Bridgewater cafe could debut by spring
Published 9:05 am, Saturday, August 15, 2015
A cafe could be opened in the south wing of the Bridgewater Village Store by next spring.
The cafe would allow patrons to sip Maywood wines while enjoying a light meal.
The proposal then would move on Thursday, Aug. 20, to the Planning & Zoning Commission, with a special permit application to remodel the former bank section of the store, the south wing, as a cafe.
A public hearing would likely take place at the Aug. 20 meeting.
“The project itself has a six-month buildout,” Bollard said. “My hope is we can do some exterior work before the snow flies. I’d love to say the cafe will be open by April.
“People in town want to see this happen,” he said. “Every time I walk into town, someone comes up to me and asks ‘Well?’ ”
Peter May, the owner of Maywood Estate in Bridgewater and the Bridgewater Village Store, has planned a cafe opening carefully.
In October 2013, May sent an open letter to the Bridgewater community asking residents if they would like the idea of a cafe that served wine and beer.
Response was overwhelmingly for approval of a cafe being opened in the former bank area of the store and that wine and beer be offered.
Given that Bridgewater was the last dry town in the state, May still had to achieve a change in the alcohol ordinance to accomplish his goal.
In November, voters repealed the local prohibition against alcohol sales, choosing to allow them in restaurants. People were less concerned about maintaining a dry-town tradition than in bringing economic vitality to a town of some 1,700 residents.
“I think this new cafe and other initiatives we have in town will draw young families,” said Carolan Dwyer, a Bridgewater resident and community outreach director. “Hopefully, people will experience the new cafe once it’s open and realize they want to be part of the little slice of heaven that is our town.”
No one has suggested alcohol sales correlate directly to economic growth. Yet proponents said if alcohol sales could help a proposed restaurant thrive, new life could be brought to the community.
May lives in Bridgewater part-time at his 40-acre estate.
In June, Maywood Gardens on the property are open for tours. Freshly cut flowers, vegetables and other field crops grown at the estate are offered at the Bridgewater Village Store.
With the addition of a cafe at the store, Maywood wines could also be offered.