Side Dishes: Rí Rá poised to open whiskey bar
Like many spirits, whiskey is having a moment. This month, for instance, Wine Spectator magazine turned over its cover to a tasting of American whiskeys. Now Burlington will gain its very own whiskey bar when the folks at Rí Rá Irish Pub  throw open the doors to the adjacent Whiskey Room at Rí Rá this week.
Behind the bar will be upwards of 100 bottles of whiskey, some of them rare and tracked down via special order, according to manager Matt Messenger. The 44-seat space will also feature a full bar and craft cocktail list, high-end draft beers and sparkling wines, and at least 15 other wines not available next door.
Patrons can order from Rí Rá’s pub menu or from a special selection of small plates that will include local meat and cheese boards, says Messenger.
Messenger says the Whiskey Room’s vibe will be “loungier and a bit more relaxed” than that of the pub, through which it may be accessed. The new space also has its own entrance at 131 College Street, inside the old Chittenden County Trust Company.
Though Messenger won’t pinpoint a date, he says the bar could see its soft opening as early as this weekend.