Jon and Cindy Elsasser are Zoar-area residents and have actively helped preserve and promote the historic village for more than 25 combined years. The couple moved to the area in 1990 after living in Brazil for five years, where both their now-adult children, Erica and Kurt, were born. After building a new home just outside Zoar, the family moved to France for five years before returning to the States in 1997.
Jon and Cindy’s love of international travel, and commitment to living in Zoar, has exposed them to culinary establishments ranging from Michelin 3-Star restaurants in France and chic eateries in London and Milan to brewpubs in Germany and Zoar’s iconic “Zoar Tavern”. These diverse dining experiences have shaped their vision of the food, service and atmosphere at the Canal Tavern of Zoar.
Jon is president of the Zoar Community Association, treasurer of the Ohio Historical Society and a board member of the Ohio and Erie Canalway Association. He also sits on the boards of several private companies. Cindy has served as a director, treasurer and volunteer with the Zoar Community Association and is involved with the Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital.
Jon and Cindy purchased the former “Inn on the River” in late 2011, with the goal of preserving a historically significant Zoar structure while creating a restaurant that is both a “home” for local residents and a destination for visitors. The new name, “Canal Tavern of Zoar”, pays tribute to the original establishment’s name and celebrates its role in Zoar history. The name also celebrates the building’s connection with the increasingly popular Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath Trail, which passes directly in front of the restaurant.