CZECH AMERICAN CUISINE AT GCA
CZECH AMERICAN FOOD
Judd’s Restaurant & Bar offers a great selection of Czech American food, cocktails and dessert in cozy atmosphere. Great option for dining before concerts at Gateway City Arts.
Conveniently located at 92 Race Street in downtown Holyoke.
Come in and grab a perfectly crafted cocktail, sit back with a cold beer, enjoy a glass of wine, or sip one of our signature specialty cocktails in our cozy and curated space. Judd’s Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to meet friends after work or for any unique or special occasion.
Judd’s Restaurant & Bar is currently closed (due to Covid 19).
JUDD’S: THEN AND NOW
When we first saw this old mill at 92 Race Street, it still had some glimmers of its past as Judd Paper Company. There were crates of envelopes long forgotten beneath a blanket of dust. Steel plates covered the floors, once protecting them from the large machinery that churned out reams of fine printing papers, ledgers, and file folders.
We fell in love with this space immediately, but we walked away four times. Water was running down through the roof. The windows were boarded up. It all needed to come up to code: new heating and electrical systems, bathrooms, exit signs … the works. But eventually, we said “Yes” to Gateway City Arts, and buckled down to make it what it is.
Vitek spent ten years in Germany restoring castles and cathedrals, and he’s put those skills to good use here. You can see his hand everywhere — the walls and ceilings are covered in his murals and faux finishing. Look closely at the brick and you’ll find that much of it is a painted illusion, as is the wood grain and marbling on the walls.
Vitek’s techniques aren’t all that’s “old world” at Gateway. The Judd family founded the Judd Paper Company in 1883, operating in Holyoke until 2010 when it was bought and moved to Rhode Island. We’ve been able to preserve a number of special remnants from their days here. The doors that lead into what is now Judd’s restaurant are original to the building. You can feel the weight of them and see the warped old glass.
We kept the dumbwaiter behind the bar, too. It used to send paper orders up to the second-floor offices, where The Lookout is now. The old paper scale is still embedded in the floor of the Small Works Gallery (we couldn’t actually get it out if we tried). The list goes on, but we’ll mention one last favorite keepsake: a plaque. It’s inscribed from the Judd Paper Company workers to the Judd family, to “express in this permanent form, their affection, respect, and goodwill.” Be sure to read it when in Judd’s.
That’s the sentiment we’re trying to keep. Vitek and I built this “swiss army knife” of arts and culture to inspire, educate, and animate those who want to explore their craft. Most of all we want to create a space where people feel welcome. Food certainly helps with that. When we were negotiating for the building with Steve Stanford, the Judd Paper Company representative, we told him we were eventually going to have a place called Judd’s and he would always have his own seat at the bar. We all laughed about it then, but here we are!
Welcome to all and thank you!
Lori and Vitek
Judd’s is such a great place, I have been there twice and every time I had a wonderful meal. Love the atmosphere, service is consistent and friendly and the drinks at the bar are delicious. But don’t take my word for it, go find out for yourself make a reservation today and see what I mean!