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Find More Than Java at Rutland's Speakeasy Café


Published April 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated June 5, 2018 at 9:34 a.m.

  • Brent Harrewyn

"Lids, sugar, honey — everything you need is right behind you," said Bridget Scott, passing a luxuriously frothed cappuccino across the counter. "I like to hit the top with a little cinnamon before I cap it," she added with a smile.

Bridget Scott - BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn
  • Bridget Scott

Just two years after getting into the coffee business, Scott opened doors to downtown Rutland's Speakeasy Café in August 2013. Tea lights flickering in the corner window's "OPEN" sign mark the spot as an oasis for area regulars looking to grab a cup of joe and a slice of homemade lemon-cream coffee cake. Or maybe a smoothie and a bacon-cheddar-chive biscuit.

Besides the espresso bar and pastry display, the space is filled with comfy nooks and interesting accents: a deep leather couch, high-backed velvet chairs, tables inlaid with portraits of Stephen King and Virginia Woolf. "Employees must wash hands," reads a note taped to the bathroom mirror. "Not a bad idea for everyone else, too."

Location Details Speakeasy Café
67 Center St.
Rutland, VT
Soup 'n' Sandwich, Coffee/Tea and Baked Goods

As for the coffee, Speakeasy's beans are organic, fair trade and sourced from Vermont Coffee Company. Rutland's Thomas Dairy provides the milk, and Wells' Brown Boar Farm stocks the café with free-range meat. In Scott's words: "Pigs should live good lives. It's not their fault they're delicious."

  • Brent Harrewyn

Soup is made in-house each day, as are most of the baked goods. Think muffins and scones, sour-cream-poppy-seed cake, and toffee and Sicilian bocconcini cookies from local baker Andrea Taravella. Bagels hailing from Montréal's St-Viateur make a fine vehicle for the café's egg sandwich.

Everything at Speakeasy is served with zero pretense, making it as popular with policemen catching up over to-go cups as with friends brought together by chocolate chip cookies to make weekend plans on the couch. On a December morning, snow blew by the tall front window as customers came in for their daily brew. A solo patron sipped a chai latte and perused the local paper. A couple settled in for breakfast sandwiches on Parmesan biscuits. Two regulars with kids unexpectedly ran into each other; they stayed to chat over bagels and hot cocoa.

Scott sums up the ethos best on the café's website: "Speakeasy is our home away from home, and there's always a seat at our table."

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

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