According to Centers for Disease Control, the pandemic is officially in decline in the United States, thanks to the swift administration of the vaccines to over 60% of the adult population. As a result, fewer deaths are occurring, which is also positive. Liberty Bell High School will be vaccinating the newly approved age group 12-15 year-olds, beginning Wednesday (May 26), further reducing the susceptibility of spread in our community. If you have a family member in the 12-15 age group, you can register online via the school district website under their COVID information link.
The winding down of the pandemic aligns beautifully with the new businesses that seem to be springing up all over around town this season, bringing a refreshing and positive tone to a new start. For months, well years really, people have been asking me, “what is going on with the old Twisp River Pub? I keep seeing things going on there.” Despite my role as the Twisp columnist, I’m surprised to say, I often do not know what is going on. So, I stopped in last week to find out the scoop.
The former pub will be opening as the new Twisp River Tap House once it’s ready. New owners Amy and Stuart O’Farrell intend to have a rotating selection of West Coast beers on tap and offer meals from TwisPasta. TwisPasta has been operating out of the old kitchen space in the pub building since March, producing meals in a dinner club style and will serve food once the new Twisp River Tap House opens.
One question friends have been asking me is, “ what is going to happen with the personalized pub mugs?” I can now affirmatively answer this great ponderance.
Many pub dwellers may remember, during the heyday of the Twisp River Pub, patrons had the option of purchasing a personalized handmade mug. The mugs were made by John and Agnes Almquist of Almquist’s Pottery in Winthrop — family members of the former pub owners Aaron and Becky Studen. The mugs were adorned with the signature black raven logo along with the patron’s painted name on it. The mugs were shelved next to the bar for easy grabbing as you entered the pub, and often filled by Patrick Hannigan. After the fire destroyed the pub in 2016, miraculously the mugs remained unscathed.
For the past two years, as Amy and Stuart made headway on developing a business plan and refurbishing the building and furnishings, the question of the mugs lingered. They took the care to wash them, organize them alphabetically, and catalog them for their records based on the name on the mug.
They have heard through the grapevine that some of the mug owners have moved away or passed on, and pondered about if and how they’d incorporate these mugs into their business operations. The couple finally decided to return the mugs to their owners at will. As they finish up final touches to the building and prepare for opening, mug owners are welcome to stop in and pick up their Twisp River Pub mug and take it home.
Amy and Stuart like the idea of the personalized mug, and once things get rolling they may invite patrons to bring their mugs back in to get filled once the taps are flowing, or implement their own locals mug club program. But with a new business, brand and logo, they wanted a fresh start without complications. For now, the mugs remain on the shelves. If you have mug waiting to be filled, your best bet is to stop in when the lights are on, greet Amy and Stuart briefly (because they are busy readying to open), grab your mug, take it home and crack open a frothy one as you wait for more news on their plans.