Jessica Aliff, a waitress a the Blue Staff Cafe, holds the dinner offered at Tavern Night as she is dressed in a colonial outfit.
Photo by John Purcell.
SCHENECTADY fNobody living today can say they dined in an 18th century tavern, but one group now has a pretty good idea of what it might have entailed.
The Blue Star Cafe off of Chrysler Avenue in Schenectady appeared normal to passing motorists on Saturday, Oct. 22, but peering through the window would have revealed an unusual sight, with patrons dressed in colonial garb. Opening the cafe door released sounds of colonial music too, because it was the start of a dinner infusing history and entertainment into one. The eatery became a living museum and allowed patrons to not only view artifacts, but also eat, drink and sing some of history, too.
Robin Kravetz, or “Good Wife Robin” for the night, organized the unique event called “Tavern Night,” which explores an element of history lost in the shuffle of wars and revolution in the 18th century. Setting up such an event wasn’t new to Kravetz though, because she longed to host another Tavern Night after her and her husband retired from running their cafe in Rexford. After losing their venue for hosting the event, she started to search for another.
“I missed doing the colonial Tavern Nights,” Kravetz said. “We really should know our roots and how we came to be. Living history is a very fun way to do that.”
Larry Breckenridge, owner of the Blue Star Cafe, said Kravetz is one of his regular customers and when she asked him to host the event he was more than willing.
“My family has been here since the 1630s, so … it just piqued my interest and it just sounded like such a good opportunity to teach, explain the small nuances of life in that time period — things that aren’t in the history books that you don’t read about,” Breckenridge said. “We are our history, that is what we learn from, that is what we go forward with and in a lot of instances I haven’t seen this kind of history being taught. It is kind of like we are ashamed of our roots and we shouldn’t be.”