*This post is part of my Holiday Road Trip in New England. Please take a peek at the first post: In Mystic, Connecticut, and also: Having a Beer…in a Department Store?,in Hartford and the last installment on this road trip: A Visit to Rhode Island
I’m in a post office sipping a pint after mailing my postcard. No joke, just wonderful history and architecture. And really good beer.
After a delightful afternoon in Mystic we were heading back to Hartford for the night before leaving for Rhode Island in the morning. A little hungry after a busy day of sightseeing, we decided to stop in the nearby town of Willimantic for dinner.
Why this particular town, you might be wondering? After all, there are tons of little towns here in Connecticut we could have stopped in.
Well, we’d heard from a few locals in Hartford that there is a Post-office-turned-Brewery in this town, so we had to check this out. If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you may have noticed that I love it when historic are transformed into restaurants or pubs. Keeps the history alive, the beautiful architecture intact, and also saves buildings from just standing empty and slowly wasting away.
And this place sounded right up our alley. How often can you say you went into the post office to mail a letter and got to have a beer at the sorting counter while you are there? Now that’s a marvelous idea! I’m not a huge fan of hanging out at post offices, normally, but I like this kind like of errand (ha ha!).
The Willamantic Brew Pub sits in a century-old building (1909) that housed a post office for many years.
The brewery is divided into 2 sections, a restaurant and a pub, it’s a pretty large building with tons of seating especially on the restaurant side.
We choose the pub and sat at the very long counter where they used to sort the mail.
Even before a bartender came over, I was betting my bottom dollar that the staff at this particular post office were probably MUCH happier than most post offices I’ve been to in the country (he he).
As we sat at the bar waiting for our beers, I wondered how many postal workers stood right here sorting mail and wishing they had a pint while doing the fairly monotonous, boring job. I’m sure they’d prefer this version of the workplace (by a longshot).
I love that the owners kept the historical theme of the building by calling their brews postal-related names. How about a ‘Return to Sender Lager?’ or maybe the ‘Junk Mail IPA‘? So cute, I love it.
There was a good selection of brews, and of course all their beers are brewed on site.
We grabbed a bit to eat as we were starting to get hungry. The food was pretty good, just not amazing enough to write a postcard home about (get it, get it? We’re in a post office!). I know, Hardy har har
The friendly bartender offered to take our photo. Sweet. I was very impressed with the service here (even though it was getting really busy and it was a Saturday night).
On the way out, I was delighted to see they had a couple pinball machines at the front of the restaurant. Being an 80s gal, I love me some pinball (not that I was ever really good at it).
And it’s a ROLLING STONES pinball machine too (one of my favourite bands). Rockin’.
Not only was I in a post office drinking beer, I had now stepped back to 1985 and entered the arcade to play pinball and listen to Mick belt some tunes.
That was a delightful ending to a spectacular day trip. We’re heading back to Hartford and then tomorrow we’ll be en route to beautiful Rhode Island. Stay tuned!