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A date with history

At ‘Tavern Night,’ patrons get a taste of the 18th century

Jessica Aliff, a waitress a the Blue Staff Cafe, holds the dinner offered at Tavern Night as she is dressed in a colonial outfit.

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.

— “People don’t know what they were going to have until they are there eating that night,” Kravetz said. “You would have whatever the mistress had in the big pot … and you either took it or left it.”

The food options during the recent event started off with a small appetizer called Johnny Cakes, which Kravetz said had a bland flavor and were similar in size to a silver dollar pancake. Apple butter was offered to spread across the top.

The main course was called “Hoppin’ John,” which consisted of a rice, bean and ham mixture cooked together along with sides of carrots and green beans. The dessert offering was “little cakes,” or cookies as we call them today.

The aspect about the night Breckenridge enjoyed most was having people come together and share the experience.

“I just enjoyed the camaraderie of our guests. That is the reason my wife and I run this restaurant, we love watching our patrons have a good time. Eating is a lot more than just filling our belly, it is a social event and that is what we want here.”

Kravetz said the event is unique for the area and she wants to continue organizing Tavern Nights.

“I like to make history interesting for people so that they learn it,” Kravetz said. “To get something like this you would have to travel. There is nothing local like this and if you did the price is a lot more prohibitive than what we are charging.”

The next Tavern Night will be held at the Blue Star Cafe on Jan. 21 and reservations can be made by calling owner Larry Breckenridge at 337-6094. The cost of the Oct. 22 event was $22 per person.

Some modern amenities, said Breckenridge, are still provided.

“I think you will learn a lot about our history, a lot about what people did and enjoyed … and experience a night of colonial tavern as best we can replicate it,” Breckenridge said. “It is nice to have flushed toilets. I was going to lock the (bathroom) doors and tell everyone they had to go outside, but I decided against that.”

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