BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Paul Kane, owner of PK’s Public House on The Square in Bellows Falls, recently celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the popular local establishment. Kane and his late wife Marie opened the doors to PK’s in 1988.
“Marie and I were coming out of Buffum’s Supermarket one day and although I had looked at that building a hundred times, those cottage windows got my attention,” Kane said in a recent interview. “I had studied in England for two years, and that building just spoke to me. Marie, with her adventurous spirit and undying support told me to ‘go for it!’… and I did!”
Kane remembers the very day PK’s opened for the first time in the fall of 1988. “There was a rival high school football game that day between Bellows Falls and Fall Mountain. Bellows Falls was leading, 7-0, when I had to leave the game to start getting ready, and I was listening on the radio when my son, BF Shrine Bowler Rid Stowell, made a big stop on Eric Hunter at the goal line to preserve a 7-6 win for Bellows Falls. Needless to say, it was a great ‘first day’ after the game.”
Many area residents have their own “PK’s stories” and fond recollections. For this reporter, it was in the mid-90s and going to PK’s every Tuesday and Thursday night for “pints and pizza” with barkeep Tim Griffin after playing our pick-up basketball games at the Walpole Middle School. And of course, PK’s was generous enough to sponsor our team in the Keene Men’s Softball League for multiple seasons.
Not long ago, PK’s expanded the establishment to allow a little more space for music, such as karaoke and open mic night. “We’ve had so many great musicians perform for us over the years. It was a really cool day when singer/songwriter, Hayes Carll, played and thanked us for letting him perform for us.”
Most importantly however, it is the friendly, welcoming atmosphere and wonderful patrons that make PK’s a special place to relax.
“We would become a ‘home away from home’ for many patrons of all ages,” Kane added. “During our anniversary celebration, we paid tribute to some 35 people who are no longer with us, chiming a bell for each name… so many lost loved ones to remember. It was an emotional moment, for sure, and we had a great anniversary celebration.
“But we also have a new generation of patrons now, kids who were not even born yet when we first opened. I invite everyone to come visit and become part of our family.
“We put brass name plates on the bar to honor our loyal regulars and our walls are filled with local and national memorabilia that makes us a sports, music, and friendship museum.”