If you’re looking for a place to hang out on Friday night, it’s not likely that your friends will suggest the Painted Post Tavern. That’s because the Tavern, now known as the Benjamin Patterson Inn, is a historic structure built in 1796 and hasn’t been an operational “tap room” in nearly a century.
However, there’s been a recent resurgence around the Inn, along with the other historic buildings that make up Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes. And some of these new activities revive the spirit of the original Painted Post Tavern (but hopefully they don’t revive any real spirits*).
If your last visit to Heritage Village was an elementary school field trip, you’re overdue for a new perspective. Throughout the year, several events and fundraisers will take place, and each one gives you an opportunity to connect with our region’s history in fun, imaginative ways. For example, September’s Heritage Festival is a convergence of music, food, games, crafts, and demonstrations that all tap into some aspect of our heritage. This event used to be called the “Whingblinger,” and it has become a regional tradition you can’t miss.
But the real reason for this blog post is because I’m mostly excited for the next 2 opportunities to hang out at the Benjamin Patterson Inn:
For the first time, the public has the opportunity to buy tickets for a hearth dinner. In the middle of the old Painted Post Tavern sits a giant hearth / fireplace for cooking and baking. This old fashioned way of cooking brings back all the best parts of a beautiful meal: ambiance and warmth, ingredients that simmer and blend over time, and flavors that simply cannot be achieved with traditional ovens or fryers.
Using tools and techniques from the 18th century, volunteers will prepare a 4-course meal over an open fire with live music in the next room. And you’re even allowed to bring your own wine and beer.
The dinner takes place on May 5th at 6:30pm. Cost is $65 per person ($40 is considered tax deductible) and it’s limited to 20 guests. Call them NOW or you’ll miss your chance: 607-937-5281.
Craft Beverage Expo
I wrote about it in my last blog post, so it’s clear that I’m really excited about this one. The organization’s third annual Craft Beverage Expo takes place on Saturday, May 19 from 3:30 to 7pm, and it’s not going to be a secret much longer. This year features Iron Flamingo, Lyonsmith, Grist Iron, Rooster Fish, and Brick House (so far) – plus music, food, and free handcrafted pottery for tasting (my personal favorite).
The event is designed at its core for people who love to talk about and taste craft beer. However, it’s not pretentious or uninviting – if you want to learn more or just try some of the basic brews from our region, this is the place to start. Last year, I tried everything from an accessible pilsner to a super complex heavy porter. Plus, I got to talk with the brewers about their process and why they approach certain styles over others. It’s interesting and fun, and if you can picture what Corning looks like when the weather is nice, it all takes place outdoors.
If you can’t make it to these events, I sincerely recommend checking out the Heritage Village next time you have a free weekend. Tours are fun, demonstrations are incredibly interesting, and the whole place taps into so many different aspects of creativity and culture.
*I haven’t heard any rumors of actual spirits, I just wanted to make a ghost pun. Sue me.