- Melissa Pasanen
- Pablo Murphy-Torres (left) and Taylor Watts
The downtown Burlington bar formerly known as Monarch & the Milkweed has operated for more than a year as Devil Takes a Holiday, originally a temporary seasonal moniker. That name is now permanent. After a short break for renovations, the bar reopened over the weekend with a new in-house kitchen run by chef Pablo Murphy-Torres.
Taylor Watts now owns the bar at 111 St. Paul Street with Third Place, a Burlington-based strategy and funding partner for food and beverage entrepreneurs. Its original pastry chef-owner, Andrew LeStourgeon, has moved on to focus on Milkweed Confections, a line of cannabis sweets.
After the bar and restaurant reopened post-pandemic in fall 2021, it hosted some pop-up food events but mostly offered pizza and salads from its neighbor, American Flatbread Burlington Hearth. Watts said he saw an opportunity to offer a late-night food menu that pairs well with the bar's creative, seasonally changing cocktails and newly expanded wines-by-the-glass list.
Murphy-Torres most recently headed the kitchen at Goodwater Brewery in Williston, after working at Burlington's Trattoria Delia and the now-closed Arcadian in Middlebury. At Devil Takes a Holiday, he is keeping the menu small to start but going big on "spice and flavor," Watts said. "We're leaning into the devil theme."
The opening menu includes spicy tuna on crispy sushi rice squares, loaded waffle fries with burnt pineapple salsa, and a Hail Seitan vegetarian sandwich with mushroom-walnut pâté. There are also salads, housemade doughnuts and three fried chicken sandwich options ranging from "innocent" to "ninth circle," which Watts said is extremely spicy.
The kitchen will be open Monday through Thursday until 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight, and Sunday until 10 p.m. The renovated 40-seat restaurant now boasts black walls, lots of local art and accessible bar seating.