Last summer, Brattleboro’s Tim Brady and David Hiler shared an epiphany over a beer at Harpoon Brewery.
Both had been working for years in hospitality management and consulting, which often took them on the road. Both were itching to try something new — and more sedentary. Both love Brattleboro, and both knew the decades-old Riverview Café had recently closed.
“I told David how we [Brady and his wife, Amy] were looking to find a spot for a brewery, and he said he was looking for a place to settle down to do a restaurant,” Brady recalls. “We both said, ‘Riverview?’ And that was that.”
The trio will hold a soft opening this weekend for Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery, a 190-seat pub and microbrewery at 36 Bridge Street (490-2354), overlooking the confluence of Whetstone Brook with the Connecticut River.
The opening caps an extensive nine-month renovation that has given the Riverview “more of an industrial look,” says Brady, featuring a huge, two-sided stone fireplace and a bar that extends from indoors to the outdoor deck.
Though they have yet to crank up their 1.5-barrel system, Brady says he and a still-unnamed but prominent Vermont brewer will experiment with unusual styles. “We’re going to do sours and a gueuze,” says Brady, who confesses his love for Belgian styles.
While he waits for the pub’s beer to begin flowing this fall, the 15 taps will get a workout from an array of local microbrews, and chef Ryan Muller will serve up burgers, sandwiches and other pub fare. Brady assures that “the menu will be a little more adventurous than just standard, fried pub food. We’ll have a tapas menu with things like sea scallops.”
For the first few weeks, Whetstone Station’s menu will be limited, and service will be confined to the deck while renovations continue.
Justin Turcotte: Gotta love our little food Mecca!
Roy: Meh. They can't compare to Red Hen and dealing with Hunt is often not worth the trouble.
Tammy Goughnour: This will be AWESOME!! Their pastry is out of this world!!
Old Vermonter: Amazing they lasted so long with such terrible business acumem
Bryan Bouchard: It wasn't that good before. Of they didn't reopen it wouldn't be a great loss to the Burlington…