If you're visiting Killington, Vermont, chances are you're going to check out the Wobbly Barn. The steak house/night club is an institution at the Beast of the East, so much so that it's hard to find an article or piece of friendly advice that doesn't refer to it as a Must-Hit. What those people might not mention is the little place across the street. Charity's has been serving Killington locals since 1971. Charity's was founded by Jack Giguere, who had previously built the Wobbly Barn and turned the Pickle Barrel into a popular nightclub. Since '71, the restaurant has evolved into a more low-key alternative to Killington's clubs, featuring the best beer menu in town, and a back bar to spread out the crowds during Saturday happy hour. While the Barn and the Barrel will always be the hot spots for visitors to Killington, Charity's is establishing itself as the place for locals and regulars to enjoy a few pints after a day shredding Killington's expansive terrain.
Here are a few other things to know about Charity's.
The Bar: The actual bar was built in France and came to Killington via a house of ill repute in West Virginia. "It's all cherry wood, all Italian marble," says Charity's General Manager Garren Poirier. "The bar is really cool. It's very old."
Clientele: Locals and regulars who rent season ski houses along the access road. Large groups are accommodated. "Most of our menu is under $20," says Poirier. "It's very family-friendly. Mostly we get the Killington local crowd—the ski house people, that kind of thing. It's a very at-home, friendly kind of place. It's very cozy, very old-ski-mountain oriented."
Atmosphere: "It's one of the originals, so it's got this old vibe to it," says Poirier. "It's worn and tattered, which some people like when they come to a ski mountain—they like to see the old-school style place.
Signature Drink: Goombay Smash. "It's kind of a Killington signature drink," says Poirier. "It's a rum drink—kind of like a take on the Planter's Punch, but it's a Killington version of it."
Beer: Charity's features more than 30 craft beers from around the world, including Vermont institutions such as Magic Hat. "The list grows every day," says Poirier. "It's kind of like the beer bar in Killington. In the last three or four years we built it to be that way."
Food: According to Poirier, the food has been the same for the last 35 years. "Our French Onion soup is the best in town—same recipe since 1971." he says. "Great for a day when you come off the hill." He also recommends the burgers and the seafood. "We have up to six specials every day," Poirier says. "So we do have a really big mix of stuff, and like I said, Most of the menu is under $20, so it's not going to break the bank. It's nice solid food that's been very consistent for many years. (Editor's recommendation: Charity's Pot Roast, served with garlic mashed potatoes and root vegetables.)
Back Bar: Open usually on Saturdays, with a happy hour. They also offer complimentary jalapeño fondue everyday from 3-6 pm.