Kool Runninz Finds a New Home (for Now)

Jerk chicken fans may have been dismayed to find the Jamaican pop-up restaurant Kool Runninz gone from their location at the corner of Granite and Barre streets last week. According to co-owner Tiffany Knibb, the state asked them to move and make way for the bike path construction, as did the railroad, which informed them they owned the land, not the city. Coming to the rescue was Kelly Sullivan, owner of Splash Naturals,  who offered the piece of land behind it. It may not have the same tropical vibe of the previous location, but at least it keeps the Jamaican flavor wafting across Montpelier on Saturdays, 11 am‒9 pm. A little outside of town, you can also find the same Jamaican food, music, and vibes on Fridays, 7 pm–1 am at 184 River Street, outside Moving Light Dance, next to Bear Naked Growler.

Caledonia Spirits Breaks Ground

On August 9, Governor Phil Scott dug in at the Caledonia Spirits ground-breaking ceremony held at the company’s new Gin Lane location off Barre Street in Montpelier. About 200 people attended the ceremony and cocktail party. Eleven shovels broke ground in the hands of Scott, Mayor Anne Watson, and the Caledonia Spirits team which included president and head distiller, Ryan Christiansen, and founder Todd Hardie. Christiansen thanked the company’s many supporters including the City of Montpelier for its collaboration and the Barre Street neighbors for their acceptance and support of the project, especially their tolerance of the construction noise. Caledonia Spirits is famous for its award-winning, honey-based Barr Hill Gin and Vodka produced from certified organic grains from the founder’s farm in Greensboro. The Montpelier site will be the company’s second location and solar-powered, with tasting and retail as well as distillery and mixology areas.  The 26,000 square foot facility is scheduled to open on Memorial Day, 2019 and is expected to bring 35–40 new jobs to the area.


Falafel Pop-Up to Open on Elm Street

Starting Monday, August 20, Montpelierites can get their falafel fix at Magical Falafel out of Grian Herbs. Run by Middlesex-based couple, Elie Adam and Mollie Willis, Magical Falafel will continue until mid-October only, as it’s when the right local and organic ingredients are available. Diners have two options—spicy or not. The spice in question is inspired by Schug, a popular middle eastern spice, but given a distinct Vermont twist. The pita bread is baked by Carmela Ram, owner of the Magic Spoon Bakery in Hardwick. They are fluffy, proper pita, Adam explains, and he should know having lived much of his life in and around Jerusalem. Chick peas are sprouted, which helps digest the bean and reduces the cooking time, and falafel balls are hand rolled “with much love and joy.” Finish the meal with a maple Halvah treat, Turkish coffee with cardamom, herbal ice tea from fresh infused herbs. Magical Falafel is open to eat in or take out. Hours are 11 am–7 pm through tomato season. For take out call 917-8598.


Intro to Strings Class Offered Through Joint Venture

The Green Mountain Youth Symphony (GMYS) has partnered with Monteverdi Music School and Vermont Violins to pilot a new Intro to Strings class. This group class is for 8–12 year olds who have never played a stringed instrument but would like to try it out. Students can choose to try violin, viola, cello, or bass and will learn in a mixed-instrument group. Discounted short-term rentals are available through Vermont Violins. Students who would like to continue with their instrument after this introductory period will be referred to private teachers through Monteverdi, can join their school music program, and will be able to work toward joining the GMYS Repertory Orchestra. Class begins on Tuesday, September 18 and runs through Tuesday, November 13. For more information or registration, contact GMYS Executive Director, Leah Wilhjelm leah@gmys-vt.org or call 888-4470.

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