Friday, November 13, 2015

Today's ride on the foodie-go-round (Vermont edition)


• A newcomer to Montpelier has become its newest business owner. Mary Alice Proffitt, who moved there about a year ago from North Carolina, has opened the doors to the soul food restaurant Down Home Kitchen, offering breakfast all day as well as wine and beer. In addition to small-party seating, there is a large community table in the center of the space. The restaurant is located at 100 Main Street. Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Phone: 802-225-6665.

• The closing of Archie's Grill in Shelburne was just a fleeting thing. The popular burger joint that closed in July will reopen across the street from its original venue, at 4066 Shelburne Road where Marco's Pizza & Grill operated. (The original Marco's in South Burlington remains in business.) Owner Dick Hess will be a temporary consultant during Archie's re-opening period, then finish selling ownership. The former Archie's space is being replaced by a Dunkin' Donuts franchise.


• The Barnyard is coming to South Burlington. It is being developed at 1705 Williston Road where Vermont SportsGrill operated until closing in August. It is a project from local restaurateurs Peter, Paul, and Sam Handy and Ann Michael. The menu will be Italian-American, using mostly locally-sourced items, and many made in a wood-fired oven, all complemented by 12 draft lines featuring both local and mass-market beers. The Handy family owns and operates the Vermont Tap House in Rutland.

• Developers of the quirkily-named Monarch & the Milkweed are aiming for a February opening at 111 St. Paul Street in Burlington. That had been the address of Guild Fine Meats. It is a project of Andrew LeStourgeon (right), formerly the pastry chef at Hen of the Wood, and Rob Downey, CEO of Third Place and Zero Gravity Craft Brewery as well as a partner in American Flatbread Burlington Hearth. They are referring to Monarch & the Milkweed as a "fine diner" that will focus on LeStourgeon's pastry specialties plus serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. Jeff Baumann, formerly bar manager at Prohibition Pig and now with Zero Gravity, will run the cocktail program and Amanda Wildermuth, also formerly of Hen of the Wood, will be pastry chef.


• Morrisville is seeing a game of business musical chairs playing out. The Bee's Knees, a locavore restaurant at 82 Lower Main Street, has closed after a 12-year run. Founder Sharon Deitz Caroli said she and her family retain ownership of the building and live on-site. The former restaurant space has been leased out to Blackbird Wellness, a yoga and wellness massage studio currently operating on Pleasant Street in space that will become the Morrisville Food Co-op. Blackbird owner Jennifer Moody is retaining Bee's Knees chef Ben Gould to run a new hot bar.


• Kevin Hanson of Bristol, an amateur brewer who has won numerous awards for his products, has taken advantage of retirement giving him more time to work on his craft and finally gone pro. He just sold 10 cases of his beer, Hogback Mountain Brewing, produced in micro-batches on a 1½-barrel brewhouse in his barn, to Bristol Discount Beverage & Redemption. Hogback's initial brews are 1st Run, a pale ale produced with Bristol-grown Chinook hops, and Drake & Smith, a chocolaty brown ale. 1st Run is part of Hanson's experimental Carriage Barn series that features names and images of longtime local businesses. His beers are currently on tap at Bar Antidote in Vergennes.

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