While driving down Wine Road 290 rushing to get to Fredericksburg, you have to slow down for a tiny bit through the small town of Hye. And you probably always wonder why you have to do that when there are only a couple buildings there. Depending on when you first drove through Hye, you may have noticed a post office and then a Hye Market.
I remember back in 2010 when we couldn’t catch the correct tour time for Garrison Brothers Distillery, we thought we could get a sample at the Hye Market. At that time, the store was just a liquor store and you could only buy a bottle. Today that has changed.
Over the years we have seen Hye Market turn into the Hye Market and Hye End Tasting Room. In a small room, you could still buy some wine, beer, and spirits, but you could also sample some of the same products being sold. On a recent visit, we discovered they expanded into the adjacent room (November 2013), added a deli/bistro, and are making the location a definite place to stop when you are in Hye.
We had the opportunity to meet with owner Jason Cook who told us about the history of Hye Market, the post office still located within, and Hye itself. Jason is a wealth of knowledge about Hye and you could listen for hours to his interesting stories. I cannot do Jason justice trying to recount everything we learned.
Jason took over the Hye Market in September of 2012 and started the tasting room. On Saturdays you can get tastings of a beer, wine, and spirit. A lot of times the owner or winemaker of a winery will be present ready to pour you a sample and tell you about the wine.
If you look around the room, the newly expanded tasting room and market still has the original floors and the pressed tin ceiling. Besides the wine, beer, and spirits being sold in Hye Market, they also have gifts, snacks, jewelry, sauces, spices, vinegar, etc. which can be purchased.
In the back of the market and tasting room is still the enclosed post office. Jason told us some of the history of the post office including when President Lyndon Johnson used the front porch of the post office as the setting for his appointment of Lawrence F. O’Brien as United States Postmaster General. It is also claimed that President Johnson who grew up nearby, mailed his first letter at the age of four from the post office.
Two months ago Chef Bruce started working at Hye Market and the deli/bistro now serves sandwiches and other food products. At the time of our visit, we tasted the current three sandwiches being made. They were excellent and it is nice to now have a place to eat in Hye. The bread used for the sandwiches is made in Fredericksburg and they try to use all local products if possible.
If you can’t stay to eat in their large seated area inside or out on the front porch, they will gladly wrap up your sandwich in butcher paper with string, just the way it used to be done for meat in the older days. By the way, the bistro is BYOB except you cannot bring hard liquor in, unless you buy it next door in the Hye Market. There is of course other drinks which can be bought in the market, but if you want to bring your favorite bottle of wine in to enjoy with lunch, like perhaps from nearby Hye Meadow Winery or William Chris Vineyards, feel free.
Jason Cook has a very interesting vision of how Hye will expand, and he along with others in Hye are ready to share their love. Stop on by the Hye Market and Hye End Tasting Room next time you are slowly driving through Hye.