The Brewster General Store

sweets Brewster General Store

By Pat O’Connell Photos by Pat O’Connell

The Brewster General Store was built at Carlton E. Sears Square, as a church in 1852 by the Universalist Society, at a cost of $5,000. The congregation declined because of the Civil War and the building and property were sold in 1866 for $1.00. At that time it became a store. The new owner removed the steeple and the front portico and installed a front porch and large display windows. At that time a second floor was created and it was known as “The Hall”. The Hall was a place where social events such as dances and plays took place. Exciting things were happening in Brewster in 1866. That was also he year that the Old Colony Railroad came to town.  In order to best serve his customers, the owner delivered goods to towns people in a covered horse drawn wagon. This delivery service continued into the twentieth century and the Brewster General Store has been selling provisions and assorted merchandise to folks ever since.

Brewster General Store

The store is also a museum of sorts and a town meeting place. It has been visited by many famous people such as Horacio Alger and Helen Keller to name but a few. However, the store owes its long popularity to the thousands of summer and year round residents of the Cape who have passed through its doors during the past one hundred and fifty years. They have purchased groceries and household items in addition to meeting with friends and neighbors to catch up with local news. It is one of the oldest continually running stores on Cape Cod and one of the few authentic general stores in the northeastern United States.

The Brewster General Store is a beloved reminder of a bygone age. It is a story of survival and a tribute to local history. As you enter the main door and look around you will see a few hints of the store’s colorful past. The maple floors creek, there is a nickelodeon and an old post office. The blue check curtains in the front windows make you think of the nineteenth century.  As you ascend the turning staircase, be sure to notice the original church’s arched windows.

In New England during colonial times, churches or meeting houses as they were called, served as the political, social and religious centers of rural communities such as Brewster. From the landing of the Mayflower to the Revolutionary War, weekly church attendance was mandatory. However, as secular governments emerged, the dominance of the churches subsided and the general store became the meeting place.

furnace Brewster General Store

The store was at one time the town’s hardware store and Post Office but that is no longer the case. Nor does it carry the vast selection of foods that it once did but it is still a friendly place where you can go in the morning and linger by a coal burning stove in the winter and drink a cup of freshly roasted coffee while you chat with neighbors. During the summer months you can stop by for an ice cream cone at the Brewster Scoop next door. During the warm weather folks sit on the outside benches and chat.

If you are planning a visit to Cape Cod, be sure to schedule in a visit to this charming old place. It is an hour’s drive from the Palmer House Inn and a great stopping place while on your way to Provincetown.


Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Written and Photographed by Pat O’Connell

Dunbar House Tea room
Dunbar House Tea room
Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room
Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Before there was a tea house, here was a house at 1 Main Street in Sandwich, MA since the first European settlers arrived in 1650. Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape and John Dillingham was one of its founding fathers. John Dillingham built a small house on the 1 Main Street site in the center of town when he first arrived. It was built on a rise overlooking Shawme Pond and a grist mill. The pond is fed by a fresh water spring and there is also a herring run that is maintained by the town to this day.

In 1740 the original house was moves to 17 Main Street, where it still stands. At that time a much larger and more impressive house was built on the site by Dillingham’s decendants.

Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room
Front of the Dunbar House

During the two hundred and fifty years of the houses existence, there have only been five families who have lived in the house. The Dillingham family lived there until the 1860’s. At that time it was purchased by Anthony Chapouil. Mr Chapouil worked for many years as a accountant for the Boston & Sandwich Glass Works. An interesting note is that. Mr Chapouil’s brother was the grandfather of the well known children’s book author, Thorntan W. Burgess and the Burgess House where he wrote, is within walking distance of the center of town.

In the 1920’s the house was purchased by Colonel Henry Dunbar. He had been assigned the task of supervising the widening of the Cape Cod Canal and wanted to live in close proximity to the work. At that time he added the Carriage House, a billiard room and tennis courts. He also planted an elligant roes garden.

During the time that the Dunbars were living in the house Mrs Dunbar established a tradition of serving tea.

In 1974 the town of Sandwich purchased the house, however, in 1990 it was returned to private ownership when it was bought by the Bells. In the spring of 2000, Jim and Paula Hagarty who were from Milton, MA moved into the house and commenced to do a complete renovation. The goal was to restore the buildings to their original grand scale. In the process they have maintained Mrs Dunbar’s elegant tradition of serving tea in the lovely and comforting atmosphere of the adjacent tea room.

In addition to afternoon tea, the Hagartys serve a wide selection of British fare. Lunch and tea can also be enjoyed in the new Tea Garden Room This room has lovely views. The original tea room sits in the old wood paneled billiard and gentlemen’s smoking room. When you enter you no longer hear the sound of clanking billiard balls, you are greeted with the sound of clinking tea cups and the aromas of baking scones, shortbreads, pies and cakes.  All of the Dunbar’s deserts are made in house.

Both the original tea room and the dining room have fireplaces that are lit and stoked in the winter.  During the summer one can enjoy cool breezes inside or out on the patio that is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.

The menu is innovative and the selection of quality teas have attracted visitors from around the world. The Dunbar House also serves a wide variety of British ails and European wines, ports and sherries.

The Dunbar House Restaurant and Tea Room are just a thirty minute drive from the Palmer House Inn.

Dunbar House Restaurant and Tea Room
1 Water St, Sandwich, MA 02563


TGC Grille

Beautiful plate. TCG Grille
View from the patio.
View from the patio.

It’s a bit off the beaten path but well worth the trek to North Falmouth. Chef/owner Jonathan Philips and his wife Jill have done it again. Their flagship restaurant C Salt, on Davis Straits in Falmouth is among the finest on the Cape and now they have opened their newest venture the TGC Grille at The Golf Club of Cape Cod in North Falmouth. Both locations are  trendy, Cape Cod restaurants and wine bars, blending American Cuisine with French and Asian influences. The restaurants feature full bars along with various wine and food pairings to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets.

C Salt Wine Bar & Grille and the TGC Grille specialize in exceptional food, an extensive wine list and great service.

Beautiful plate with greens.
Beautiful plate with greens.

The Golf Club of Cape Cod partnership with Falmouth’s acclaimed, award-winning C Salt Wine Bar & Grille provides members and their guests with exemplary service, a relaxed atmosphere and exceptional food. From a masterfully prepared three-course meal to the new lunch and light fare menu the Grille is outstanding but the best part is that it is open to the public. Diners are invited to make reservations to dine.  Casual elegance and world-class meals are the hallmarks of the dining experience.

Chef Philips’ menu for the TGC location will be different from the original Falmouth location, but the concept of Contemporary American Cuisine with French & Asian Influences will remain consistent.  Don’t be surprised ,however, if some of his signature dishes can be found across town.

TCG Grille Pre-opening party
Pre-opening night party in the dining room at the TGC Grille.

Cape Cod evokes, a casual, relaxed atmosphere that is an important element of the TGC Grille’s mission. The casual atmosphere gives the diner the opportunity to escape the busy life. This presents a challenge to traditional dress code policies. At TGC, members, and guests are permitted to wear denim at lunch and on casual nights. It is only on Friday and Saturday evenings that traditional country club casual attire is required.

The restaurant hours are:

TGC Grille menu

11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Wednesday though Sunday

Pub Menu
3:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday though Saturday

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Wednesday and Thursday*
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Sunday
*Live Music Thursdays with Harry French

Reservations are strongly recommended.   We will happily assist you in having a table reserved in your name while you are in Falmouth.  Please call us at  508-548-1230 and one of us will help you.

The C-Salt Story

As Executive Chef at TGC prior to establishing C Salt Wine Bar & Grille in Falmouth, Chef/Owner Jonathan Philips made a name for himself among Falmouth locals and tourists. In 2015, Boston Magazine recognized C Salt as “Best Cape Cod Restaurant” and with the aid of Maitre d’/Sommelier Errol Joseph, Wine Spectator Magazine gave C Salt’s Wine Program it’s prestigious “Award of Excellence”.

“TGC Grille by C Salt is a second C Salt concept open seasonally from mid-April through October. While the golf course remains private, TGC Grille by C Salt offers lunch & dinner to the public.  Reservations are encouraged.

Directions to the The Golf Course of Cape Cod and TGC Grille from the Palmer House Inn:

Turn right as you exit the driveway. At the blinking yellow light turn right onto Route 28. Follow Route 28 until you come to Route 151 towards Mashpee/Hyannis/New Seabury. Turn slight right onto MA-151/Nathan Ellis Highway and follow for 1 mile. Turn right onto Falmouth Woods Road.


132 Falmouth Woods Road
East Falmouth, MA 02536

Reservations Suggested

We will happily assist you in having a table reserved in your name while you are in Falmouth.  Please call us at  508-548-1230 and one of us will help you.