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Some things remain the same at revamped and renovated P-town mainstay

The Governor Bradford was run by the same family for 80 years but sold earlier this year.Collin Kolisko

The drag karaoke stays.

It’s a tradition at the Provincetown bar and restaurant The Governor Bradford, run by the same family for 80 years but sold earlier this year. The bar was once a gathering place for fishermen and tradesmen, but it became more diverse over time. Now, later in the evening when the crooning begins, it feels like old times, but it’s not. The new owners reopened the place in June, renovating the weathered interior and elevating the menu.

“It’s an icon we reimagined. We kept the bones but changed the look,” says Jamie Lewis, one of the four new owners. “We refreshed and renewed but could not dismantle its history.”


The mural by American artist James Wingate Parr, the hanging antique lights, and maritime relics blend with the new, lengthy wooden bar, blue-washed tables, and brighter look. More than a dozen craft beers are now on tap, mainly from New England, including Zero Gravity Green State Lager from Burlington, Vt., Trillium’s Itty Bitty Goose Pale Ale brewed in Canton, and Allagash White from Portland, Maine. Co-owner Collin Kolisko, a former sushi chef at Mac’s Seafood restaurants on the Outer Cape, oversees the kitchen and revamped the menu using many local ingredients. He riffs on classic dishes — smoked scallops in the “chowdah,” miso broth for French onion soup, and smoked bluefish dressing with a Caesar. A gochujang tartar sauce enhances panko-fried cod, while a green curry sauce complements Szechuan-crusted tuna. An unexpected garden circles the 70-seat patio.

“We have four types of tomatoes, broccoli, squash, and even pears,” says partner David Ciccolo, also a co-owner of the Publick House in Brookline. The community has welcomed the restaurant’s sea change. “No one wanted to see the Bradford go dark or the drag karaoke to go away,” says Lewis.


312 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-2781.

Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.