Locale Profiles: Don’t Hibernate! Get Out and Have Fun at Federal Taphouse


Sometimes having fun is hard work. It is especially hard if you live in Rhode Island right now amid (or beneath) the snow that never stops. Just try to leave your house and get somewhere on time; I dare you. The swirling flakes will make you feel like you are in a spaceship, not a vehicle, and you will have to concentrate exclusively on driving for the entire time you are in said moving vehicle. Forget listening to the radio. Forget talking to whoever is in the car with you. Don’t even think about sipping a coffee. It takes all your energy to simply navigate the car through the snow and over the lunar terrain that used to be our streets. If you live here, then you know that there are craters the size of valleys gaping wide and jagged across every road and highway, and you also know that your mechanic and your auto body guy are going to be rich because of them. Good times, indeed, for those of us who just want to get out of the house for a short spell so that we don’t go crazy from cabin fever.

Last Saturday night, my husband and I decided to try eating an early supper at Federal Taphouse on Atwells (after he shoveled the newest snow off our roof and broke up the ice dams clogging the gutters). Easier said than done. We left our home in Manville and began what is currently a treacherous trek down Route 146 so that we could have our fun. It was snowing, of course, and two different accidents brought traffic to a standstill.  In Providence, every multi-lane street was reduced to one lane by the mountains of plowed snow everywhere. Furthermore, we arrived on Atwells at the exact moment that hundreds of people were leaving a figure skating show at the Dunk; Which means that we sat without moving at the Dean Street traffic light for three full cycles before we actually made it through to the other side. I felt like the entire trip took about two years from door to door.

Once at Federal Taphouse, things got smoother, and we remembered that, if nothing else, it is important to be somewhere other than your own house, if only for a few hours, even on the coldest winter nights. After taking advantage of the free valet parking, we ordered a flight of beer, followed by a pint each – Wachusett Larry IPA for me and Shipyard Gingerbread for him. We had a delicious roasted squash salad and sticky Thai ribs, followed by a burger that we shared and a slice of tiramisu. The price for all of that was high – $76.15 before tip, to be exact. I’m pretty sure that the quality of the food and beverage does not warrant such an exorbitant tab, but the service was decent and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. More notable was the observation that the place was quite busy; apparently, we weren’t the only ones who wanted to go out and have some fun on another blustery night in Rhode Island.

The drive home was as long and treacherous as the drive there, but we finally arrived safely. Yes, having fun is hard work sometimes, but in Rhode Island, there are too many fun things to miss if you hibernate. Eventually, the snow will melt, and we can all go to the Hot Club to celebrate spring’s arrival.


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