The rumors are true — less than a week after the Green Room closed, Sue Bette, owner of the Bluebird Tavern has signed a lease to move her gastropub to that building.
"We are trying to be part of the downtown scene," she says. "What we do at the tavern will be a great fit for downtown."
That includes expanded hours and and a focus on a separate bar section, as well as a more expansive raw bar and chef's table dinners. Bette says chef Michael Clauss will also prepare business-style lunches, a dining option she says wasn't viable in the current Riverside Avenue space.
The new location is also closer to the Bluebird Coffee Stop, meaning Clauss will also be able to ramp up the prepared foods served there.
Bette says the current Tavern will stay open until the St. Paul Street restaurant debuts around the holidays. By spring, she hopes to open a new concept on Riverside Avenue. She hasn't settled on a cuisine for the nascent restaurant yet, though barbecue is in the running. She is sure that whatever she chooses, the restaurant will have "a roadhouse, fun style."
Down on Burlington's lower Main Street, where Via Loma closed this spring, Middlebury grads Max Mackinnon and Maji Chien are slated to open Pistou in early December. Chef Mackinnon will prepare baked goods for breakfast, and soup and sandwiches at lunch, then refined dinners (his coconut-lobster soup appears above).
The owners come with big-name backgrounds — both cut their teeth in the New York culinary scene. Mackinnon worked most recently as a prep chef at the Food Network, but before that, helped the 11 Madison Park team prepare for the Bocuse D'Or while working for David Bouley. Chien worked front of house at Bar Boulud and Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design. Before returning to Vermont, she helped open ultra-hot Korean tapas joint Danji.
Looks like the downtown dining scene will soon be more bustling — and delicious — than ever.