Hinesburgh Public House Defines ‘Community Restaurant’ | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days

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Inside the entrance to the Hinesburg Public House are antique wooden shelving, gourmet vegetarian cookingJane Fonda Cooking for a healthy life When Great American Seafood CookbookThe bottom shelf holds children’s books and cribbage boards.

It’s not just a fun collection to flip through while customers wait for their table. It’s a lending library.

“We’ve had it forever,” said founder Will Patten. “Her wife has a lot of cookbooks, so she thought it would be nice to have a bookshelf.”

Patten doesn’t know how many customers actually borrow books, but at least one local resident stops by twice a week to browse. A cozy corner in an industrial loft-style building that hints at the community focus of the restaurant ten years ago.

Prior to opening the public house at the redeveloped Saputo Cheese Factory in Hinesburg at the end of December 2012, Patten and his wife Kathleen sold $500 of stock to raise the necessary working capital.

“A lot of people wanted to come,” Patten recalls. “We knew this town needed a place like this.”

These days, in the spacious dining room and often packed bar, customers from all walks of life feast on simple pub fare such as chickpea Caesar salad, Thai curried mussels, local sirloin steak, chicken wings and burgers. I’m here. As one of Hinesburg’s few full-service eateries without the seasonal influx of tourists and college students, Patten noted that Public House should offer a full range of services.

General Manager Alex Dziurzynski, who joined the Public House team in 2016, said:

A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, he has cooked dishes all over the country and was executive chef at the Inn at Essex, but wanted a job in Hinesburg where he is raising his children. His Dziurzynski, now the majority owner of Public House, will take full ownership from his Patten within two years.

Over the years, the restaurant has hosted regular Monday burger nights and community dinners in support of local charities as a way to give back to Hinesburg and its residents. I often use it for practice and performance. All of these activities, Patten said, reinforce the culture of Public His House, with more than half of the staff made up of his teens, who are locals and have their first jobs. .

“Parents trust us,” said Dziurzynski. “I know they come here to get life experience, but they should be respected.”

After being closed for just three days during the pandemic lockdown, Public House switched to low-cost take-out family meals and got staff back on track as quickly and safely as possible.

This kind of holistic thinking is central to how Public House operates. It is a mission-driven interest group, meant to serve its customers, staff, communities, local farmers and food producers and investors equally.

“Socially responsible companies don’t make more money [than others]says Patten. People will support restaurants that are giving back. ”

To celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary in December, Patten and Jurzynski offered $10 burgers and $10 drinks over Christmas and New Years. Patten said half of the customers were there for the sale and half were there to say thank you.

“As the town grows, so will we,” said Djurzynski. “We are a reflection of our community.”

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