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.
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