Visit to Backyard Bar & Grille – August 28, 2014
Misty apparitions, foul odors and invisible dinner parties are all part of the fun at Backyard Bar & Grille. Located in the former Vincent’s Steakhouse/Piccadilly Pub building on Route 5, this place has a long and haunted history. The original Ashley House, a private residence built in the 1820s, was converted to a tavern and inn in the 1930s. In the early 1950s, it became Vincent’s Steak House, followed sometime later by Piccadilly Pub and now Backyard Bar & Grille. Ghostly occupants include an elderly couple who sit quietly by a fireplace in the basement and the somewhat more energetic Vincent, of Vincent’s Steak House fame, who busily greets guests at the door and oversees general restaurant operations.
Backyard Bar & Grille has a casual American pub atmosphere. For lunch they serve everything from burgers to pulled pork to crab cakes… and they have a great selection of beers on tap. I had mini Philly sliders, crunchy kettle chips and a Sam Adams Rebel IPA – okay, two Rebels, but who’s counting? Delicious! My partner-in-crime had the All American Burger with sweet potato fries; no complaints from him either. The dinner menu offers additional items, including Rattlesnake Mac N’ Cheese (don’t worry – no rattlesnakes are harmed in the preparation of this dish), Pan Blackened Salmon and Backyard BBQ Brisket.
According to our server, many of the existing staff have reported otherworldly experiences, especially with respect to Vincent. He seems a bit of a micromanager, peering over people’s shoulders and manifesting a foul odor when displeased. Vincent must have been in a good mood when we were there because nothing unsavory arose. He has also been reported as a misty or shadowy cloud, both in the basement (now used as a function hall) and also in the main dining room. Tales of dishwashers gone wild, unaccompanied footsteps and sounds of unseen diners are often told.
When you go, be sure to say hi to Vincent. Or better yet, clink your glasses in a toast to this phantom workaholic (you should probably try to stay on his good side). You can find Backyard Bar & Grille at:
1506 Riverdale Street
West Springfield, MA 01089
Phone: (413) 363-1000
To find more haunted eateries in this area, visit our Massachusetts page.