A man stands in front of the broad windows of the Playwright, scanning the menu and the advertised events.
After a few seconds he opens the door just enough to pop his head in and asks, “Are you guys open?”
“For you we are,” replies Christopher Wells, the bartender, as he welcomes the man inside.
It’s 3:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the official start of happy hour.
Very few restaurants will open shop early for a single customer wandering in off of the street. But then again most restaurants don’t cater to locals the way Playwright owners Peter and Kelly Bolton do, either.
The husband and wife team opened the Playwright in July with the goal of creating a place where people could relax, enjoy a meal and have a drink with friends without feeling rushed – an atmosphere inspired by the pubs Peter used to work at in Ireland.
“A pub can be the focal point of the community. That’s our goal,” Kelly said. “We cater to locals and tourists alike, we just want to be a place where people can come and feel like a part of the community.”
“We want to create a sense of a home away from home,” she said.
And with the friendly staff, array of home-cooked meals and location right off the main drag on A Street, the couple does just that.
“We’re off Main Street, so it limits the tour buses, but increases the amount of locals who come in,” Kelly said. “We wanted to create something for people who live and work in the community to call their own.”
“This is our place we’re opening up to everyone else,” Peter said.
But the Playwright is not just the average local bar.
Customers can enjoy home-cooked meals like bangers and mash or a simple sandwich, all available as vegan or gluten free options.
“People seem to think that because we’re a pub, everything is fried, but we don’t even have a fryer,” Peter said. “We want to create more healthy and simply good food.”
One can’t forget the vast array of foreign and domestic beers either.
“We’re a bar that serves really good food and a restaurant that serves really good beer,” Peter said. “Ashland is very beer-centric, we have to be both.”
Location: 258 A Street
Hours: Sun-Thu 4pm–12am; Fri-Sat 4pm–1:30am
Phone Number: (541) 488-9128