Paul McCartney dines at Vermont general store
PHILIP TORTORA, Free Press Staff Writer
February 25, 2015
The J.J. Hapgood General Store & Eatery in Peru had royalty from the music world drop by for dinner Sunday afternoon.
After spending a day on the slopes at nearby Bromley Mountain, famed musician Paul McCartney and five other people spent about an hour in the dining room enjoying a quiet meal that included margherita pizza and organic kale salad.
Restaurant owner Juliette Britton said she didn't want any hoopla to disrupt the legendary Beatle's visit, so she didn't even notify her coworkers that McCartney was a guest in their presence. Britton said McCartney was joined by his wife, Nancy Shevell, and two other couples.
"He came in around 4:30 and had a meal on their way out of town," Britton told the Burlington Free Press. "It was a very relaxed atmosphere and it worked out really well. I didn't even let my staff know at the time he was there. It was a really great experience for him, and he was able to take it all in."
Britton said that as McCartney was getting set to leave, she asked to get her picture taken with him, along with her husband (and store co-owner) Tim. McCartney gladly obliged, and the J.J. Hapgood store account later tweeted out the photo.
J.J. Hapgood General Store & Eatery, which first opened in 1827, was the longest continuously-run general store in Vermont until closing in disrepair in 2009, said Juliette Britton. The Brittons then purchased the store from previous ownership and refurbished it, before reopening it 2013.
Legendary musician Paul McCartney visits the J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery in Peru Sunday. He is pictured with owners Tim and Juliette Britton.
Sir Paul McCartney visits Vermont
By Eliza Larson
Feb 24, 2015
PERU, Vt. -
Juliette Britton owns J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery in Peru, Vermont. While she was working Sunday, she received a call about a very important person coming in to eat. They wanted to make sure not many people were around.
Sir Paul McCartney, the famous musician and former Beatle, stopped in after a day on the slopes at Bromley. A picture is posted on the J.J. Hapgood's Twitter account. Britton said they waited until Tuesday to release the picture because she feared a paparazzi frenzy.
"It's very exciting," Britton said. "It's an honor and actually when he was here he asked me about the store, the beams; he asked if they were original, that was one of his questions."
McCartney told Britton a celebrity friend said he should stop by to check out the store's diverse menu.
"He ordered a margherita pizza and he ordered a kale salad," Britton said. "I understand he's a vegetarian and he heard we have a lot of vegetarian options, organic kale."
And a side of red sauce too.
J.J. Hapgood first opened 150 years ago and is the longest-running general store in Vermont. It is recognized as a destination after being featured in the 1987 movie "Baby Boom," starring Diane Keaton.
When you walk through the aisles at J.J. Hapgood, you never know what or who you may find. But the cozy, quiet atmosphere is great for everyone, whether you're a local or a celebrity.
"Peru is a really special place," Britton said. "And I think that this place on Earth for whatever reason is charmed and we feel pretty lucky."
Britton tells us her favorite McCartney song is "Jet." She said it was a nickname of hers growing up. And now, as she runs the general store, she hopes more folks jet over to check it out.
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