Is Beacon Open On The Fourth Of July? Here's A Short List


Holidays are tricky for shops and restaurants. On a holiday, most people who have salaried jobs have the day off - or a paid holiday - and take to traveling. To places like Beacon! But people who work usually part-time jobs for small businesses also want the holiday off. So it can be hard to find employees to work on the day. And if you’re the business owner like me, there isn’t such thing as a paid holiday. We just work all the time, LOL.

A reader wrote into A Little Beacon Blog today to ask about whether stores and restaurants would be open. Sometimes holiday weekends - especially Monday holidays - can be very busy in Beacon. Remember Presidents’ Day weekend a few years ago?

Meanwhile, the business owners in Beacon were asking themselves the same thing in a Facebook group. We caught a few answers, and then social media went dark as Facebook and Instagram decided to break for today and not work. Thank goodness for blogs and newsletters (ahem)!

The Short List Of Shops And Restaurants Who Will Be Open or Closed On Thursday, July Fourth

We checked in with all of our retail sponsors who advertise in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide or Restaurant Guides:


$5 Wood Block Painting Projects
Open July 4, 11 am to 3 pm
Great for kids who like to dip paint brushes into many colors of paint - under supervision of The Crafty Hammer’s team of trained staff. Also great for adults who like coloring - The Crafty Hammer has stencils you can use, and free-form is welcome too! As is coloring outside the lines. Stop in for this Fourth of July-themed project.
BONUS! Free snacks and beverages with your $5 wood project.

We are awaiting confirmation on Darryl’s Clothing Boutique. They are usually open on Thursdays, but we aren’t sure either with the holiday!

The movie theater will be open, if you need to cool off.

[UPDATED 7/4/2019] Also open will be Beacon Pantry, Trax, Mountain Tops, Bank Square Coffee, Blackbird Attic, Utensil, and most likely several others! Have fun out there, and please no U-turns in the middle of the street!

the beacon pool 2019.jpg

The public Beacon Pool is open! Anyone can go. Day passes are $5, $3 for kids. Season passes are still available to buy. You can bring your own food, but you must eat it outside of the fence. This is to help prevent bees from gathering inside the pool area.

The Declaration of Independence is being read down at City Hall. This is the big municipal building at the entrance of Main Street and Wolcott. If you’re walking up from the train, you’ll walk right by it. The reading starts at 11 am. Find details in A Little Beacon Blog’s Event Guide.

For more ideas of Things To Do This Weekend, subscribe to A Little Beacon Blog’s newsletter to be sent a list of highlights each week. And click on our Event Guide that is always being updated. The Crafty Hammer is a proud sponsor of that guide, which helps makes keeping it up to date possible. If you’re driving around and are considering moving to Beacon, click on our Real Estate Listing Guides for Featured Listings of homes, apartments and commercial spaces available.


These stores and restaurants are closed on Thursday, July 4, but will spring back into action on Friday, going into the weekend!



After Thursday, all of these folks open back up on Friday!

As for the rest of Beacon shops and restaurants, get the entire list in A Little Beacon Blog’s guides on each. There you will find addresses and phone numbers! We make it easy for you to call and find out the who’s who of being open.

Happy Independence Day!

House Made English Muffin Breakfast Egg Sandwich at The Beacon Daily Is Legit


Long ago, there was a flare-up of where was the best breakfast egg sandwich, or the merits of what constituted the best breakfast egg sandwich. We don’t do a “best of” around here because everybody’s best is different. But we can know what is legit (and by “legit” we mean really, really good), and the house-made English muffin breakfast egg sandwich at the new Beacon Daily, on Teller Avenue, passes the test - it hits the spot. 

What Makes This Breakfast Egg Sandwich?

Already this sandwich is off to a great start, with the double wrap of tissue paper to absorb and hold the American cheese and house-smoked bacon grease drippings, wrapped in a final closure of tin foil to keep the heat. So far, however, Mr. V’s has the hottest and most tightly wrapped English muffin in town (how do they get it sooo piping hot?).

Marilyn, A Little Beacon Blog’s Managing Editor, also got one, and we were both happily scraping off the extra cheese drippings from the paper after we finished the sandwich, which is a requirement of an excellent breakfast egg sandwich.

House Made English Muffins

The Double BOGO Sale on English muffins at Key Food.

The Double BOGO Sale on English muffins at Key Food.

The Beacon Daily is as obsessed with English muffins as we are. (You know how we stalk the double BOGO sale in the bread shelves at Key Food for the Thomas English muffin. You read that right - double BOGO means Buy 1 Get 2 Free. The best time for that sale seems to be Mondays, and sometimes Sundays.) The Beacon Daily takes their passion a step further. The Beacon Daily bakes their own English muffins. This is devotion.

A Pancake Egg Sandwich?

Back on the griddle were large buttermilk pancakes, which we really wanted to order, but we were on the clock and needed a real protein breakfast. The Beacon Daily heard our not-so-silent plea for both pancakes and the breakfast sandwich, and toyed with the idea of making a breakfast egg sandwich out of pancakes!! That would be amazing.

Coffee, by Ready Coffee Co., made for a nice second cup to an early morning home brew.

Who Is Behind The Beacon Daily?

The Beacon Daily is owned by two brothers of the Crocco family, Chris and Andrew, and an unofficial, non-blood brother (aka friend), Bill, who is known as “the sausage King of Poughkeepsie.” Bill makes the house-made sausages and smoked meats at The Beacon Daily, as well as Mill House. An actual brother, Danny, who is not an owner, is the chef at Mill House and helped create the menu, space and logistics of The Beacon Daily. And running The Beacon Daily’s social media is yet another family member, Kimberly, who confirmed all of these family tree roots for this article. Clearly there is a lot of food creativity, family and vision coming from this eatery.

There are many meals to try at The Beacon Daily. And there are pies. There are pies you want to try, the varieties of which rotate weekly, usually with two types available at a time. During the writing of this article, there was a Strhubarb (strawberry rhubarb) and apple pie available for slices. Full pies are available upon pre-order.

Beacon Design Trivia

Speaking of the menu, the designer behind the logo is Ken Rabe of Beacon-based design firm Rabe and Co., whose work you’ve seen all over town and on national brands. We always like to give shout-outs to designers, who otherwise can be invisible behind the branding you love.

Farmers Market Hears A Loud Towne Crier - Market Almost Pushed Over - Public Cries To Keep As Is


Drama just happened with the Beacon Farmers Market prior to its opening outside this May. The market is indoors all winter, then moves outside in the spring. This year, before signing a one-year lease renewal with the City of Beacon, the market was told by the City Council that it would need to move from its spot on Veterans Place, and set up instead down the street (several blocks west) at the county-owned DMV parking lot, which is a free municipal lot on weekends (and weekday evenings). The issues that emerged are a bit more involved than a simple move, and they warrant a discussion about how the vibe of living in Beacon is impacted by the Farmers Market. So, we’ll try to unpack it here.

PS: We can skip to the end to say that the Farmers Market IS open outdoors on Sundays right now at their same location on Veterans Place. But DO read through this article to learn more!

Brief Backstory

The Beacon Farmers Market operated down at the waterfront for many years. [Edit: 5/12/19] Prior to that, it operated on Veterans Place. Says a consumer, Erin Ann in social media: “I lived on Henry Street in the brick house across from [when the location was at Veterans Place]. I remember because [the location] was so convenient for me, and then I was sad when it moved to the waterfront.”

The waterfront location was a happy place to trek down to, but it was a trek. It was far, involved a steep hill, and limited parking in my experience - but people found their way down regardless. Some people, like Kelli Cavatelli, felt that parking worked there, as she stated in social media: “There was the entire train station parking lot. There was tons of parking. I never once had an issue parking at the waterfront. I do however find it difficult to park at the Veterans Place location. It is an awful location!!” Sales at the market have increased by 35 percent since the market moved from the waterfront back up to Veterans Place, despite the parking issue.

Parking on Main Street in Beacon on the weekend is virtually nonexistent, no matter how you slice it or where you are trying to go. The DMV parking lot is one of the only options for weekend parking on Main Street when the on-street parking spots are taken.

Three years ago, the Beacon Farmers Market proposed a move from the waterfront to Beacon’s Main Street. The best fit was found to be at Veterans Place, in-between the Post Office and the Towne Crier Cafe, and across from Beacon Natural Market. The goal was to give people easier access to the produce, food, gifts, music, and enjoyable atmosphere it created. It would return to the place where it was even before its waterfront location.

The market also began offering SNAP benefits, so that people with lower incomes could have access to fresh food. According to this article in the Highlands Current by Jeff Simms, “That allowed more people access, organizers said, and vendor sales increased 35 percent, with almost three times the number of low-income residents receiving discounted produce.” The move was a success, and more people accessed the market than ever before.

Originally, when the move was approved, both the Towne Crier and surrounding businesses including Beacon Natural Market (a direct competitor with produce sales) and More Good supported the decision. More Good even set up a vendor table there.

Customers supported the move: Beacon citizens, as well as people driving through Beacon or day tripping, backed up the decision with their spending habits. At the March 25, 2019 Workshop meeting in which the annual renewal of the market’s lease agreement with the City was discussed, as well as a possible move from Veterans Place to the DMV parking lot, Council Member Amber Grant pointed out: “When the Farmers Market moved to Main Street, there was more use of SNAP. It is a really important consideration, and one we should consider while keeping the Farmers Market accessible.”

For this renewal meeting, two letters of complaint were submitted as supporting documentation. However, when the Farmers Market manager, Paloma Wake, inquired as to who the complaints were from during the Workshop meeting, she was told to go to the City website to find out, where the letters were posted as supporting document PDFs.

Not having a laptop in front of her at the meeting, she couldn’t readily go find out who the letters were from or what they said. At some other meetings, the supporting letters are read aloud to help debate both sides. But they were not read this night. The letters referenced can be read and downloaded here. The letters were from Phil Ciganer, owner of Towne Crier, and Mai Jacobs, a Beacon resident, written to specifically support the Towne Crier’s position. Excerpts from Phil’s letter are below:


First, let me say again that I support local farms and farmers, and we purchase much of produce from them, so the concept of a "farmers market," with local producers and purveyors, was attractive to me when I was approached by Sara a couple of years ago, when she was soliciting support to relocate the market from the waterfront. I extended my support at that time; however, I also expressed my concern to her that, as my venue serves Sunday brunch and offers live music during the same time period as the farmers market, that there may be a conflict that would impact my business…

There were food vendors (from out of area and from out of state) as well as live music. And to add insult to injury, some people who buy food from the vendors end up sitting at our outdoor tables -- which are set up for OUR customers -- and many come inside to use our restroom facilities. Farmers market vendors with trucks/vans and patrons also fill the parking lot. For all these reasons, the farmers market has been hurting our business when it is in operation on Sundays. We rely on a large portion of our food sales and revenue on Saturday and Sunday…

For the reasons outlined above, I would ask the Council and the City of Beacon to reconsider renewing the permit on Veterans Place and consider an alternative location. Thank you.
(click here to read the full letter)


After the idea of moving the market from Veterans Place to the DMV parking lot was discussed at a City Council Workshop on March 25, 2019, at least 156 people as well as several surrounding businesses signed a petition in support of the farmers market staying put at Veterans Place.

Said Stacey Penlon, owner of Beacon Pantry, located nearly across the street from the market: “As a Main Street business owner and direct neighbor of the Market, I have seen that a thriving farmers market in the center of Beacon has been a great asset to the city and its businesses. Its proximity to the Farmers Market as well as my own business has served as a great hub of activity for the middle of Main Street, which has struggled to keep pace with our east and west ends. The farmers market and Beacon Pantry form a reciprocal relationship promoting great food and local commerce.”

Nearby Businesses In Support of Veterans Place Location

Pictured below are businesses who wrote in support of the Beacon Farmers Market staying put, citing that the market has helped their area of town have more activity. It should be noted that each business serves food. From left: Beacon Pantry (serves meals and sells pantry items), More Good (sells syrups, teas, and sometimes has a vendor table at the market in addition to their storefront), and Beacon Natural Market (sells produce, some prepared food, groceries).

Brainstorming The Move Of The Market - Take It To Workshop!

On March 25, 2019, the City Council held a Workshop meeting about what to do with the farmers market, based on Phil’s concerns, which you can listen to during his presentation during a Workshop on April 29, 2019. Ideas were debated by the City Council on what to do with the farmers market, with the one-sided consensus being that the farmers market would move to the DMV parking lot in one month. Representatives from the Beacon Farmers Market did not agree.

The funny thing about Workshop meetings is, plans that are discussed aren’t binding. The workshops are brainstorming sessions to discuss items officially put on their Agenda, to be discussed further. The next step after a Workshop is to have a “Resolution” about what was just discussed, which is when the members of the City Council and the Mayor vote Yay or Nay on that Resolution (aka, the decision they marched toward during the Workshop).

After the Workshop is held, the Resolution is put onto an Agenda for the next City Council meeting, where it is usually read out loud by the City Attorney. The council members might bite through a couple points, but if nothing changes, they vote how they are going to vote.

However, these votes can sometimes swing in an unexpected direction, like we saw with the Airbnb vote, where the council members were marching toward legalizing Airbnb-type short-term rentals after having gone through many drafts of writing the law. During the vote, they split, and did not all vote in favor of the law they had been writing, essentially tabling regulation of Airbnb-type short-term rentals.

Proposal And A Possible Vote

This part is key, because at the next non-binding Workshop on April 29, 2019, just days away from the May 5 opening of the 2019 season of the farmers market, no lease agreement had been signed between the Beacon Farmers Market at the City of Beacon. The City Council seemed confident that the farmers market would be moving to the DMV, yet had asked the farmers market for a proposal on March 25, 2019, to be presented before a vote.

The farmers market team thought that this idea of the move had been floated, but not inked. Pressure was put on the farmers market by Councilperson Lee Kyriacou for not knowing that they were moving to the DMV: “I'm sorry, what have you been doing to prepare since you last came?” said Lee. “It seems like you didn't like the message.”

However, all was spelled out by the City Attorney on March 25, after Paloma Wake, manager of the Beacon Farmers Market, asked the Council several clarification questions about the agreement. “Is the proposal synonymous with the agreement?” asked Paloma. The City Attorney answered: “Your proposal leads to the Council then adopting an agreement. The Council needs to get a proposal, then the Council adopts a Resolution for a one-year agreement.”

According to Paloma in a supporting letter submitted after that meeting: “Neither myself nor the Committee understood until Tuesday, April 9, that the City Council and Staff were awaiting a proposal from the Market for our License Agreement or that a vote on April 15 would not be possible. We were evaluating the proposed move and awaiting answers to our questions posed on March 25. Given the short timeline, I hope that you will give this matter your immediate attention and that we will be able to come to a consensus at the next Workshop Meeting on April 29.”

So What Happened At The Second Workshop?

The second Workshop was held on April 29, and more points were discussed about why a move to the DMV in one week would be difficult. Mayor Randy Casale saw no problem in flipping locations. “If we were moving you back to the riverfront, that would be a substantial change. The question is, are we going to have a market, and if so, where it’s going to be… You're running a Farmers Market. You can either open at one location or the other.”

Paloma responded: “Our committee and myself feel that our vendors need more time to adjust to that. And to allow the customers time to adjust to the new location. We found that when we moved [from the waterfront] the last time [three years ago], we are still getting customers looking for us at the waterfront. Regardless of how much marketing we do, it still takes time for folks to realize a change has been made. This would be a third year on Veterans Place. ... We are starting to build a real audience in that location.”

Council Member Lee Kyriacou wouldn’t entertain a second discovery session, having thought the first non-binding Workshop had solved it: “We already had this conversation. I haven't heard anything differently. I don't know why we are litigating it. There is $1 million of revenue on Main Street. We have to accommodate them.”

Editor’s Note: We tried fact-checking this revenue number. We cannot find a sales tax number for Beacon yet, and are pursuing different offices for an answer. Under an agreement with Dutchess County, which began in 1989 and has been renewed multiple times, the Cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie “surrendered their rights of preemption to the Sales Tax,” whereby Beacon’s sales tax is sent to Dutchess County, and a fixed amount is paid to Beacon. Under the latest agreement from 2013-2023, Beacon is paid a fixed rate out of a grand total of $25 million that gets paid to Poughkeepsie, Beacon, and other towns and villages outside of Beacon and Poughkeepsie. In the latest renewal of this agreement, Beacon’s portion is $4,158,686 in total over those years. If “Growth” occurs, then an additional amount is paid to Beacon and Poughkeepsie. The amount is calculated based on the net collections of Sales and Use Tax. After their calculations are done to the formula in that agreement with Dutchess County, “if the difference between the two amounts is positive, then the County shall allocate 18.453% of that difference to the Cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon and to the area outside the cities on the basis of population set forth in 1262(c) of the Tax Law.” This agreement, signed June 14, 2013, is up for renewal in 2023, and is identified as 13-0193-3/23-F1.

Council Member George Mansfield pointed out in the first Workshop meeting that several of the surrounding businesses did support the farmers market in the Veterans Place location: “For the record, there are a lot of letters of support from brick and mortars, including Beacon Natural, who you could argue is a direct competitor, and is in support [of this location].”

The former manager of the Beacon Farmers Market, Sarah Simon, then approached the podium to express her take on the move: “At this point, we have 30 vendors and customers who want us to open. Paloma works very hard to make this happen. The fact that there are two buildings [near the DMV] that are actively under construction is a very big deal. I think this move is unfair. As a resident of Beacon, I don't think this is happening in the right way. Five businesses right across the street have written letters of support and that have helped their business. We are being made to move based on one business. I'm not convinced we will resolve other issues.”

Regardless, the council people started proceeding with the move to the DMV by suggesting deadlines. They began negotiating with the farmers market about how much time the market had to move. One week? Two weeks, they asked? One month was decided upon, and the meeting began to wrap up. Phil rose from the audience and voiced his objection. As Council Member Terry Nelson packed his bags, he replied: “Phil. You won.”

The final vote was set for May 6, 2019.

At The Final Vote - Does The Farmers Market Stay Or Move?

In between the time of the second Workshop and the final vote at the May 6, 2019, City Council meeting, many Beaconites wrote into their council representatives. Each council person ended up wanting to keep the farmers market at Veterans Place, after hearing feedback from their constituents.

Amber Grant: “After hearing from people ... I think we keep them at Veterans Place.”

John Rembert: “At least for this year, until we re-evaluate it.”

George Mansfield: “I’m leaning in that direction. I'm not confident that the problems we are trying to solve won't repeat themselves in another location. In addition to involving the County. And I think the timing is a little bit off. This should have been started early in the winter, long before it got to this point. I think the DMV lot has potential. I'd like to see it after the other buildings are built, to see what kind of congestion we will see.”

Terry Nelson: “I received a lot of feedback too. I agree with George to revisit it earlier. … I’m inclined to stay at Veterans Place.”

Jodi McCredo: “I feel like we needed more time to have this conversation. … I feel like now we’re being pressured to make this decision and there are just so many variables and so many things up in the air. I don’t feel comfortable with this. It would make sense to keep them at Veterans Place and have a date to know when we are going to discuss this for next year.”

Lee Kyriacou, who is running for mayor against current Mayor Randy Casale, was absent for this vote. Council members who were there voted to keep the farmers market at Veterans Place for one more year, and Mayor Casale voted against.

When the council members went to cast their votes, a woman from the back of the public audience area called out a question, stating that she thought the issue had been settled, and asked for clarification, pointing out that the business owner leading this issue was not in attendance at the meeting. The Mayor responded: “There’s no settled issue until the Council votes on it in a Council meeting. We discussed it at the Workshop, and they were going to move them. There is no set agreement until we vote on it at a Council meeting. That’s the way everything happens.”


The Beacon Farmers Market will be at Veterans Place again this year. Despite all that, nothing changed - for 2019, at least. Mark your calendar for November 2019, when the negotiating parties said they wanted to revisit the issue and discuss future placement.

Early Questions Circling DMV vs. Veterans Place Location

As the Beacon Farmers Market and the City Council began to debate the logistics, a few issues emerged:

  • Hot Summer Heat On An Open Parking Lot: The farmers market folks were concerned about the direct heat wilting the produce if in the DMV parking lot. Veterans Place does offer shade, they said. If you speak to the vendors of the Beacon Flea located behind the Post Office, they will tell you about the parking lot heat.

  • DMV Parking Lot Currently Unused, But Is It Because Of No Sign? Jessica Reisman, owner of Homespun Foods, attended the meeting, and spoke at the end. She questioned the presumed emptiness of the parking lot, presenting the idea that no one knows it is a free parking lot. The Mayor objected, saying that he makes announcements during these City Council meetings. Knowing that the parking lot issue is not clear to everyone, A Little Beacon Blog years ago created a Free Parking Lot Guide, and we have received compliments on it by readers who found it online. But in truth, people passing through Beacon who have never watched a City Council meeting would not look at the DMV parking lot as a free lot - unless it had big, friendly signage. Which it currently does not. It has a faded, broken DMV sign, which presents what is inside the building. There’s not a specific parking sign (see picture below). According to Mayor Casale, the parking lot is waiting for a sign from Dutchess County, who owns the lot. There is a nice “Welcome to Beacon” sign, however.

  • Will The DMV Parking Lot Heavily Be In Use After Two New Buildings Open? Buildings next to and across from the DMV parking lot are going up, and are set to open with apartments. How will the free DMV parking lot be impacted when the buildings fill with residents?

  • Good Faith Effort To Accommodate Business Neighbors: Relations between businesses are just as important as between residents in their homes and apartments. After the final voting meeting, Jessica from Homespun suggested that the farmers market offer picnic tables to its customers, as well as port-a-potties to help keep unwanted overflow foot traffic out of the Towne Crier Cafe.

  • [EDIT: 5/13/2019] Port-a-Potties Already At Both Markets: What was not discussed at either workshop or the final voting period was that each market has had a port-a-potty at their market, for a total of two port-a-potties. The Beacon Flea has a port-a-potty at its market behind the gas station. That was how 2018 went, and how it was proposed that 2019 go. However, the proposal that the farmers market put forth was not published onto the City of Beacon’s website on the Agenda page that contains supporting documents (like letters, draft legal documents, etc.). Otherwise, we would have reviewed it for this article and could have seen that port-a-potties were already included in the 2019 year.
    PS: The only reason we know about the port-a-potties is because after the original publishing of this article, a new business in town reached out to us because they wanted the bathroom foot traffic, and saw a port-a-potty as a marketing opportunity. So we unintentionally learned a little bit more about the bathroom situation.

Pictured below is the current signage at the DMV parking lot:

Side Note: Beacon Becoming Not Vendor-Friendly

Vendors are a dicey topic among some brick-and-mortar businesses. Storefront businesses have high stakes once they sign long-term leases. When they see a competing business outside their doors, set up on a street corner as part of a street fair, some of them get upset. On the other hand, you have businesses that join in the fray. Like More Good, who has operated a Main Street storefront for a number of years, while employing people to set up shop at markets all over the state of New York, including at this farmers market even though his storefront is just steps away. When we spoke with More Good’s owner, Jason Schuler, three years ago about this, he said business was good at his farmers market stand, and at his store. More Good is also also expanding into a larger manufacturing facility in the former IBM Complex in East Fishkill, in addition to their storefront.

La Mère Clothing and Goods, a new brick-and-mortar storefront here in Beacon, has also created a petite La Mère on wheels, where she takes her boutique on the road and attends markets as a vendor. In addition to her storefront space.

All You Knead Artisan Bakery is another Beacon business who has a storefront on Main Street, and attends markets, including Beacon Farmers Market. If you want one of their chocolate croissants, you have two chances to pick one up.

Hudson Valley Seafood is a vendor at the Farmers Market, and is slated to go into the new Food Hall that is coming soon-ish to Main Street (look, they have an Instagram!). Hudson Valley Seafood says they will be open seven days in their new brick-and-mortar location - rather - they will be one of several vendors in a permanent indoor location.

Barb’s Butchery is going to open a vendor spot this year (starting May 19) at the Beacon Farmers Market so that people can grab her street food for a quick bite, then go to her shop on Spring Street to re-stock on the chicken, pork, lamb and beef to take home.

In the Beacon Farmers Market contract with the City of Beacon are lines about not allowing food vendors to cook at the market, with the exception of Nana’s Homemade, to be grandfathered in. (Nana’s serves kabobs, brownies, baklava, hummus, and a few other items). The businesses who have vocalized displeasure with Nana’s are Kamel Jamal of Tito Santana’s, Ziatun and Beacon Bread Company, as well as Phil from Towne Crier Cafe.

As for Towne Crier, they offer a very large menu (yay, so many options), usually have at least 10 different desserts, and have booth seating inside for large families or groups of friends. As for Ziatun, they have my favorite hummus in town. Bar none. Double order required. And as for Beacon Bread, they have some of the best french toast in town (rivaled by Homespun’s deep dish version).

Ziatun and Towne Crier Cafe are sit-down eating experiences. Market eating is street food, or quick food you eat to get you through the rest of Main Street, when you might revisit Towne Crier or Ziatun for a sit-down dinner. Or you snacked at the market, and still sat down at a restaurant 45 minutes later for lunch with a glass of wine or a beer.

The Mayor stated during the May 6, 2019, City Council meeting that he also does not like outside food vendors: “I'm a firm believer that we should not have outside prepared food vendors to non-Beacon brick and mortars.” Can local government dictate how and when we eat?

As for customers - loads of customers line up and wait each Sunday to have their favorite dish from Nana’s. It’s street food. As long as we’re all being honest here, it’s their chicken kabob wrap that gets me out of the house - at all - on Sundays. And it doesn’t even exist on their menu. I have to special request it. If I’m really going to treat myself, Nana’s also has one of the best brownies.

Eating prepared food at a farmers market is a quick bite you get because you know you are not going to go inside to sit at a restaurant. No matter what. You weren’t going to go to a restaurant anyway. Or maybe those Main Street restaurants, especially Ziatun and Beacon Bread, were already full.

Furthermore, not all Beacon-based brick and mortar food businesses can afford to hire more staff to go cook on-site. So they pass on opportunities to do so. This has happened for the Beacon Barkery Parade and others, where business owners have let me know that they can’t sustain to be out of their storefronts and pay additional staff, and order additional food to prepare. On the other hand, other restaurants in Beacon have figured out how to make this happen and do participate in markets.

Proposed Legislation To Block Prepared Food Vendors At Farmers Market

Here is the proposed contract language for 2019 from the City of Beacon to the Farmers Market, regarding prepared food vendors. The council ended up going with their existing 2018 contract for this year, however, this is what was proposed for this year:


CGF [Common Ground Farm] shall permit its vendors to sell only those products that are pre-approved by CGF, or its designee. No prepared food vendors may be added to the Market without first right of refusal being given to any Beacon business selling a comparable product. Except that the following vendors may continue to cook or prepare food to serve to the public for the term of their Vendor Agreement: Nana’s Homemade. If these vendors are removed from the Farmers Market, they must be replaced with local businesses.

Prohibited Sales From Vehicles on Veterans Place. There shall be no sales from the surfaces of pick-up trucks, trailers or other vehicles, except that produce and/or fish may be sold from a refrigerated vehicle. All products not exempt herein must be sold from a stationary stall when the Market operates on Veterans Place.


Kamel Jamal has long advocated against trucks and vendor opportunities, by doing so on social media and with past events including the market and a one-time Beacon Jazz Festival several years ago, where his food truck was the only one allowed to vend at that privately-run festival. He has signed leases on multiple restaurant locations in Beacon including Tito’s Santanas, Beacon Bread Company, Ziatun, Végétalien, an attempted move or expansion of Ziatun to the former Trendy Tots space on Main Street which is no longer happening (both the storefront and warehouse are still available for rent), as well as an attempted purchase of Poppy’s hamburger joint, which was purchased instead by the owners of Kitchen Sink. That burger joint is now Meyer’s Olde Dutch.

Business competition is a very tricky thing and has no single variable as to why a business is succeeding or not. To allow a government to begin legislation between business competitors can spread to other types of businesses, including soaps, coffee shops, jewelry (both wholesale in store and brick-and-mortar locations of a sole designer), and any other business type.

Additionally, a “local business” as mentioned in that proposed contract language is hard to define. Since Nana’s is a local business - somewhere - in some local area. Is a “local business” defined as one that is local anywhere? If the business has a brick and mortar in Beacon, but the owner lives in Poughkeepsie or Hopewell Junction or Wappingers Falls or Cold Spring, is that a “local business” as defined by the contract language introduced above? Because several Main Street business owners fall into that category, where they have a brick and mortar in Beacon, but live in a different city or town.

It should be noted for consideration, that Food Trucks were approved into Zoning in the “Linkage District” aka down near Brett’s Hardware, in January 2018. Additionally, a very popular food truck called the Beacon Bite, which ran on an empty lot next to Ella’s Bellas, powered down years ago. We were not covering City Council meetings at that time, but variables were discussed at the time about that food truck-based business.

Side Side Note: Community Around Farmers Markets - How It Happens

Gathering people in this way - street food eating - is part of the Farmers Market’s mission, as was stated several times in the Workshop meetings by the market manager. In response to Council Member Lee Kyriacou’s challenging of the issue the Farmers Market - when he asked if it was a mission issue or a neighbor issue: “Doesn't sound like there is any conflict with your core mission. Your core mission is about a farmers market. It's the ancillary components - the prepared food and the music. I think that if those are limited, I think you’ll have a ton of support. If there are more of those other things, I think that will create conflict.”

Paloma answered to define what a farmers market is and what it means to people: “I think we view the function of a Farmers Market ... to be a public space and to be a public gathering space. I think the prepared food and the music tie into that core aspect of it.”

Side Side Side Note: Does The City Of Beacon Want To Legislate Business Competition?

What was not discussed were the other businesses - artists and makers who provide items that are not food - that are not being legislated out - yet. Activities or products for children, home decor, wine tastings, books, etc. All of these items are available on Main Street just as restaurants are. It should be asked: If the City of Beacon legislates out competing businesses who put stakes down into brick-and-mortar locations, do they also plan to begin legislating out businesses at the vendor level?

If there are five yoga studios in Beacon, or three Pilates studios, or six coffee shops or three locations for different soaps, would the City start legislating that? Why just restaurants? And should the City have a hand in a business - if a business wants to sign a lease in a location which is zoned for what it provides - asking permission to open at all if there are competing businesses in town?

It’s a running - very endearing - observation that there are so many coffee shops in town. Everyone loves them all, as each is their own creation. But can you imagine if the City of Beacon didn’t allow one of them to open because there were already a few established? The coffee shops have their customers who like their vibe, their coffee, their music, their seating, their decor, their people. Fear of competition usually dissipates because people visit more than one of their favorites. Personally, I shop from and get produce from four grocery sources: Key Food, Beacon Natural, the Farmers Market, and Peapod. And Barb’s for my beef and chicken. It’s fun. Why regulate these choices?

Businesses in other cities in other states also do fight these vendor and food truck options. And City Councils do listen to them. Despite the enormous amount of people and customers (taxpayers creating the revenue that is sent in from the restaurant) who support all of these establishments, and value the vibrancy and choice it gives to a city. These street events are certainly part of the charm of Beacon.

So, set a note on your calendar for November 2019 for when this comes up again. Meanwhile, see you at market.

The Little Marshmallow Cookie Sandwich Spot-Hitter At Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co.


During the lowest temperatures of the polar vortex, and during the darkest nights of evening snow-shoveling in preparation for the morning, visions of blow-torched marshmallow cookie sandwiches have kept the home fires warm until the next time we can experience the real deal - firing up the little delight to hit the sweet spot of a chocolate craving!

The marshmallow cubes at Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. These are made here in Beacon.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The marshmallow cubes at Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. These are made here in Beacon.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The prep for the s’more, before it gets torched in the video below.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The prep for the s’more, before it gets torched in the video below.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

And I don’t even normally like marshmallows (except for these, melted, it seems). Which is why it has taken me until now to finally visit Hudson Valley Marshmallow Company and actually experience one of their toasted marshmallow s’more bite sandwiches between two cookie crackers (your choice of chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate or cinnamon), smushed into your choice of a single square of dark or milk chocolate (made by Alps Chocolate, right down the street!), and blow-torched to perfection by the marshmallow-ista. (What would you call the barista of a marshmallow bar, anyway? We’ll call her a marshmallowista.) Check out this video of her torching the marshmallow, and the special smush it gets once melted.

”My torso is famous,” said the marshmallowista. That’s how many customer videos she’s been in while custom-torching marshmallow s’mores for people. The Violent Femmes played on the speakers in the background while we customers grappled with the tough choices among marshmallow combos, selecting first the flavor of the marshmallow, which is made here in Beacon in the commissary kitchen of More Good. (Yes, there is an entire outfit behind the tea room further up Main Street in the center of town, where brands like this are born and fly the coop into kitchens of their own someday.)

The s’more cookie crackers at Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. These are baked right here in Beacon.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The s’more cookie crackers at Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co. These are baked right here in Beacon.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

If you like gingerbread and pumpkin spice, you will face a tough choice between the two. For me, the choice is clear: salted caramel marshmallow between two chocolate chocolate cookie crackers (you can always mix and match), and a square of milk chocolate. Fire it up!

There is a growing number of marshmallow roasting gifts in the store. You could of course buy bags of the small-batch marshmallows (see their clever bags of black coal at Christmas), and a personal marshmallow roaster, should you want to start roasting inside your kitchen.

Valentine’s Day is just an excuse to buy these things, as eating these little s’mores any day of the year would give the same satisfaction as eating a giant cookie or brownie. 

The choice is yours. A warning: BJ’s legendary three-layer cakes are right next door. Find this strip of storefront heaven on the west end of town, toward the DMV. Also be warned: Hudson Valley Marshmallow is only open Thursdays to Sundays. But they are open until 8 pm. So all you commuters and neighboring shop owners who close and come home at 6 pm have no excuse for not going!

The Nostalgia electric s’mores maker  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Nostalgia electric s’mores maker
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Barb's Butchery - More Than Cuts Of Meat! (Sponsored)


A Little Beacon Blog is excited to welcome back Barb’s Butchery as a Restaurant Guide Sponsor! We met Barb when she opened Beacon’s first butcher shop in December 2014 and has since become a staple in the city. The shop butchers grass-finished beef, lamb, pork and poultry, all raised in the Hudson Valley.

Barb’s Butchery, located at 69 Spring St in Beacon, is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm. The grill is on during those hours so walk-ins are welcome for enjoying a tasty meal in-shop such as burgers, sandwiches (including brisket, and corned beef), tacos and so much more. You can see Barb’s full eat-in menu here. If you plan to visit, you can call in your order for faster service.

Not only can you get your stock of fresh, local, grass-fed meats, you can order fun treats for your party such as Meatballs topped with Mashed Potatoes , a Meat Party Cake, and Meaty Muffins…. yes, you just read all of that correctly. This is a meat-lovers dream!

Check out her monthly specials! Their front door is a stop on the Beacon Free Loop Bus route, so there’s no excuse to not pay a visit.

Barb’s Butchery
69 Spring Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 831-8050

Restaurants That Are Open Christmas Eve and Day in Beacon - 2018 Edition

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

One of the things that make the holidays so wonderful is the FOOD! The special meals that bring us all together. Some families have their big meal on Christmas Eve while others have it on Christmas Day. If there is a day you plan on dining out, our trusty Restaurant Guide is always here at your service. In this case, we saved you some time in finding out who on Main Street will be open and closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Who’s Open Christmas Eve/Day?

BJ’s Soul Food Restaurant, at 231 Main Street, will be open on Christmas Eve, 7:30 am to 9 pm, and Christmas Day, 7:30 am to 6 pm.

Isamu Sushi, at 240 Main Street, will be open both days with their regular hours.

The Roundhouse, at 2 East Main Street, will be open in the lounge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 3 to 10 pm.

For Those In Need:
The Springfield Baptist Church is serving free Christmas dinners on Christmas Day from noon to 3 pm. They will deliver three or more dinners. For delivery, call (845) 464-2480. The church is located at 8 Mattie Cooper Square in Beacon.
- First reported by the Beacon Free Press

Who’s Open Christmas Eve Only?

Barb’s Butchery, 11 am to 6 pm (menu for grilled food is available)
Bank Square, until 6 pm
Tito Santana’s, until 4 pm
The Pandorica, until 5 pm
Homespun Foods, until 3 pm
Ziatun, regular hours (until 8 pm)
Max’s on Main, until 6 pm
Enoteca Ama, until 10 pm (final seating 9:30 pm)
Cafe Amacord, until 10 pm (final seating 9:30 pm)
Glazed Over Donuts, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Yankee Clipper Diner, until 3 pm
Ella’s Bellas, until 3 pm
Brother’s Trattoria, until 10 pm
Beacon Falls Cafe, until 3 pm
Sukhothai, until 9:30 pm
Melzingah Tap Room, until 7 (final seating 7-7:30 pm)

Who’s Closed Christmas Eve/Day?

Chill Wine Bar
Kitchen Sink
Meyers Olde Dutch
Baja 328
Draught Industries

Are You On This List?

This page right here is one of our most popular pages in Google around Christmas time. Everyone starts Googling who is open on Christmas Eve and Day!

If you run a restaurant and it’s in Beacon and not in this lineup, please email us at! We literally called everyone, so you might not have been able to answer the phone when we called. Don’t be shy! Let us know.

If you are a business not in Beacon, but want to be included in this list, consider an Article Sponsorship! We’ll get your logo and business name listed here.

If you are in this list, and you just want to say THANKS, you can also do so with an Article Sponsorship with your logo listed!

Stock Up Sandwich Shop To Close; Owners Expanding Marbled In Cold Spring

Photo Credit: David Ray Martin

Photo Credit: David Ray Martin

Chris and Lisa, the owners of Stock Up, the sandwich shop in Beacon, as well as Marbled Meat Shop in Cold Spring, announced their intentions to close their Beacon location by Sunday, December 30, 2018. The location, at 29 Teller Ave., had long been the home of Beacon favorite, The Copper Roof Deli. Stock Up opened in early 2016 with the intention of making responsibly sourced meat and a variety of vegetables more accessible to Beaconites.

Closing a business is always a difficult choice, filled with many variables leading up to the decision. According to their announcement made on Instagram, the main reasons were the need to spend more time with their young family, and the reluctance to raise prices or change their high-quality offerings in order to increase profit margins.


Stock Up’s Announcement via Instagram:

Hey Neighbors,

December 30 will be our last day in Beacon. We gave it everything, met some incredible people on both sides of the counter, and really enjoyed our time here. We can no longer put our energy into 29 Teller Avenue. Our kid misses us and we are spinning our wheels to keep our doors open week after week. So many of you want to know what happened. The truth is, we could not make this space and this overhead work without a significant increase in menu prices or a complete overhaul of the program. We weren’t up for either. We’ve taken side jobs and cut our team in half. 2018 saw a significant drop in sales across the Hudson Valley and we’ve fallen too far behind to make it through another Hudson Valley winter. We can go on and on. Instead, let us focus on the positive. Come see us in the next three weeks, share a sandwich, a beer, a story. We will miss being part of the neighborhood but know that this is the best thing for our family.


Other Beacon businesses like Hudson Valley Vinyl, Tito Santana’s, Ella’s Bellas, The Studio Beacon, Artisan Wine Shop and Echo rallied around the restaurant in the announcement’s Comments section, and even Black Vanilla from across the river in Newburgh, as well as Signal Fire Bread and Industrial Arts Brewing voiced their support and respect for such a hard decision.

Stock Up Devotees Lament And Vow To Eat As Much As Possible Until Last Day In Beacon

Stock Up started as a promise to people who loved good, clean, food. They sprouted their own quinoa in their basement. They cured their own meat. Important to them was offering serious cuts of responsibly sourced meat and poultry, paired with seriously-good-for-you vegetable and grain options.

Customers’ reactions to the closure announcement were swift, with many mentioning immediate cravings for menu staples like:

  • The Big Bird (fried chicken, Stock Up sauce, natural pickles, crisp greens, on organic Bread Alone brioche)

  • The Breakfast Bird (fried chicken, bacon, fried egg, Mike’s Hot Honey and crisp greens on organic Bread Alone brioche)

  • Downstate BEC (two fried eggs, house-made heritage bacon, cheddar, and spicy ketchup on organic ciabatta)

Over 220 comments have been made so far to say goodbye on the announcement post, including these:

@icicles2 “I’m so sad. Stock Up is our favorite place. This is going to leave a huge void.”

@pipsqueeaak “Literally in tears. You guys will be missed so freaking badly.”

@thyme_co “I’m so sorry to hear this. Thank you for your wonderful food! You’re an inspiration. Good luck on your next adventure!”

@janellefelder …”I will forever be craving your fried chicken sandwich. Best ever! Will get a couple of more in during your final weeks. Best of luck to you in the future.”

@laur1025 “Barry will definitely miss the smell of cured meat when he plays in the backyard.”

@huggyhbomb “We will just have to get in the car and come see you at Marbled Meat Shop.”

The Good Food Dream Continues In Cold Spring at Marbled Meat Shop

Some of Stock Up’s offerings can be found in Chris and Lisa’s original shop in Cold Spring, Marbled Meat, which involves a beautiful drive down a wooded section of 9D, and then crossing over to the rural section of Route 9 (a good excuse to get to know the differences between these closely named roads!).

While the full menu of Stock Up will not be available, the couple is offering a small lunch menu and more prepared foods in Marbled. Said owner Lisa Marie Hall in the Instagram comments of the announcement: “We will be going back to our meat shop roots.”

Marbled Meat Shop opened in Cold Spring in 2014 in the compound of shops on Route 9 that include Vera’s Marketplace (famous for their homemade donuts, mozzarella, produce, and amazing everything) and The Pantry (famous for their expanding line of roasted coffees). This is quite a delicious strip of food heaven!

According to an e-newsletter from their neighbor The Pantry on November 8, 2018, Marbled Meat Shop expanded to offer more: “As new ideas continued to develop, Chris and Lisa were unsure if an expansion would be possible at Route 9 or if they would need to relocate. The Giordano family (who owns Vera's Marketplace & Garden Center) graciously designed new larger space for Marbled so that they could have more retail and production space. Come on by and see their new special space, located between Vera's entrance and our storefront.”

Chris and Lisa have explained on their Marbled Meat Shop website that they considered moving their Cold Spring location in order to expand their business in the direction of a wholesale sausage, house-made cured meats and charcuterie options. Their landlord responded with a plan. Says Chris on Marbled’s website: “Dominic called us in to hear their proposal. He stood in the center of Vera’s market, and said ‘you’re not going anywhere, we will make this work.’ What came next was a plan that kept us, The Pantry and Vera’s operating under the same roof while giving us the space we need to grow.”

Beacon Destinations For Responsibly Sourced Meats and Vegies

While there is a void with Stock Up gone (most of the renters of A Little Beacon Space like edible Hudson Valley would get their catered lunch from them!), there are other options for high-quality, creative food. Barb’s Butchery is extremely selective with their meats and is known for constantly inventing new flavors of their sausage, which are celebrated during their annual Sausage Fest. Homespun is a Beacon staple (with a second location down at Dia) and Kitchen Sink and Meyers Olde Dutch offer farm to table - some of which is from their own family farm. Beacon Pantry is known for their European selection of cheeses (and recently expanded in their location to make cheese and their sit-down cafe exclusive of each other). Beacon Natural has a daily selection of freshly prepared foods for a quick but healthy lunch or dinner, and Ella’s Bellas is the destination for gluten-free baked goods and cafe experience. Beacon’s Farmers Market, which has moved to its inside winter location at the Memorial Building (aka the Veterans Building), also makes available fresh produce, meats, poultry, fish, pickles, baked goods, and even home goods from a variety of vendors and farms.

Even more delicious restaurants are available in Beacon. Just check A Little Beacon Blog’s Restaurant Guide to learn more about them.

Wishing Chris and Lisa all of the best as they grow in new directions!

The Chocolatiest Ice Cream Sandwich on Main Street: Zora Dora’s

Because this is legit and you need one in your life: The new ice cream sandwich at Zora Dora, on the west end of town, is made with their own vanilla bean ice cream, which is also intensely, perfectly, creamily good. The whole thing also happens to be gluten-free. Next time you’re in, ask the owner to pint that ice cream so that we can take it home. If Hudson Valley Brewery has “can releases,” maybe Zora Dora can have “pint releases”?

Find this and more in A Little Beacon Blog’s Restaurant Guide. And check the Shopping Guide while you’re here because you’ll need a cool snack like this to help fuel your trip down Main Street!


Trax Is Third Business in Beacon for Owners Buddy and Katy

Photo Credit: Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters

Photo Credit: Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters

It's an iconic Beacon experience: Wrapping up the day with coffee or beer on the patio, under tree branches strung with twinkling lights, or imbibing on a balmy afternoon as breezes gust through the outdoor tables of Bank Square Coffeehouse, set between the Hudson River and Mount Beacon. Being the first storefront on Main Street off of 9D (aka Wolcott Ave.), up the hill from the train station, Bank Square's location is prime. Main Street parades often begin there, and overall, the coffee shop is an easy landmark when people are meeting up or discussing something going on in town.

trax coffee 2.jpg

The Bank Square Coffeehouse experience is partially responsible for the many happy walkers, diners and shoppers down on the West End of Beacon, toward the train station. Owners of boutiques, art galleries, and other shops down on the other end of town (aka the "East End") near the mountain continuously wish for more foot traffic, and think longingly of Bank Square. They had been overheard, wishing aloud: "If only we had a Bank Square down here..."

Two-Time Beacon Business Owners Open Second Coffeehouse on East End of Town

trax coffee 1.jpg

That dream came true when Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters opened in the newly renovated factory building at 1 East Main. Trax is the third business from Beacon business owners Buddy Behney and Katy Bell Behney. They own Bank Square Coffeehouse, which opened in 2009 in the longtime Muddy Cup space, and they can be found almost any day of the week across the street at their retail shop, Mountain Tops Outfitters, which opened in 2006. We reached out to Katy to learn more about the inspiration to open Trax.

trax coffee 3.jpg

ALBB: Had you considered opening a second location earlier?

Katy Bell Behney: "Yes, it’s always been in the back of our minds, whether it be in Beacon or a nearby town. We had been roasting more of our own beans. Having a new space gave us a new venue to do more of that. We hired our manager to help with the roasting: Kurt Balogh. We knew him from Coffee Labs, where we get our coffee for Bank Square. Kurt had worked for a roasting company down in Brooklyn, and was interested in working more with us. He lives in Yonkers and makes the commute up here to act as manager and roaster of Trax."

ALBB: Did any of the shop owners from the East End of town beg you to open up down there?

Katy Bell Behney: "We were approached about putting a coffee shop in there. We looked at the space, not thinking that we would. But once we saw the space, we fell in love with it. Seeing all of the activity going on at that end of town, we thought it would be an interesting opportunity to try a second location. We knew that they wanted a coffee shop there, so we figured we would give it a try. We were flattered that they approached us about it. That encouraged us."

Editor's Note! We dug a little deeper to find out who planted the seed in Katy and Buddy's mind, and learned that it was Charlotte Guernsey, another three-time Beacon business owner. Charlotte says: "Yes, it was me! I wanted their coffee and the foot traffic!" Charlotte owns Gatehouse Realty, the office of which is located on the East End of town, as well as Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique, located in the 1 East Main building with Trax, and also designed the wedding venue Lambs Hill on Mount Beacon.

ALBB: The decor is quite different from Bank Square - what was your thinking there?

Katy Bell Behney: "We wanted to make it a little simpler and stay true to the old building, with the beams that were already there. We wanted to play off of those. We have the old Tuck Tape Industries sign (more about Tuck here) that we salvaged a while back that we didn’t have a place for, and then we found this place. We also have an old billboard sign that came from a local shop. The bar in the window is used from the building next door - from the 1800s."

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin   

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Parking is available on the side of Trax.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Parking is available on the side of Trax.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

ALBB: The logo of the train spike is interesting - who came up with it?

Katy Bell Behney: Credit goes to Buddy on the logo. He and his friend who is a designer came up with the logo. We wanted to play off of the location. Bank Square is called Bank Square because it’s located in the Bank Square part of town. Being on the tracks, we came up with the name Trax. We just thought it looked cool.

trax coffee 4.jpg
Picture of an actual railroad nail that serves as the inspiration for Trax's logo.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Picture of an actual railroad nail that serves as the inspiration for Trax's logo.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Shopping Guide Shuffle: The Latest in New + Old Shops in Beacon


Just when there seemed to be a settling in of the stores, a whole lot of movement happened in the storefront community on Main Street Beacon. Here are a few moves:

trendy tots building.jpeg

Closed: Trendy Tots - Beacon's Kids Consignment Store

296 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Trendy Tots Take Two, the kids consignment store in the sweet corner yellow house, has closed. Owned by a husband and wife team, this store had been a resource for parents who consigned gently used kids' stuff, and bought low-priced, high-quality items. Owner Jenn had a discerning eye for threads and did not accept everything that was brought into the store. Toward the end of summer 2017, the store posted a sign that said it would be closed until September. Small business owners often make personal choices like this - basing Open Hours around family needs. One time, Jenn was in a car accident and hurt her hip. Another time, the couple were caring for an aging parent and their open hours became inconsistent, but later returned to normal.

But September came and went, and the shop never reopened. In fact, the building and the grassy lot next to it, as well as the warehouse behind that which was known to be rented by artists from time to time, were put on the market to be sold. Asking price was $1 million. According to the realtor, there has been an offer on the property. The merchandise inside of the store has been removed, and we were unable to reach the owners to see if Trendy Tots is relocating.

wee bitty kids.jpg

Open: Wee Bitty Kids - New Kids Consignment Store

178 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Just in the nick of time, a local mom, Jenny Donovan, opened Wee Bitty Kids, LLC, near Artisan Wine Shop on the west end of town near Bank Square Coffee. This has replaced the vintage shop Classic Couture Fashion Boutique. The owner of Classic Couture, Leah, has said she will send us an update when she finds the next location for her collection of vintage fashions.

In the meantime, Jenny is taking new consigners and has new and gently used clothing and items for sale. You can learn more about the store via Classic Couture's website and Facebook page.

Note: The new shop, Wee Bitty Kids, has no connection to the volunteer-based nonprofit group, the Wee Play Project, who runs the annual Ree-Play Sale fundraiser every April to raise money for Beacon's parks and library projects.

Loopy Mango Replaces Heart & Soul Apothecary

loopymango storefront.jpeg

500 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Longtime oils concoction artist, Leah Quinn, maintained a storefront at this corner store. Inside, she carried anything you might need to solve most any ailment. If it wasn't there, Leah would tell you how to make it. Over the summer of 2017, Leah packed it in at the storefront and went digital all the way. She seems to be exploding from her website, offering Subscription Boxes, workshops, and what looks to be a new line of clothing, like this hoodie.  Don't worry, you can still get Leah's Wonder Salve online here! It truly is wonderful, especially for eczema and sufferers of super chapped lips.

Loopy Mango has replaced the physical location of Heart & Soul, and ... all we can say is Wow. No stranger to retail, Loopy Mango has over 41,000 followers on Instagram, and has had a store in New York City since 2004. This location is all about "big loop" yarn, which is some really big and soft strands of yarn. They are so into it, they make their own in Key Largo, FL. Who is "they"? The business owners are corporate refugees who met in an art class, while "Loopy" is a German shepherd, and "Mango" is an orange cat. As for the people, according to their website:


Waejong Kim was born in Korea. She moved to Japan for college and after graduating from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies she worked as an interpreter and later opened a Korean fusion restaurant in Nagoya, Japan. She moved to New York after 9/11 and worked for a corporate housing company. She taught herself how to crochet, took a long vacation, and never returned to the corporate world. Waejong has a German shepherd named Loopy and and orange cat named Mango.

Anna Pulvermakher was born in Russia. She moved to Seattle, WA, with her family and after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Mathematics, she worked for Microsoft and Expedia as a Software Test Engineer. In 2003, she moved to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a professional artist.


zoned fitness TV-view.jpg

Hudson Valley Fitness Center Renames to Zoned Fitness

Hudson Valley Fitness has rebranded to Zoned Fitness, and boy are they in the zone. We've watched their website for a number of years as we looked up information for A Little Beacon Blog's Adult Classes Guide, and the latest updates demonstrate that they are clearly in the zone, and are ready to transform your body. Their services Include food and nutrition training as well. Branding done by Beacon locals Rabe & Co.

New Fitness Center Coming Soon - The Studio at Beacon

Also on our radar! The Studio@Beacon, down near the Howland Public Library and Royal Crepes, is opening in January and will have a juice bar. Based on what drives the owners, the studio will likely specialize in boxing and cycling. With creative branding done by Kingston Creative.(P.S. Kingston Creative kind of has a thing for Beacon, and just released a 16 Most Instagrammed Places in Beacon, according to actual numbers. You'd be surprised who made the list!)

Where to Eat or Order Specialty Thanksgiving Food in Beacon for 2017

A reader's question prompted us to call every restaurant on speed-dial to see which spots would be open - if any. Result? It's slim pickins', folks! You had best be cooking in or ordering early from Beacon's amazing specialty stores and picking up by Wednesday. The full list has been updated in A Little Beacon Blog's Restaurant Guide, and the results have been listed here as well.

Keep in mind, most everyone is open before and after Thanksgiving Day - so it will still be a bustling week, except for Thursday which will be quiet! See A Little Beacon Blog's Shopping Guide and Pop-Up Shop Guide for destinations to shop near where you eat!


  • Stock Up, for morning sandwiches and six-packs
  • BJ's Soul Food
  • Beacon Bagel, until 11 am
  • The Lounge at The Roundhouse, with a limited menu (main dining room is closed)

All phone numbers are listed in The Restaurant Guide.
Hurry, Special Ordering has begun and most places have fast-approaching deadlines!

  • Beacon Bread Company
  • Artisan Wine Shop (for wine, obv.)
  • Homespun Foods
  • All You Knead
  • Beacon Natural Market
  • Beacon Pantry
  • Kennedy's Fried Chicken (yes, they like to cook large orders)
  • Stock Up
  • Ella's Bellas
  • Barb's Butchery

Chefs for Clearwater Event to Showcase Hudson Valley Growers and Chefs

CFC Logo 2017.jpg

This just in over the wires... The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has announced a delicious event happening at The Culinary Institute of America in September. The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater will be hosting Chefs for Clearwater, featuring six celebrated Hudson Valley chefs in September. The event sets out to raise awareness of sustainable food production and watershed protection. 

Chefs for Clearwater

This second annual Chefs for Clearwater culinary event will happen on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at 4 pm at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Chefs for Clearwater is a partnership of leading Hudson Valley chefs, the CIA, and Clearwater, aimed at spreading awareness of critical issues involving sustainability and food ethics, and how they relate to the Hudson Valley watershed. The event is a fundraiser to support Clearwater’s environmental education and advocacy programs on the Hudson River.

Chefs for Clearwater’s featured chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, ranchers, vintners and cider makers have been invited to participate because of their demonstrated commitment to practicing and advancing sustainable agriculture and socially responsible business practices. The health of the Hudson River watershed directly impacts the health of the ground soil—and the reverse is just as true. Chefs for Clearwater is a celebration of the great progress made on both fronts in recent years.

“The Culinary Institute of America is proud to support Clearwater’s dedication to environmental education and advocacy,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “The health of the Hudson River is critical to the region’s agriculture and food future. Both the CIA and Clearwater are committed to maintaining sustainable resources and being socially responsible stewards of the environment. Through Chefs for Clearwater, our organizations can, together, help spread that message.”

The master of ceremonies will be Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Tom Chapin. The New York Times called Chapin “one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music.” Tom Chapin has covered an incredible amount of creative ground. In addition to his work as a recording artist and concert performer, Chapin has acted on Broadway, and has also worked extensively in films, television and radio.

Guest speaker Peter Kaminsky is the author of Pig PerfectThe Elements of TasteSeven Fires: Grilling The Argentine Way and Culinary Intelligence. His work has been featured in The Underground Gourmet, New York magazine's Outdoors column and The New York Times.

The benefit will include a silent auction, as well as a live auction led by George Cole. With Cole’s special flair and finesse, he has been mentioned year after year in “The Best of the Hudson Valley.”

“The Chefs for Clearwater benefit is an extraordinary event. Held at the majestic Culinary Institute of America, it is the premier food and wine event in the Hudson Valley,” said Chef Terrance Brennan, a co-creator. “Guests will enjoy a six-course tasting menu featuring the best chefs, ingredients and beverages from the Hudson Valley. There will also be musical entertainment and live and silent auctions. Proceeds will benefit Clearwater’s important environmental work to protect the Hudson River and its watershed and educational programs.”

The Chefs for Clearwater benefit dinner will feature live bluegrass music by Two Dollar Goat, signature hors d’oeuvres, charcuterie and a six-course farm-to-table menu created by Chef Sara Lukasiewicz of The Amsterdam in Rhinebeck, NY; Chef John McCarthy of The Crimson Sparrow in Hudson, NY; Chef Jay Lippin of Crabtree’s Kittle House in Mt. Kisco, NY; Chef Michael Kaphan of Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish in North Salem and Tarrytown, NY; Chef Waldy Malouf of The Bocuse Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY; and Chef Kristina DePalma of The Roundhouse by Terrance Brennan in Beacon, NY.

Tickets and sponsorship packages are available at

About the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater was launched in 1969 by legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, and ever since, the organization has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champions of the Hudson River. To date, more than half a million people have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard the sloop Clearwater. Clearwater has become the grassroots model for producing positive changes to protect our planet. For more information, visit

About the Culinary Institute of America

Founded in 1946, the Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degree majors in food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies; associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; and executive education through its Food Business School. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry, and its worldwide network of 49,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore. For more information, visit

Movie Theater Coming Soon To Beacon In A Historic Building Near You

UPDATE 2/28/2019: The Beacon Theater has opened! Click here for A Little Beacon Blog’s feature article.

The construction office of Highview Development Corporation is covered in layers of white pages of blueprints, dusty artifacts collected from the project on the other side of the door, and yellow sawdust blown in from the demolition going on just beyond that door. The room has the feeling of a temporary office setup, one you might see in a portable trailer parked alongside a construction site. But the wall opposite the room's door is lined in windows that overlook Main Street, as this office is on the second floor of the dilapidated Beacon Theatre, at 445 Main Street. 

Rumors have been circulating about the fate of this historic building, which sits in the heart of what was apparently known as "Theatre Square." [3/6/17 Edit: The name "Theatre Square" is referenced to in Wikipedia at the time of the research period for this article, the week of 2/20/17, and still needs to be validated.]

Though it survived bulldozers of urban renewal, the building closed as a full-time theater in 1968. Tenants over the years have included a church group - who painted the walls purple and installed purple seats - as well as a company offering private rentals to store roofing materials, and for a moment, an actual theater company. That company, 4th Wall Theatrical Productions, initially bought the theater from then-holder, The Ehrlich Company, who previously owned several other buildings in Beacon including The Roundhouse and One East Main.

When restoration costs became too high for the theater company, 4th Wall approached one of its board members, Robert McAlpine, who owned the construction company doing the renovation work on the Beacon Theatre, to see if he was interested in buying it. Robert's son Brendan McAlpine, a lawyer turned developer hailing from Long Island, DC, NYC and now Beacon, stepped in to put together a financing deal to purchase the building from the theater company. The revamped vision for the historic site included new apartments. Some Beacon residents were resistant to such a plan. 

After months of Planning Board meetings and expansive revisions to initial plans, the dust has cleared a bit. What has emerged is a mixed-use project made up of a movie theater, a concession stand serving delicious beer and wine (movie ticket not required), and rental apartments. Harry's Hot Sandwiches and By A Thin Thread will remain tenants in the building's street-level storefronts. One could surmise that Brendan was consumed so much by the history of the building while working in the office, that the building dust got into his blood, leading him to change course on his renovation plans and more deeply incorporate a restoration of sorts on the theater, which once showed "photo-plays" in the 1930s.

The Players

There are four partners in this movie theater project: Brendan McAlpine, Mike Burdge, Jason Schuler and Scott Brenner, each bringing different expertise to the table. After I met with them last week to get a hard-hat tour of the building, I had a few follow-up questions for Brendan. His reply: "I’m happy to talk all day about this exciting project."

Mike Burdge,
Story Screen
Photo Credit: Story Screen

Jason Schuler, Drink More Good
Photo Credit:
Drink More Good

Scott Brenner, Drink More Good
Photo Credit: The Molecule Project

Brendan McAlpine, Highview Development Corporation
Photo Credit: HVDC

Brendan's first concepts of the building's renovation included apartments, as well as a space to be used in a variety of ways. "A big part of the building hasn’t been in real use in a long time," says Brendan. "When I looked at the project, it was important to me to keep it an arts or community space. But it was vital that the project didn’t fail." Brendan looked into theater business models, and found that, "Generally speaking, entities that are theaters tend to not have cash flow and support loans. Pretty much, any theater you see has a public component of financing for it. Those that do not, tend to not last very long. The way to make it work was to shrink it down and have the other components to it. That’s why we came to this mixed-use approach with the rental apartments and event space."

At the end of the day, Brendan wanted to bring in movie and food professionals to partner on the project - namely Mike Burdge, Jason Schuler and Scott Brenner - who know the performance and food spaces well. Each currently runs his own business: Mike, from Beacon, started Story Screen; Jason, a native of Hopewell Junction, founded Drink More Good; and Scott, who descended from Plainview, NY, is a partner at Drink More Good

Pop-Up Movie Theater Gets Permanent Home

Over the past few years, you may have caught wind of Story Screen, the pop-up movie experience started by Mike Burdge. It first took place in his apartment, then in other people's homes, then at Jason Schuler and Scott Brenner's Drink More Good storefront on Main Street. Most recently, you may have caught a show at other restaurants, like Stock Up and Oak Vino. Story Screen will now have a permanent home at The Beacon Theatre, supported by a creative concession stand and bar in the main lobby. You can expect to find Drink More Good's Root Beer there, along with other signature cocktails and must-have popcorn.

The Big Tease...Story Screen confirms rumors and unveils concept.
Photo Credit: Story Screen

Says Mike about the pop-up movie model: "I would take over a restaurant's space after business hours, license the films, and turn the space into a make-shift theater for one night." Mike's initial movie night showed "Groundhog Day" and was hosted at The Main Squeeze, a juice bar he managed just off of Main Street. Next he did a Beacon Horror Show, and a few screenings at Drink More Good. "Those went over so well, that we decided to do a Christmas one, and those did so well, that we set up a screen and a better sound system." Jason and Scott felt the movie experience fit with their brand. "We saw the importance of this nomadic pop-up theater, and we incorporated it into our space (Drink More Good) to bring it a permanent home," says Jason. 

To be a part of its renovation now, to bring it back to life, that’s a really cool, cool, cool, cool thing. I’m getting goosebumps just talking about it.
— Mike Burdge, Story Screen

When Brendan reached out to the trio to consider a renovated theater with a big screen and stadium seating, the movie experience makers said yes. "I’m from Beacon," says Mike. "The Beacon Theater has never been open and operational in the way that it could be since I've lived here. I am a huge movie buff. I love stories. To have a gigantic theater that is just sitting there and not doing anything was really sad. My friends used to own the coffee shop that is now the After Eden antique shop, and we would watch movies behind the shop out back in the parking lot. We could see the inside of the theater while we watched movies outside. It was just weird. I thought about using the theater, but then I found out how much money it would take to renovate it. To be a part of its renovation now, to bring it back to life, that’s a really cool, cool, cool, cool thing. I’m getting goosebumps just talking about it."

Blueprints and visions for the marquee of The Beacon Theatre.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Places! Places!

Initially, the theater was set to be on the second floor of the building. However, it kept feeling "not quite right" to the partners. How would there be a movie theater upstairs, and an amazing concession area downstairs? As the partners mulled it over, it became clear that the only way to proceed was to put the theater on the first floor. It was pricey, and involved a 17-foot excavation of the ground beneath the theater. "It meant we had to pour concrete walls, beams, soundproof walls to a crazy degree," says Brendan. "Costs did go up, but in the end, I think we will all be much happier with the results."

The decision left the partners with more than just a better flow of foot traffic, it legitimized the theater. "What became clear was, when the theater is on the first floor, it has legacy. What we have gained is the historical purpose," exclaims Jason. "We worked really hard to keep the community aspect in the model, and this flow of how people will come in will help ensure that."

History of The Beacon Theatre

The site for the theater was originally known as the Dibble House (as explored in A Little Beacon Blog's Beacon Restaurant and Bar article) which included a roller skating rink in 1886. According to Wikipedia and the Beacon Historical Society, the Dibble House "was torn down in 1927 with plans to construct a new and modernized theater that would be large enough to accommodate larger crowds for the rise of films, known then as 'photo-plays.' "

Brendan Mcalpine holds a poster that had been lifted out of a wall of the Theater during demolition. The Wonder Bar was a well-known jazz bar on the second floor of the theater. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Brendan Mcalpine holds a poster that had been lifted out of a wall of the Theater during demolition. The Wonder Bar was a well-known jazz bar on the second floor of the theater.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Great Depression stuck, and stalled the development for six years. The theater reopened in 1934 and was an immediate hotspot, serving moviegoers, performers, and regulars of the Wonder Bar, a favorite night spot of World War II soldiers stationed at the Army Air Corps Base at Stewart Field.

The soldiers took the ferry across from Newburgh and hopped on a bus up Main Street to listen to jazz bands perform out on the marquee, according to an article from the Beacon Free Press. Dated June 12, 1985, the profile piece captures memories from Ann McCabe Hanlon, whose father co-opened the Wonder Bar. "Many romances started there," recalls Hanlon in the article. The space's interior was a red coral, had a dance floor in the center, and a bar that curled around the room in an L-shape. The chef, named Wong, was even imported from New York City. The restaurant was open until 1950. 

The Scene and Screens 

The next incarnation of The Beacon Theatre includes plans for three screens. Two of those will have stadium seating, with "plush and cushy" chairs. One will have 85 seats, and a small screening room next to it will seat 25. An open floor-plan private screening room that can hold 50 people will not have chairs fixed to the floor, and will be available as a rentable event space to be used for various purposes: birthday parties, yoga classes, a big meeting, anything.

The movies you can expect to see at The Beacon Theatre will be ones you can catch at a Regal Cinema, and indie movies as well. The lobby/bar area will be the upscale concession stand that serves cocktails, beer and wine. In fact, the partners intend for patrons to be able to hang there without ever seeing a movie. This is Jason's area of expertise, being a professional barkeeper and cocktail designer, as well as a creator of after-hours experiences. (Most notably to Beaconites, he produced Ella's After Hours, which boasted delicious flatbread pizzas, other appetizers and creative cocktails at Ella's Bellas.) 

renovation work includes refurbishing these Lights and original sconces from the walls of the Beacon Theatre. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Says Mike about the availability of movies in Beacon: "There are tons of music and art galleries. Those areas have been created and preserved here, but not films." While the increasing number of moviemakers who live in the Hudson Valley and in Beacon has prompted such business creations as the rental house and production studio CineHub and The Beacon Independent Film Festival, there was no permanent home for a big movie screen. 

Speaking of preservation, some elements of the original theater are being refurbished, while others no longer exist. Among objects being restored are the light sconces, which will be cleaned up and returned to their original elegant state. A sconce hangs on the wall in the picture below, ready to illuminate the ornate details.

Old and older clash: Original sconces from the theater remain on the purple walls, which were painted by tenants running a church. they also installed purple chairs.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

"When businesses open up in Beacon, they are expected to bring something community-based, artisanal-based," says Mike. Scott chimes in: "We are all community-oriented people, which is how this project came together in the first place." Before we head downstairs to tour the raw excavation and leveled dirt that is currently the stadium seating, Jason offers a final reflection on the project: "Anything that opens in Beacon needs to be raising the bar. Our focus is on what [the community can] expect from the theater."

Nailing down an opening date is always tricky with construction projects, so keep your eye on this one, and think spring or summer. The partners won't reveal an exact open date, but Brendan is sure of one thing: "We have a couple of cool surprises that we want people to discover."

When you smell the popcorn as you walk by, you'll know they are ready.

Summer Numbers - Presidents Day Weekend Packs Restaurants

This photo was taken in March 2012, back when the Vintage Cafe was serving breakfast and lunch amidst their antique collection.

This photo was taken in March 2012, back when the Vintage Cafe was serving breakfast and lunch amidst their antique collection.

Sunshine gets anyone giddy, but when it beams on a weekend in Beacon, the first weekend in Beacon after a snowstorm hit the previous week, that results in a lot of people out on the sidewalks, exploring. It inspired me to head out and hit winter clearance sales at Mountain Tops and Bellus on Main, but if you were out and trying to get lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurants, chances are you were met with a 25-minute or even an hour wait, as certainly was the case at Beacon Falls Cafe. Once in, the special may not have been available anymore!

"We were packed for all three days, even Monday," recalls Stefany Lynn, bar manager at Max's on Main. "There was a steady stream of people for the entire day. The dining room was full at 10:30 pm. We ran out of sloppy joes! I couldn't even get one!" Max's wasn't the only restaurant that ran out of dishes. The Vault ran out of their salmon special when they opened the patio sooner than anticipated. Says Vault manager Chris Sudol about the weekend: "For the most part, the weekend was a big success, and we definitely learned a few things as well. Opening the patio was great for the public, and we did business that we haven't ever seen at The Vault before. The only time we saw sales like that was when there was a band playing, and the sales came from drinks."

Jason Schuler, owner and partner at Drink More Good, expressed with eyes wide open: "Did you see how many people were out this weekend? We did summer numbers!" Summer numbers is a sales term that refers to a great sales day, usually expected and hoped for in the summer, not for a weekend when people are usually trying to squeeze in a last ski run. Other weekends that tend to be great are the weekend after Thanksgiving, and other weekends during December. Restaurants in Beacon usually go on vacation during the first weeks of January in order to give staff a break and recover from the intense holiday season.

Welcome to early spring, Beacon! And welcome new visitors. Be sure to check A Little Beacon Blog's Things To Do In Beacon Guides for your full list of things to do, shop and eat during your stay!

3rd Annual Sausage Fest Returns to Barb's Butchery!

Barb's Butchery first burst onto the scene with an Annual Sausage Fest to rave reviews and high attendance by people who wanted to try Barb's wild and creative flavors. Now in its third year, Sausage Fest returns to 69 Spring Street on Sunday, February 26th from 10 am to 6 pm. You'll be able to try (and take home!) 40 different flavors of sausage.

Yeah, that's right... 40 different flavors of sausage. If you don't know where to even begin to concoct that many recipes, Barb is way ahead of you, with her tongue-in-cheek style. She starts with a classic recipe and builds layers of flavor to complement the taste and texture of her locally farmed pork, chicken or lamb in surprising ways.

Example 1: Take the new 11 herbs and spices chicken sausage, with a seasoning blend that packs a bucketful of fried chicken flavor.

Example 2: Skip the sports bar and go straight for Barb's incredible buffalo wing sausage, with melt-in-your-mouth buffalo sauce spices and blue cheese in a chicken sausage. "It’s everything you love, without the celery!" say insiders at Barb's Butchery.

Example 3: For something more sophisticated, try the fragrant herbs and cayenne kick of her North African mint sausage.

Example 4: Keep it classic with the Cordon Bleu blend of house-made ham, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard in a chicken sausage.

Sausage Fest is a not-to-be-missed event, so make room in your fridges and freezers! If you want to know the butchery's back story before visiting, read our interview with Barb here.

Editorial Note: Barb's Butchery is an advertiser in A Little Beacon Blog's Restaurant Guide, but this article is not a sponsored post. It's pure editorial because it's just that good.