**The main sign on their building says “Washburn Imports” – so keep an eye out for that. I don’t know this area very well and I’m glad that I looked it up on Google maps first. There are two “Imperial” signs but the are kinda small. Oh, and the entrance is on the side facing New Hampshire, not on the Orange Avenue side.
Okay, now that I’m done helping the directionally challenged folks find the place, let’s get down to the review!
The Imperial is part of Washburn Imports which is a furniture store by day. The bar itself is furnished with all sorts of imported furniture that is also for sale. It is all a little (okay, a lot) out of my budget but it was still cool to look at. They have regular tables along with a couple of more “intimate” seating areas. On the way out I saw a couple of ladies sitting in what looked to be a very comfortable padded chair thing and I was super jealous that I didn’t get to sit there.
They offer around 45 beers and 40 wines to choose from, so you are bound to find something that you like. There isn’t table service but usually someone will swing by your table to drop off a menu and remind you to order at the bar. I started my evening with a William’s Sir Perry Pear Cider (YUM) and then had a Stiegl Radler which is beer and grapefruit soda.
They have a very small menu but on certain nights they have a food truck parked out front. So you can order from the truck and bring your food inside to eat.
I was there on a Wednesday night and it was actually busier than I expected. I was told that it gets pretty busy on the weekends, but it still maintains its charm. There were plenty of staff on hand so even when it got busier you weren’t stuck standing at the bar for too long. There is also an outdoor seating area that I’m sure gets a lot of use during the cooler months.
There is a second location in Sanford which I’ve been told is just as cool. Its located in Sanford’s Historic downtown area.