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The Clothier Speakeasy Opens in St. Albans

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The bar at the Clothier - COURTESY OF THE CLOTHIER
  • Courtesy Of The Clothier
  • The bar at the Clothier

The 1920s were the era of the speakeasy. In St. Albans, it looks like the 2020s will be, too.

The Clothier is a new cocktail lounge from Twiggs — An American Gastropub owner Tom Murphy; Loudon Granger joins as the bar's general manager. Like any good speakeasy, it's shrouded in mystery.

The space next to Twiggs was recently vacated by Catalyst Coffee Bar and Red House Sweets (both of which moved around the corner onto Lake Street). Now the storefront appears to be a clothing store with elaborately decorated window displays.

The clothes are just a façade, albeit a historically appropriate one; the building was home to G.P. Twigg's clothing store more than a century ago in the town's railroad days. Patrons enter the store and make their way through 1930s-era butler doors into a changing room, where they pull a candlestick to open the bar entrance. "We put 250 people through there on Saturday night during our soft opening, and nobody could figure it out," Murphy said.

Once they get inside, customers can expect classic cocktails to fit the Prohibition-era theme, as well as variations highlighting Vermont spirits. Granger plans to change the cocktail menu with the seasons. "It's a modern take on that 1920s feel," he said.

Murphy credits general manager Granger, who started working at Twiggs when he was 16, with doing most of the work to make the speakeasy a reality, including design, menu development and social media.

"Tom and I sat down and wanted to do something for St. Albans," Granger said. "We're proud of how the town has grown, and this felt like a great way to pay homage to the past of the building and give something back to the community."

The speakeasy is connected to the Twiggs kitchen, and Murphy said the team is developing a small menu meant for sharing that will be distinct from the offerings at Twiggs.

The Clothier had its grand opening on Tuesday, December 3, in conjunction with the town's Festival of Trees. The lounge boasts a baby grand piano, poker table, chess, pool and darts, and the partners hope to encourage patrons to socialize and connect there. A sign at the entrance reads, "You're stepping back in time, put your phone away and connect with people like it's 1920."

The original print version of this article was headlined "Ready for the '20s"