Manager Angus Van Beusichem, left, and co-owner Gray Ballinger behind the beer taps at the brand new The People’s Pub on Main Street in Chatham. You can see interior photos on the pub’s Facebook page. John Mason/Columbia-Greene Media
CHATHAM — On shelves high on the walls of The People’s Pub on Main Street lined up are Mason jars of pickled produce, vegetables of all different descriptions and colors — zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, garlic scapes.
The pickles all come from local gardens, the majority from Heartspring Farm, grown by sous chef Eliah Gardner and his family.
“My goal is 100 days of different pickles, but we have to pick up the pace,” said pub co-owner Gray Ballinger. “We’re burning through everything we’ve been making.”
They use them on top of burgers or pork buns, in their homemade pesto, in salads.
This reflects the overall goal of the new pub: To provide fresh, locally sourced, good foods. Most of their produce comes from within 20 to 30 miles.
In a swift turnaround, The People’s Pub moved into the building the popular Peint O Gwrw pub left vacant on May 15 after a 15-year run.
Bars are in Ballinger’s blood. Members of his family own and operate Webster Hall in New York City and the City Beer Hall in Albany.
He was doing financial management for Webster Hall, “anonymous, day-after-day office work,” he said. “I was needing to get out of that environment.”
Angus Van Beusichem was the manager of the City Beer Hall for a few years, then spent a year tending bar in Portland, Oregon. They both wanted to get back to their roots in Columbia County and Gray’s cousin, Tom Ballinger, also wanted to get out of New York; he’s the pub’s other co-owner.