The Farmhouse Parlor, a Local Wintertime Retreat for Beer LoversMar 02, 2019 08:30AM ● By John Gales
The Farmhouse Parlor, a Local Wintertime Retreat for Beer Lovers
Casual, dark and cozy, check out Burlington’s hidden gem
By Corey Burdick
As foodies and craft beer aficionados who visit Burlington know, The Farmhouse Tap and Grill located on Bank Street is an ideal spot to sample some of Vermont's best beers as well as vintage and rare selections. In the summer months, the beer garden located in the rear of the restaurant is a prime spot to enjoy spring and summer breezes and music, but as the temperatures begin to drop in fall and winter, locals know their options for enjoying a brew go beyond the Farmhouse's upstairs bar. An unmarked door, just inside the entrance, leads to a coveted locale: the Parlor.
“What makes it unique is that not everyone knows about it,” Owner Jed Davis said. “We have no signage intentionally. It's a locals place and we like it that way! It's a great and memorable discovery when you see it for the first time.”
The Farmhouse, formerly home to a McDonald's, opened in May 2010 with the Parlor added a year and a half later. McDonald's itself was built in the late 1970s and included a full basement to accommodate a potential children’s play area to be equipped with a colorful plastic ball pit. Although this feature never materialized, the concept sparked the idea in Jed’s mind of creating an adult play area in the future; assuming there was demand. Demand was certainly there, so the Parlor was added shortly after opening the upstairs restaurant.
As visitors to the Parlor make their way down the stairs and turn the corner, they are greeted by a warming space where they can enjoy all the Farmhouse has to offer, from the full dinner menu, replete with the Farmhouse's signature burgers, to the entire draft list. The Parlor is open nightly 4pm to close in the fall and winter and makes for an ideal stop to grab a drink and a nibble while waiting for a table in the upstairs dining room.
Cozying up in a former church pew by the Parlor's fire, craft brew in hand, is a must on a blustery day. Although, there was no significance in choosing the church pews and doors specifically, other than the fact that Jed liked how they contributed to the feel of the space, they certainly add to the allure. The décor, including the furniture, bar, and seating were all sourced from Mason Brothers Architectural Salvage in Essex Junction, Vermont. The bar was built in the mid-west decades ago and most recently, had a home at a bar in Winooski in the 90s.
Jed added, “Personally, I just love the vibe. It's casual, dark, cozy, and feels like it's been there for a very long time. It has a nice worn feel to it.”
Elise Genereux, who has recently transitioned from her work as the coordinator and assistant manager for Farmhouse Group Events to operations in the administrative office said she has enjoyed visiting the Parlor since joining the team. “Before working with the Farmhouse Group team, I didn't actually know that the space existed!” Genereux said, “Like Jed mentioned, they don't over advertise it, which makes it a perfect hidden gem for getting snacks and drinks after work.”