- Charlie Menard
Last night, Charlie Menard attended a hearing to seek approval from the town of Waitsfield to move forward with his latest project. Assuming he succeeds, Waitsfield citizens will celebrate come springtime. That’s when the chef, currently of the Inn at Round Barn Farm, hopes to open Canteen Brewing Company in the Mad River Green space formerly occupied by Jay’s Restaurant & Pizzeria.
To open the seven-barrel brewery, Menard and his business partner, a to-be-named Montréal-based brewer raised in the Mad River Valley, must make major renovations to the restaurant. Menard hopes to be able to begin serving “really groovy sandwiches and other small plates” by April or May.
Diners can wash down the food with one of 12 house-brewed, rotating beers on tap. “We’re hoping to have a full spectrum of beers,” says Menard. “I really want to see some French farmhouse beers and things of that nature that I don’t think we see enough of. I love the food beers — saisons and things of that genre.”
The open kitchen will serve similarly eclectic flavors that span the globe. Sandwiches made from scratch, with pickled veggies and meats roasted in-house daily, will anchor the fare at the casual, “low-service” restaurant. Menard’s relationships with local farms are sure to carry over to his new kitchen; the chef says he won’t leave his current job until Canteen is ready to open.
So visitors to Round Barn Farm still have time to enjoy Menard’s award-winning fare, particularly at his Field to Barn Harvest Dinner this Saturday. Next year, they can experience his all-around artisan restaurant.
“To have a chef-brewer-owned establishment, we’re like two craftsmen doing the complete food and beverage thing,” Menard reflects. “I think it’s probably pretty unique.”