Meridian Industrial


12/13/19 | G. Michael Dobbs


Happy holidays! One story in this month’s Go Local jumped right out at me – our look at Table & Vine.

I recently visited the West Springfield location and was, as always, amazed at the depth of their selections of beer, wine and spirits as well as food items including cheeses.

Even though I knew what was on my list on my last trip, I took the time simply to look around, as I always do.

When I was a boy and beardless youth – well, a little older – it was common to walk into a bar and simply say, “Please, give me a beer.” The bartender would go over to one or two taphandles and pull a beer.

There was little variety offered and the idea was largely, a beer was just a beer. As a bartender who worked in the 1980s I can attest that happening every shift. Sometimes people would specify Budweiser or Miller or Coors, but not always.

Michelob was considered a special kind of beer, designed for the more sophisticated customer.

I have to add that many people who ordered spirits also did something similar. I’d have people walk in and say to me, “Scotch!” or “Bourbon!” without any other orders. I’d reach down to the “well” bottles – off-brand, generic spirits and give them exactly what they requested.

My favorite off-brand was “Mohawk Scotch.” The bottle sported an illustration of a Plains Native American wearing an eagle-feathered headpiece. The imagery was all wrong and the Scotch was simply awful.

Oh, have times changed! Today many people are much more in tune with the many choices they have in beer and spirits. Increasingly they know what they like and know what they want.

Not having been a bartender in 30 years I can’t say whether Mohawk Scotch is still around, but I hope not!

Today bars and restaurants pride themselves on the number of beers they have on tap and stores such as Table & Vine clearly work very hard to stock a dizzying assortment.

The neat thing about the store is the amount of space dedicated to New England craft brews.

The craft brew movement has been about more than just beer. It’s about artistry and economic development. Craft beer has created many jobs.

The fact that Table & Vine supports the regional craft beer scene is evidence of the company’s commitment to assisting the local food and drink industry.

If Table & Vine offers homegrown beer and wines, then the Majestic Theater in West Springfield offers home-grown but nationally recognized local entertainment.

Founder Danny Eaton and his staff have done something truly impressive: they have succeeded in offering professional theater for decades. The entertainment industry is a difficult one in which to thrive and the Majestic has done so by presenting challenging dramas as well as fun musicals.

As the story in this edition shows, the Majestic productions are as professional as any larger theater company one might cite.

It’s an entertainment resource of which our region should be proud.

This December treat yourself to a show at the Majestic.

On behalf of all of us at Go Local, have a great holiday – whichever one you celebrate!

- G. Michael Dobbs, Managing Editor

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