Castleton students who are 21 or older will have a new place to wet their whistle when they come back from December break.
Third Place Pizzeria has announced that it will soon be opening a beer and wine lounge in the vacant building next door.
Owner of Third Place, Andrew Breting, said “The Lounge” will have a brand new menu, eight taps, and a classy variety of wine. He said there will also always be a generic beer and a cider on tap, and the rest will be all Vermont craft beers.
“We’ll have Switchback, Fiddlehead, Long Trail and others. If there’s a seasonal beer, we’ll have that line always changing,” Breting said.
His plan is to have the most affordable, quality drinks in town.
“Prices are not gonna be what’s the norm for the area, but I know there’s steep prices around here, and they are gonna be targeted toward being a little bit cheaper,” he said.
He also plans to do daily specials, like half-price appetizers or drafts.
The high-end pub style menu will have creations like a maple pork belly BLT, paninis, soup and even cheese boards with drink pairing suggestions.
Breting said the bar itself will seat anywhere from 16 to 20 people, with additional table seating with servers and personal lounge areas to create a laidback environment.
He said right now, Third Place doesn’t have much for seating, so he wants people to be able to make themselves comfortable at “The Lounge.”
Breting reiterated that he does not want people to think this will be a rowdy college joint.
“It’s not gonna be your typical college bar that you would think of. We’re not looking to be a wild crazy hangout,” he said.
All of the necessary permits have gone through and “The Lounge” is officially under construction. He’s even making plans for an outdoor “lounge” in the summer.
“We’ll have a patio outside with a fireplace, firepits and stuff like that, and that probably won’t be ready until summer,” Breting said.
Local business owner John Rehlen said he doesn’t really have any feelings about the expansion, and to him it’s a “nonevent.”
“We have our business, he’ll have his business. It’s not a zero sum game,” Rehlen said.
He added though, as a resident, he would have concerns for any late night business and how that can affect the “quality of life in the village.”
He said it comes down to who’s running the show, and the type of clientele being attracted.
“This has been an issue for as long as the college has been here, and so as a resident living down the street knowing most of the people that live here, that would be a concern,” Rehlen said.
But Breting plans to have a very tight grip on how “The Lounge” will be operated. He wants it to embody the idea of the “third place” and make it a friendly welcoming environment to everyone.
Professor of sociology Philip Lamy teaches about the idea of the “third place” and feels inspirationally responsible for Third Place emerging.
Breting was a student in Lamy’s Community and American Society class where he learned about the “third place” concept.
“He said he was thinking of opening up a restaurant or a ‘third place’ because he loved the idea that we studied in class. He asked if I would help him and I said absolutely,” Lamy said.
Lamy said he goes to Third Place at least two or three times a week because he loves the thin style pizza and the “Brotherly Love” cheesesteak.
His wife owns a cracker company that was purchased by a Vermont cheese company, so the cheese boards being served will be coming directly from his wife’s business.
Lamy remembers Breting as a “great guy, smart kid, great participant in class.”
“I hope they’re really successful and I think they have been. It’s very exciting for everybody here,” Lamy said.
Lamy isn’t the only one who’s excited about the expansion either.
Andy Coffin, 21, said he’s not a fan of the surrounding competition and was excited to hear about the new bar option coming to town.
“I love Third Place and everything they stand for. I think the IPAs definitely fit in with all the funky stuff he has out there too,” Coffin said.
Garrett Robin, 21, doesn’t mind the idea of another place to drink coming to town, but thinks bars being so close to campus can still come with issues.
He also hates craft beer.
“Craft beer is for people who can’t admit they don’t know how to taste the flavors in wines so they look to something more obvious,” Robin said.
Vedad Cicak, 23, loves the idea of having local craft beers on tap, but is not so sure about the wine and cheese aspect.
“I don’t know how that will go over with college students, wine and cheese, but we could become sophisticated,” Cicak said.
Allison Cragin, 21, has never tried Third Place and had no idea that they were expanding.
“I’d love to check that out, I’d even try the beer too,” Cragin said.