More changes in the ever-shifting Stowe restaurant scene, but this one’s more like settling in than shipping out: Crop Bistro and Brewery closed its doors as of Nov. 3 and, when it reopens next week, it will have a brand-new name.
Old will be new again as the Mountain Road restaurant reopens as Idletyme Brewing Company. The name is a throwback back to the site’s days as Camp Idletyme, a youth hostel and ski camp where Stowe schussers gathered in the 1930s.
Stowe residents Laura and Michael Kloeti took over the restaurant in May, and are looking forward to the fresh start the rebranding will bring.
“It’s time for it to be our place,” Laura Kloeti said.
Idletyme already has some crossover with the proprietors’ flagship restaurant, fine-dining post, Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury Center — Jason Bissell, a longtime Michael’s employee, heads the Idletyme kichen.
The menu at Idletyme will be casual, at a price point “where people can come every day of the week,” Laura Kloeti said.
“Michael’s (On the Hill) is an entirely different animal,” she said. “They complement each other so much.”
Steaks, burgers and other family-friendly pub fare will be interspersed with items incorporating Idletyme’s beer in the recipes — a gruyère and onion tart made with the house Helles lager, an oatmeal cookie made with wort (the sweet malted liquid that is fermented to make beer) and sandwiched with vanilla porter ice cream.
Brewmaster Will Gilson, who’s been brewing in house since shortly after Crop opened in 2012, will continue to turn out Bavarian-style beers from the German-sourced brewhouse equipment.
“He’s a craftsman; he’s incredible,” Kloeti said.
The pub area is getting a fresh coat of paint and renewed flooring, while “keeping the warm Vermont feel,” Kloeti said.
“For a very long time, this was such an important property,” Kloeti said, citing the camaraderie and sense of community at the Shed Restaurant, open from 1965 to 2011, as well as the building’s previous incarnations as a ski camp, cider mill, blacksmith shop and more.
“We want to bring it back to life,” Kloeti said, “and over the last six months we’ve had a taste of that … there’s so much positive energy.”
Idletyme will open Wednesday, Nov. 11, serving lunch and dinner 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. A welcome-back celebration is planned for Sunday, Nov. 15, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. 1859 Mountain Road; idletymebrewing.com.