Where you can vision Ethan Hale, Seth Warner, and other bawdy revolutionaries downing tankards of foaming ale and feasting on platters of steaming spuds and slabs of beef. Overlooking Bennington, Vermont, the Publyk House rests in the heart of a region rich in historical glory and is itself alive with the "spirit of '76", harking back to a time when men were men and real freedom was a way of life.
The Publyk House sits in an apple orchard on Harwood Hill surrounded by magnificent views of Mt. Anthony, the Bennington Battle Monument and the quaint village of Bennington. On that hill in the 1800s, a gentleman by the name of Zechariah Harwood ran a local eatery by the same name. Today, the only remains ever found of the old public eating house are just folk lore and speculation.
The Publyk House has been a destination restaurant and Bennington favorite for more than 35 years. Originally, the old horse barn stood not more than a mile away on Rice Lane before it was moved to its existing location. Soon after, it opened as The Publyk House restaurant in 1972 by a group of local investors who had purchased the old three-story horse barn. The partners renovated the old barn into a restaurant to again serve fine food to hungry travelers from Zechariah's hill. Serving traditional New England fare in a warm and inviting ambiance, the restaurant opened to rave reviews and remained a popular local haunt for locals.
In 1979 the Johnson's bought The Publyk House and over the next dozen years the couple oversaw several expansions and renovations, including doubling the size of the kitchen, adding on a glassed-in dining room to the north side of the building, creating two decks protected by awnings for outdoor dining and a new bar with a greenhouse cocktail lounge. Since the Johnson's long tenure ended, The Publyk House has changed ownership several times, as well as its colonial namesake.
Years later as The Publyk House once again, the red barn still exudes that same warmth and character as before with barn board paneling and multiple fireplaces. Steven and Lauren Bryant are the current owners of this long time restaurant, as well as the innkeepers of the renowned Dorset Inn in Dorset, VT. With a nod toward the past yet with an eye on the future, they have once again captured the essence of The Publyk House charm. Just one step into the lobby and you can feel the warmth of the brick hearth and smell the aroma of honey baked bread. The dinner menu includes some of the old-time favorites…Stuffed New England Cod, the Blue Ox NY Strip, Slow Cooked Prime Rib and Herb Roasted Chicken. Some new menu items (also popular at The Dorset Inn) include Sautéed Calves Liver & Onions and Classic Turkey Croquettes. As always, diners are treated to the bountiful salad bar with their meal and desserts are made fresh on property. In addition, The Publyk House features a full bar with a Tavern menu complete with casual snacks, burgers and sandwiches.
With multiple dining rooms, The Publyk House is the ideal location for any special event or private party. With personalized menus, we welcome wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, retirement and office parties, as well as holiday affairs. The Publyk House is open every night at 5:00 and Sunday 4:00 with Early Bird Specials. Our menus and our nightly promotions can be seen on the web site www.thepublykhouse.com. Call for reservations at 802.442.7500. All of us at The Publyk House look forward to welcoming you!