- Barbecue tray at Shakedown Street BBQ & Grill
The restaurant will offer a full barbecue menu, including smoked meats, vegan and vegetarian dishes, and gluten-free options. The 50-seat taproom will continue to pour a rotating menu of draft ciders, local beer and Vermont-made spirits.
"We're big music fans here," owner and cider maker Mark Ray told Seven Days. The new ventures are named after the classic Grateful Dead song and the "Shakedown Street" vending area that fans set up at concerts, Ray explained.
Barbecue is a natural fit for the cidery because it can easily be made gluten-free, something many customers seek out, Ray said. Head chef Jim Turner will use his Texas barbecue skills to craft sauces with Stowe Cider products, which diners will be able to enjoy on racks of ribs and other house-smoked meats.
On the music side, Stowe Cider has teamed up with Burlington nightclub Nectar's to book and promote concerts in the Shakedown Lounge. The new event space will host a to-be-announced lineup of live music on Friday and Saturday evenings starting in late January, as well as free local music during the day and Thursday jam sessions.
Stowe Cider's kitchen expansion was originally approved in January 2020. The team postponed the project due to the pandemic, Ray said, and "pivoted hard into music — a little too hard, according to some of our neighbors."
After navigating noise complaints and permitting issues for its backyard concerts in 2021, the cidery switched to lower-key acoustic events.
"That went very well, and we've come to a good place with our neighbors and the town," Ray said. "Now it's finally the right time to add food."