Dining with the Dead

A1A Ale Works is one of my favorite restaurants in downtown St. Augustine.  Located on the “corner” of the plaza and the bayfront, it’s upstairs dining room and balconies overlook some of the most beautiful views in the area.  Their menu is divine and the in-house brewery offers many delicious options for those who imbibe.  It really is a fun place to enjoy a meal.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the building also sits atop one of our earliest graveyards!  An early parish church from St. Augustine’s first Spanish period was located in what is today the city block bordered by Aviles Street, King Street and Charlotte Street.  Burials have been documented from Aviles Street to Marine Street and down to Artillery Lane – which includes the property where the restaurant currently resides.

I learned this interesting historical tidbit during the T’omb It May Concern conference which ended today.  All of us attending the conference have gained an increased appreciation for the efforts involved in researching and preserving our historical cemeteries as well as learning where to find the resources to help make that happen.  It was also delightful to discover a surprising number of people are just as fanatical about graveyards as we Rabbits.

To that end, yesterday I had lunch – between conference sessions – at A1A Ale Works with one of my new acquaintenances from the conference.  The only encounters we had with spirits were of the alcoholic variety, but you never know – someday those other spirits might just decide to join us.

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