Are you a coffee lover? A cocktail connoisseur? Or maybe a Bloody Mary is more your speed, especially on a lazy Sunday morning? There’s no need to choose because Perks & Corks in downtown Westerly has whatever it is you are craving – as well as some libations you probably never even knew you needed.
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Perks & Corks has been in business for 20 years now, and although they’ve changed ownership and even locations over the past two decades, they have remained a vital part of the downtown scene. Owners Bryan and Jennifer Keilty purchased the establishment about 14 years ago, back when it was located a few doors down. Since then, they’ve grown into their current expanded location at 62 High Street.
As their name implies, this coffee shop by day, bar by night is one of the longest-standing watering holes in downtown Westerly. During the day, they serve up creamy chai lattes, local Dave’s coffee, pastries, and other goodies in a cozy and friendly atmosphere. At night, they are packed with regulars enjoying their HUGE martinis, a glass of wine or a classic cocktail, and most notably, some really great live music.
The “corks” part of their name hints at their extensive and well-curated wine list, but they may be best known for their martinis, both because of their size and their varieties. Some house favorites include the Espresso martini, the Strawberry Basil Martini, the Reese’s martini, and their top-secret recipe Chai martini.
Their food menu offers gourmet panini-style grilled cheeses, all named after different musical acts. My personal favorite is the Notorious B.L.T. for obvious reasons (mainly the name and the bacon – but also, the sriracha mayonnaise). These are not your average bar snacks and certainly not your average grilled cheeses! They also offer a few other food items including appetizers and soups.
My last visit to Perks was on a Sunday afternoon last fall, with a couple of little ones in tow. We arrived just as the Bloody Mary bar was closing up shop, but the bartenders kindly offered up any remaining cookies to our very appreciative kids. Us adults decided on a couple of proper fall beverages, including hot apple cider (both spiked and virgin) and a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
We then moved to some comfy (and to our kid’s delight, extremely climbable) couches and ordered a few snacks included honey roasted almonds and a hummus plate. Everything was delicious! I am definitely overdue for a visit and plan to cash in on a kid-free date night this fall or winter to indulge in a fancy grill cheese, a couple of espresso martinis, and some good music.