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Beer Balm: WaterFire’s new rooftop deck feeds the soul with food, fresh air, cocktails and art

Every Thursday through August 26, culture and cocktails will collide on the WaterFire Arts Center’s picturesque Rooftop Deck. The “TroopTop Deck” is the latest collaboration between WaterFire Arts Center and their neighbors at Troop, who will be bringing over much more than a cup of sugar. The weekly event is an exciting new opportunity for the PVD community to safely socialize while enjoying local art, music and, of course, beer. 

Reservations for this COVID-conscious event will be limited to 90 minutes. Patrons are invited to experience the rotating art exhibit on display before heading up for a bite and a beer, where your reservation entitles you to a designated table where you can unmask and unwind with your bubble. 

I attended the second night of the TroopTop Deck event with my boyfriend and fellow Motif contributor Chuck Staton. We were greeted at the door and checked in for our reservation upstairs. The expansive repurposed mill building has a way of making your hopes feel big and your troubles feel small. Troop was offering a thirst-quenching lineup of Revival Brewing beers including classics like Night Swim’ah Wheat Ale, What Cheer? Pilsner and my selection, Pinky Swear Berliner Weisse. Revival Brewing also is a new neighbor of WaterFire Arts Center having recently moved to 50 Sims Ave. Local craft wine was also being served from Rumford-based Anchor & Hope.

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Small savory bites were provided by Auntie’s Catering. Their offering this week was a delicious assortment of homemade spreads — a well-balanced pesto hummus, a grape and feta salad, and an onion and herb dip — paired with two types of crackers and fire-roasted tortilla chips. The tasty array received high-praise from my date and articulate food writer, who stated, “It was really, REALLY good.” Two “reallys,” really! 

Unfortunately a bout of unseasonably cold weather moved the event inside; however, we thoroughly enjoyed our time sitting on the indoor balcony and had ample time to experience the current art exhibition “Down To Earth.” The nautical inspired showcase is the work of the late URI professor Robert Rohm. The gorgeous display brought a sense of calm and life to the space, providing a much-needed change of scenery after nearly a year of looking at the same four walls. According to Peter Mello, WaterFire managing director, the next major exhibition will be a retrospective of the large-scale, site-specific, community-focused photography of Mary Beth Meehan. The exhibit will be on display from June 30 until August 22. 

Although the weather kept us inside this time, we most definitely will be returning to the TroopTop Deck this summer to bask in the sun and spread the local love one beer at a time.

Tickets for the TroopTop Deck can be purchased through The WaterFire Arts Center website at waterfire.org, and the $5 admittance fee will go to support the non-profit organization.

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