Amidst the bric-a-brac and Christmas lights that mark the Sloop Tavern as a laid back dive bar, there is an innocuous glass case housing a number of plaques and trophies honoring yachting prowess.
Owner Wayne Schmidt purchased the bar, which is located near the world-famous Chittenden Locks, in 1976 in the hopes of improving the location’s rundown image. To this effect, he started the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club, a boating club for regular folks with affordable entry prices and a relaxed attitude. The yacht club began participating in local races and continues to do so to this day. The membership fees have been kept reasonable and still welcomes those who might not be in the same tax bracket as traditional yacht enthusiasts.
The bar and yachting clubhouse is instantly recognizable by its classic neon sign and and the fisherman mural covering one side of the building. The Sloop Tavern is also known for its 34oz “Slooper”-sized beers which are also offered at cut rate prices. If you are looking for a dive bar where the boat shoes might be worn by a fisherman or a yacht racer, this is the watering hole for you.