Skunk Hollow History
In today's fast paced world, the Skunk Hollow Tavern is an oasis of calm and comfort that follows a rich tradition more than two hundred years in the making. The picturesque village of Hartland Four Corners has a long history of food, drink, and hospitality, and the town records show that by 1822 the tiny enclave had at least four colonial taverns. The only such classic watering hole visitors will find today is the Skunk Hollow Tavern in its circa late 18th century setting, one of the two oldest remaining buildings in Hartland Four Corners.
This historic charm is apparent as soon as you pass through the front door and are greeted by blazing logs in the massive center chimney fireplace. Tables and chairs are laid out on original wide beam hardwood floors around this imposing structure, and on the far side is the polished bar, where thousands of guests from near and far, regulars and first time visitors, have pulled up a stool to be welcomed with true, old-fashioned New England hospitality. The tavern's varied wine collection is displayed behind the bar, along a full selection of top shelf liquors, and two local Vermont microbrews are always on tap - served in extra large Imperial pints in a nod to the Green Mountain State's long history.
Over the past two centuries, the Skunk Hollow Tavern building has been home to many ventures, including a butcher shop, a cobbler's, and a tea room, but it has been a restaurant for nearly 40 years, and today it is essentially two restaurants in one. Downstairs is the Tavern Room, with its antique charm, bar seating, music, and casual atmosphere, while upstairs is the more elegant Dining Room, with a slightly more formal feel - the perfect place for a celebration or romantic dinner out. Whichever room fits your needs, the restaurant's tradition of hospitality ensures that the entire menu - from Tavern favorites like Fish & Chips and our signature Chicken Carlos, to our fresh fish and locally famous Filet Mignon - is available to all customers, no matter where they choose to dine.
Since 1985, the Skunk Hollow Tavern has been under the current ownership of Lou Schmertz, his sister Gretchen Schmertz, and her husband Carlos Ocasio - the barkeep, the baker, and head chef, respectively. Our continued presence and hands-on approach to family ownership has helped the restaurant develop a reputation for consistent excellence, and since we served our first dinner, "the Skunk," as fans know it, has attracted a legion of regular customers from all over the Connecticut River Valley. Every single visitor to the Tavern has enjoyed firsthand the charm, cuisine, conversation, and entertainment that have made ours one of the most enduring restaurants in the Upper Valley for over 30 years.
To the visitor, the Skunk Hollow Tavern may seem frozen in time, since recent changes have been entirely behind the scenes. In the past few years the restaurant has undergone a continuous series of improvements, such as a new roof, and in 2007 the kitchen was completely renovated, to assure that the longstanding traditions of first-rate quality and hospitality can continue well into the future.
Some things about the Skunk Hollow Tavern do remain old fashioned in this high tech age. Our family has steadfastly refused to ever install a microwave oven, believing that fresh ingredients, many of them local from farmers we know and trust, cooked to order are what eating well is all about. We welcome you to walk through our historic front door and find out why the Skunk Hollow Tavern has been acclaimed by such expert critics as The New York Times, The Phantom Gourmet, Yankee Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Michelin Guide, and most recently, the Dartmouth College Paper.