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 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 alongside 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, cobbler, and 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. The restaurant’s tradition of hospitality ensures that the entire menu, from Tavern favorites such as Fish & Chips and the signature Chicken Carlos to our fresh fish and locally famous rack of lamb, 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, 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. Every single visitor to the Tavern has enjoyed first hand the charm, cuisine, conversation and entertainment that has made ours one of the most enduring restaurants in the Upper Valley for over 20 years, while dozens of others have come and gone.
Since 1992, live music has been a main feature at the Tavern, with Open Mic night every Wednesday and talented bands of widely varied genres booked every Friday night. Music is always performed downstairs in the Tavern, and dancing is not only allowed, but encouraged!
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 newly renovated kitchen, assuring 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 out 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, New York Daily News, Michelin Guide and Boston Globe, and most recently by the Dartmouth College newspaper. Visit Hartland Four Corners and see for yourself.