The Montague Bookmill sits just north of the towns of Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts along the banks of the Sawmill River. Once a real working grist mill, the building dates back to 1832.
In 1987, the mill was renovated to repurpose its natural beauty. The gorgeous chestnut beams were sandblasted and the shelves that once held bags of grain were stacked with thousands of books.
Today, bookworms find themselves lost for hours perusing the stacks of half-priced literature, childrens books and academic texts.
A deck was built overlooking the river, and in 1992, the new owners began a concert series and added a quaint little cafe.
The Lady Killigrew Cafe and Pub features floor-to-ceiling windows and cozy wooden furnishings. Guests can order a coffee or delicious artisan sandwich and curl up with a good book beside the churning river.
When weather permits, the outdoor patio space offers stunning views and relaxing river sounds.
The menu at Lady Killigrew is quite unique, featuring entrees like warm brown rice salad and peanut-diner udon noodles. Grilled sandwich options include curried chicken with cheddar, tomato, and onion or their popular brie, apricot jam, and marinated apple on sourdough.
The mill is also home to the Alvah Stone Restaurant and Bar, which features full menus of American fare, original cocktails, wine and draft beer.
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays, year-round. They have seating for 65 inside and 40 on the deck.
The "authentic American" menu offers everything from snacks and smaller items to full, hearty entrees. Guests can enjoy a warm, soft pretzel and a beer or a steak dinner and a bottle of wine.
What's on the menu on any given day is determined by what is currently fresh at the local farms where the chefs purchase their ingredients. Most vegetables come from the Kitchen Garden in Sunderland and other local farms, and there are also a number of foragers who swing by with fresh mushrooms, ramps, etc.
The original cocktails are inspired by the history of the building, the geographic location, or one of the mill's books, such as the Seldom Heard, made from bison grass vodka, maurin quina (a French aperitif), cashew, coconut, lime, and cardamom.
A variety of local beers and rotating housemade desserts are also available.
If you love books, fresh, local food, and fabulous river views, head to the Montague Bookmill this spring!