sit in front of thick wooden tables constructed from refurbished wood from old Philadelphia homes, said General Manager Justin Faulkner, 28, of Middletown.

In addition to being repainted, the event's room has been redecorated with large photographs of big city landscapes, compared to the "cheesy" liquor photos that occupied the walls, Faulkner noted.

Craig Meade — a regular at Tom Foolery's who's been coming there since it opened in 2006 — digs the establishment's new look.

"They made it nicer," Meade, 48, of Middletown, said. "I like the colors it has now; it was sort of a yellow color. This color is more earth tone and makes the background of the TVs look better."

Missy Scarborough, also a regular, concurs with Meade.

"I think it's awesome," Scarborough, 45, of Middletown said. "I think it's a lot more calmer from the red to the green. It just makes it more relaxing."

New management and specials

Faulkner, formerly a part-time bartender at Tom Foolery's, was promoted to general manager in October, after the previous one resigned. The past couple of months, Faulkner and his right-hand man, Executive Chef Mike Rentz, have played a major role in helping to bring more excitement to the venue. For instance, Tom Foolery's is currently offering themed chef specials every two weeks, which change every other Thursday.

This week's menu, which ends next Thursday, has an Elvis Theme, since his birthday was on Jan. 8. Menu items are named after The King's songs and films. Elvis dishes include Blue Suede Shoes (blue point oysters topped with baby spinach in a white wine garlic sauce) and Suspicious Mind (a sandwich with mild Italian sausage that's grilled and smothered with sautéed onions and peppers with marinara and provolone cheese on a toasted baguette).

Then there's the Kid Creole dessert (a rich and delicious chocolate almond).

"In the past we were doing specials every other week for a while, but [recently] we started coming up with more themes and getting more creative," Faulkner explained. " "We want to do more things to play off our name."

Thrilled about Tom Foolery's latest improvements, and convinced the establishment is in great hands with Faulkner, Rentz prophesied that the venue will reach a status that it never has before.

"This time next year, we will be 'the place' in Middletown," Rentz, 44, of Nottingham, Pa., said. "I'm pretty confident."

WHAT Tom Foolery's grand re-opening
WHEN Noon to midnight Saturday, Jan. 19; cover band Chasing Thea will perform at 10 p.m.
WHERE Tom Foolery's, 714 Ash Blvd., Middletown
COST No cover
INFO or 449-2211