Screech & The Spirit of Newfoundland
Inside The Screech Room
By Lauren Saunders
Newfoundland Screech Rum has become a distinct part of Newfoundland and Labrador culture. Many are familiar with the fun and famous “Screech-In” ceremony, where a visitor or CFA (“Come From Away”) can be awarded the title of “honourary Newfoundlander”. But, Screech-Ins aside, there is much more to this rum than what meets the eye. Screech is frequently used as an ingredient in local products and fine foods, it won the 2011 Rum Howler Award for best rum in North America, and has a long and colourful history in the province. Whether you’re a local or a CFA, there’s a new place in town that’s ready to offer you the full Screech experience – The Screech Room.
The Screech Room is a one stop shop for all things Screech. Whether you want to be “Screeched In”, learn the story of Newfoundland Screech, or sit down for a bite of Screech inspired cuisine, The Screech Room is the place to go. Owned and operated by Spirit of Newfoundland Productions Ltd., The Screech Room is housed in the Masonic Temple, one of the province’s most beautiful and historic buildings. Spirit of Newfoundland, recently awarded the City of St. John’s Tourism Award for Event of the Year, has performed over 120 shows in the Masonic Temple, and has wowed thousands of individuals with a hospitable, fun, and energetic experience. After years of success, Spirit of Newfoundland wanted to offer even more to their guests and The Screech Room was a perfect fit. Here’s a little bit about my recent visit to the The Screech Room, along with suggestions and recommendations:
The Screech Room
A warm, spicy smell that mimics homemade molasses buns greets you at the door and a bartender is quick to offer you a drink. If you’re not a Screech drinker, don’t worry, wine is available, but I would suggest you try a screech-inspired cocktail. My recommendation is to try The Planter’s Punch. It’s infused with screech, orange and pineapple juices made after the traditional Jamaican rum beverage of the same name. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try a Jam Jam martini, inspired by Purity Jam Jam cookies, a Newfoundland favourite (your martini glass will be garnished with an actual Jam Jam cookie!). Bottom line, there are too many delicious drinks to try, so leave your car at home!
Decorated 1850’s style, the room is full of interesting ornaments, furniture, and conversation pieces (even the floors are “Screech-stained”!). Screech products line the walls and are available for purchase, but the stories you’ll find at The Screech Room are priceless. Learn the history of Screech in Newfoundland and Labrador through photos, maps and stories that will help give you the big picture. Continue to take in the stories as you sit down for a delicious meal. The story of Screech is written in your menu and you’re encouraged to take it with you when you leave. Many items on the menu do include Screech as an ingredient, (like Screech BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Yum!), but there are dishes to suit all palettes.
Regardless of what you choose for your main course, I insist that you make room for dessert. My personal favourite from my day at The Screech Room was the homemade Screech cake! I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. If you can’t fathom another bite following your meal, do not fret. You can take home a boxed Screech cake to serve at your next dinner party. It’s made fresh in house of course.
Screech-Ins, Personalized Screech Labels, Happy Hour and More!
The Screech Room is open for daily Screech-Ins and hosts Happy Hour on Thursdays and Fridays at 4:30 to 6:30pm with Screech themed drink specials. If you’re interested in a Screech In, the The Screech Room staff are St. John’s “Official Screechers” as sanctioned by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation. Drop in Monday through Sunday at 2:30 or 4:00 pm. You can make a reservation but it’s not necessary. If you can’t make one of the scheduled time slots, just give them a call and they will arrange a time that works for you! After you become an honourary Newfoundlander, pick up a bottle of Screech with a custom, personalized label! Only offered at The Screech Room.
Lunch at The Screech Room is coming soon and you’ll definitely want to give it a try. We’ll keep you posted and let you know as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, you can still drop in a grab yourself a Screech Cake to bring home with you.
The Screech Room is a must see and a perfect addition to the Masonic Temple and Spirit of Newfoundland. If you need proof, just look on the label of a bottle of Screech. By definition, Screech is, ‘The spirit of Newfoundland’.
The Screech Room
6 Cathedral Street
St. John’s, NL A1C 3Y3