Rule #3 – Experience everything.
You might have heard this before.
I know I have.
This is about Alice’s Restaurant. It’s not really the name of the restaurant. Not now anyway. It’s now Theresa’s Stockbridge Café… formerly Alice’s Restaurant.
It’s about my visit to Stockbridge, Massachusetts and how we found Alice’s Restaurant.
One fine, hot summer day in July, we left our vacation home in the Berkshire Mountains. It was time for a day trip. So we all piled into the brand new, adorably blue Ford Es-ca-pe and drove due south to Stockbridge. We drove through some great looking towns on our way. Some towns had architecture that looks like it could be an old movie set. Some towns had a village green, and you could just imagine Jimmy Stewart running down the snowy center of town wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Then, we see the dawn of technology in I-90, also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike. Well, we weren’t fixin’ to head east toward Boston or west toward Albany so we just road past the MassPike. We got a bit farther down the road and there it was, like a scene right out of a picture post card… or a drawing… or a Norman Rockwell portrait. It was the Red Lion Inn and Stockbridge General Store – hell; it WAS right out of a Norman Rockwell portrait. It makes sense since he lived here and all.
|Stockbridge General Store|
We parked my brand new, adorably blue Ford Es-ca-pe on the street and started to wander around town. We tried not to get lost and that wasn’t too hard to do. The town center is only three blocks long. But there was so much back behind the stores. We wandered back down one of the small alleys off Main Street and found lots of boutique shops. My favorite was called Peace, Love and Chocolate – my three favorite things. It was tucked in around the back of the general store. We did get lost in the old Town Office building, which is now a Yankee Candle Store. It’s a good thing those candles don’t have contraband fragrances, because we were sniffing and snorting for at least a good half hour.
|Peace, Love and Chocolate|
Our wandering was starting to involve a search for food. Then we see this sign. It said “Cafe”. Where there’s a cafe, there’s food, usually. So we went around the back to the restaurant. And were we surprised to see Alice’s name still on the restaurant. And it was open. And it had people in it. So we walked right in and sat down.
|The sign taking us around the back|
|We're open for business|
The café had the look of the 1970’s with yellow walls and some hippie-type paintings hanging around. There were some great memories hanging up on those yellow walls, too. Arlo Guthrie’s guitar – signed and autographed – was up on the wall at the restaurant. So was a fantastic drawing of a VW microbus with trash stuffed in the back. So was Alice’s apron from the original restaurant. There were a few of the 27 8x10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows… but we didn’t see the paragraphs on the back describing the details. We did see color glossy photographs of Arlo, and Alice, and Theresa, the new owner of Alice’s Restaurant.
|Autographed album cover|
|Signed Guthrie Guitar|
|VW Microbus from the story|
|Alice's first apron, used at the restaurant|
|8x10 glossy color photograph of Arlo, Alice and Theresa|
Now we sat down and placed our order. That day was a gorgeous, hot, summer day and the restaurant was a bit short handed. We waited for our food…and we waited for our food…and we waited…well, some people might have just walked out. Be we were hungry and finally our food was delivered. We had big sandwiches that had lots of fillings and plenty of chips and/or fries on the side. We had a mixed-greens salad delivered that was fresh, and looking better than Alice ever would be. I had a felafel! In beautiful, downtown Stockbridge Massachusetts on this bright, beautiful hot summer day, I had the best felafel I ever ate. It was stuffed with sprouts, tomato and lettuce. It had lots of tahini sauce over the top. And the felafel itself…it had just the right amount of garlic and spices, and not much mint at all. Wish I had an 8x10 color glossy photograph of my felafel so you could see just how delicious it was…before I scarffed it down.
|Menu back tells the story of the Alice's Restaurant Massacre|
We had one more stop to make before we left the restaurant. Yeah, that little room, you know about it. I went in and found some more of the 27 8x10 color glossy photographs hanging up in there. Guess the paragraphs on the back were in case you got stuck there for a bit.
|Yep, we were there|
Then it was time to hit the road. We double checked the sign on the front door of the restaurant. It says Theresa’s Stockbridge Café…formerly Alice’s Restaurant. Yeah, we were there. We are going back there too. How about you?
Come on and join us… with full orchestration and four-part harmony…
You can get anything that you want at Alice’s Restaurant… it’s now Theresa’s.
You can get anything you want at the Café Restaurant.
Walk right in, it’s around the back. Just a half a mile from the railroad tracks.
You can get anything that you want at Theresa’s Stockbridge Café.
All photographs are the property of Marge McGugan. Copy or reuse not permitted without written permission.