Perhaps no other town better reflects Vermont over the past 200 years than Barre. And, yes, it’s pronounced “Berry”.
Famous for its still-strong granite quarry and stonework industry, Barre granite can be found in monuments in Washington, D.C., amazingly beautiful headstones in Mount Hope Cemetery, and even the foundations of classic, rock-solid homes in Central Vermont.
Granite was the center of the community for decades, and you can still go to the Rock of Ages Visitor Center, and the Stone Arts School to get the full picture. Definitely worth going to both.
Barre also has a thriving dairy industry. As you get just a bit outside the city center, you’ll see classic rolling hills, much of it in hay for dairy.
And, because economies pivot, Barre recently undertook an extensive renovation of the downtown. Street art (in granite, of course), wide sidewalks, and construction and renovation of many of the downtown buildings has attracted state office workers, entrepreneurs, incubators, and more. Past, present, and future.
Barre (representin’ the 05641) consists of the original city and the more recently developed outer town area. The city is Barre City, and the town is, you guessed it, Barre Town. Think of two concentric circles. Barre City is the inner, downtown part. Barre Town is the outer ring. BC and BT have their own elementary and middle schools, and then they all come together for high school at Spaulding High.
The downtown is enjoying a fun revival. Cornerstone Pub and Grill has a delicious menu, and a lovely tap selection. Might I suggest the braised pork shank with jalapeño macaroni and cheese?
You’ll always see a friend and have a great boost at Espresso Bueno. Two Local Guys Burritos plays with the idea of “burrito”. In a good way. You won’t want fast food burritos after eating here. And one of the most beautiful settings is the Ladder One Grill. It’s in a building that once was a fire station, and it currently shares space with a florist. Brick, metal, flowers, and light. It’s kind of magical.