There are thousands of Main Streets in America, but only in Beacon, NY, is there a Main Street that features a TARDIS. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, hungry for the actual food on the show, then get yourself to the Pandorica Restaurant.
Good news: not only is the food delicious, it’s the only place to get fish fingers and custard while watching the new series premiere on a big screen. Better news: they’re hiring.
The Pandorica is the brainchild of Shirley Hot, a British expat who moved to Beacon years ago and opened a classic tea shop. As the years passed and Beacon became a haven for hipster artists who did not necessarily appreciate a good cuppa, Hot decided to rebrand the shop. She had always been a Whovian – her favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi — so she added a mural from Vincent and the Doctor, turned the bathroom into a TARDIS, and the rest followed. There’s a crack in the universe on the wall. A friend framed a leaf to look like the one Clara saved from her parents. Another friend added tally marks and a hanging Silence. A Weeping Angel was donated and it stands sentry by the door. There’s an Ood, countless paintings and photos, and then there’s the menu.
Fish fingers and custard, of course, along with Clara’s soufflé, all sorts of cottage pie, and bowtie pasta, among other treats, all served by smiling and friendly Who fans. In the winter, Hot also makes her grandmother’s Hungarian goulash and other cold weather specialties. When she first opened the restaurant, she served fish fingers with a galic aioli meant to look like custard, and a custard dessert served with french toast slices meant to look like fish fingers. But so many fans wanted the actual fish with the actual custard that she gave in and serves them the Eleventh Doctor way.
The restaurant is packed in the summer and serves during the rest of the year as a way station for comic con fans in the area. In fact, 85% of the customers are from outside Beacon. The restaurant has been used for premiere and finale parties, as a destination for tourist (Hot is on her fourth guest book of foreign visitors), and on one lovely occasion, a dream trip for a child with the Make-a-Wish foundation. In America, critically ill children are given the chance to make a wish come true, and one fan’s wish was to come to the restaurant for a classic Who style lunch.
Whovians from all over are welcome to come to the Pandorica to eat a meal, celebrate Missy’s birthday, see the charming decorations (made by Hot herself) and enjoy the beautiful Hudson Valley. Once again – they’re hiring summer servers.