Barbershop Owner Proposes New Pub

MONTPELIER — Why just sit around before your shave and a haircut? Why not sip a cold one and nosh?

Paul Somerset has proposed converting a first floor two bedroom apartment out behind his barber shop, Myles Court Barbershop, into a pub and restaurant with outdoor seating. The building is located at 25 East State St.

He and partner Sean Myers of S & M Property Management sought site plan and design review approval at the Nov. 21 Development Review Board Meeting. It is an approved use under the bylaws, it was said. Issues such as Americans with Disabilites Act compliance, parking, lighting and noise were discussed. Somerset said he wants his business to be accessible to all, so he will do his best to bring the building into compliance. He also assured the board he would not encourage smoking or noise.

“What is the parking situation?” asked Development Review Board Chair Philip Zalinger.

Somerset said, “the barbershop is extremely crowded most days. We have to turn people away. We wanted to provide a comfortable place for people to wait.” Somerset went on to say he had not heard complaints from customers about parking and that, should the pub continue to stay open into evening hours after the barbershop closes, parking spaces open up in Pitkin Court when municipal employees leave for the night.

S & M Property Management received approval for change of use — from apartment to pub and restaurant — by a unanimous vote by the end of the meeting.

Somerset updated The Bridge by email Jan. 31 that plans are still coming together, but they are doing renovations to a newly purchased property next door. “Myles Court Barbershop has been so popular and continues to gain new clients every week that we’ve had to bring in a new apprentice to keep up the demand,” Somerset said. However, they are in communication with the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, and when they get closer to opening a pub, they will host mixing parties to come up with new drink recipes.


Flower Store Petals & Things Has Changed Location

MONTPELIER — Petals and Things, a flower shop, has moved from 36 Main St. to 116 Main St. The reason for the move? “It’s a better location,” said Jenni Jenkins, owner. Then, speaking to readers she said, “Come check us out, our new space, it is bright and lovely.” She sells flowers and houseplants — just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Jenkins has a sister business, Trillium June Flower Farm, and has been growing flowers for six years, according to her website. They deliver locally and anywhere in the world — including regular deliveries to hospitals and funeral homes. For more information, check out http://www.petalsinvt.com/.


Women’s March Turnout Overwhelms Montpelier

From the Women’s March Montpelier. Photo by Michael Jermyn.

MONTPELIER — So many people came to Montpelier Jan. 21 for the Women’s March, that police had to shut down three interstate exits and turn people away. That didn’t stop the hordes, though, they just abandoned their cars and walked into Montpelier. It was a historic day in which Police Chief Tony Facos estimated between 15,000 to 20,000 people came to the town, which is set up to accommodate about half as many. The regular population is around 7,500.

When standing on the corner of State Street and Governor Aiken Avenue around 2:30 p.m., The Bridge stood among an onslaught of people for around 45 minutes in ever-increasing droves. An adoring crowd welcomed those who spoke on the State House steps, including the Muslim Girls For Change and a surprise appearance by former Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.

On city streets — especially around the corner of State Street and Bailey Avenue, people stood shoulder to shoulder. There were far more people than facilities (a row of portable toilets were provided by the City), so people were lining up at restrooms from the State House to as far away as Hunger Mountain Coop.

Pink “pussy hats” were worn by men and women alike. The hats were the brainchild of two California women as a way to take back the word “pussy” Donald Trump had used in 2008 in a recorded Access Hollywood interview in which he brags about forcing himself physically on women without their consent. Pussy hats resemble cats with knit cat ears, rather than the other meaning of “pussy.”

Crowds receded by 4 p.m. — by which time exits 7, 8 and 9 had re-opened.

The purpose of the march was to promote human rights for women and vulnerable populations including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans community, immigrants and Muslims, and to promote physical safety, reproductive rights and health in the wake of President Donald J. Trump’s presidential inauguration Jan. 20.

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