Story by Tom Mattingly
George Washington described in his diary a 1783 stopover at Baird’s Tavern. Martha Washington was a guest three years later on her way to visit her husband at his Newburgh Headquarters. Built by Francis Baird in 1766, Baird’s Tavern, located at 105 Main St. in the Village of Warwick, reopened under new management.
Local business owner Adam Powers and his partner, John Barounis, have reinvented some of the pre-Revolutionary War era charm for which Baird’s Tavern was once known.
“I created three rooms to reflect the social system during the time the tavern originally operated,” Powers explains. “The main bar room is regal where wealthier travelers may have spent their evenings. The back room featuring sofas and a relaxed atmosphere is more colonial, while the common room and features barrel tables and board games.”
Regardless of the room a customer chooses, everyone can become a “member” of Baird’s Tavern. According to Powers, anyone can buy a mug and have his or her name engraved on it for $100. Proceeds from the sale of the stainless-steel mugs benefit the Warwick Historical Society.
Everyone who buys a mug becomes a member of both the Warwick Historical Society and Baird’s Tavern, which entitles the owner to a dollar off that mug when it’s filled with beer.
“Customers will get paid back for their investment pretty quickly, I think,” said Powers.
The Baird’s Tavern site is owned and maintained by the Warwick Historical Society. The new use of the Baird’s Tavern property will not only offer an historic setting for both locals and visitors to the area a unique atmosphere to enjoy food and drink, but will also generate additional revenue to the Warwick Historical Society, which also operates and maintains 11 other properties in the of Warwick including Old School Baptist Meeting House, 1810 House, and Lewis Park.
Adam Powers manages three other businesses in the Village of Warwick, including Fetch Bar & Grill, Village Billiards, and Fizzy Lifting Candy Store. Powers’ Fetch Bar & Grill in Goshen will open later this Fall.