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.

Happening This Weekend (2/10/2017)

It's Second Saturday in Beacon! Your full guide for the day/night is here!
Snow or Shine, get out there this weekend! It's Second Saturday, and we have a head start on what to expect at the galleries. These are weekend dates pulled from some of A Little Beacon Blog's 10 Things To Do In Beacon Guides, so be sure to check them during the week.
There is more parking than you think!
Especially the large free lots on the East End of town, near the mountain. We've got pictures.
Sponsored by Antalek and Moore for car insurance.

Your full Second Saturday Art Gallery Guide for Beacon.
Always available at, with past months archived.
The Upcoming Events Guide is proudly sponsored by King Family Chiropractic, located in Beacon and ready to serve you.
A Lovely Little Pop-Up
Day: Saturday & Sunday, February 11-12, 2017
Time: 11am-9pm (Sat), 10am-4pm (Sun)
Location: A Little Beacon Space, 291 Main St, Beacon, NY
Information >

Howland Chamber Music Circle Pop-Up Concert
Day: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Time: 4pm
Location: St Andrew’s Church, 17 South Ave, Beacon, NY
Information >

Visit our Upcoming Events Guide to see more upcoming classes.
Absolute Beginners Sewing
Day: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Time: 6-9pm
Location: Beetle & Fred, 171 Main St, Beacon, NY
Information >

Terra Firma presents Massage Workshop for Couples
Day: Sunday, February 12, 2017
Time: 1-4pm
Location: Oak Vino Wine Bar, 389 Main St, Beacon, NY
Information >

Visit our Adult Classes Guide to see more upcoming classes.
Rigamajig Creative Building
Day: Monday, February 13, 2017 (4 Mondays)
Time: 3:45-5pm
Location: Howland Public Library, 313 Main St, Beacon, NY
Information >

Visit our Kids Classes Guide to see more upcoming classes.

A Lovely Little Pop-Up

Day: Saturday & Sunday, February 11-12, 2017
Time: 11am-9pm (Sat), 10am-4pm (Sun)
Location: A Little Beacon Space, 291 Main St, Beacon, NY
Information, Artists, and Pictures >

133 Main Street

Looking for the perfect gift? Consider one for the home. Then everyone gets to use it and it's money well spent. These tables made from naturally fallen ash trees are just a few pieces of furniture you can find in reMADE. But don't wait if there's a piece that you love. The secret is out on reMADE, and the artisans represented inside are constantly bringing in new designs to replace what has sold. So get in there!


Bellus on Main
181 Main Street

For the plant lover or bottle collector in your life, Bellus on Main has this shelf decor that is a perfect gift - or treat yourself!

Luxe Optique
183 Main Street

These two! Karen and Josh, hairdressers at The Green Room, paid a visit to Luxe Optique to update their glasses (both are famous for their statement eyewear). If one could CTRL-B to Bold their basic black frames, that is what Josh did while Luxe offered bubbly to shoppers early one evening.


Style Storehouse
484 Main Street

Sending Style Storehouse encouraging vibes via this locally made wooden sign that is for sale in the shop, after the shop suffered inventory loss from flooding from the upstairs apartments. In true go-getter spirit, Michele is cleaning and aims to be back in action soon!

Find phone numbers and addresses for all shops in our Shopping Guide, from Home Decor to Kids Fashion to Vintage and more.

River Therapeutic Massage
612 Rt. 52 (at Karen's Place Salon)

💓💞💕 It's Valentine's Month at River Therapeutic Massage! 💕💞💓
Come in for a massage any time in February, and get a Valentine Coupon for a Mystery Bonus! Maybe you'll get extra massage time, an add-on service, or $$ off your visit. Coupons are good for 3 months - use for yourself or give to your favorite Valentine!
Book it.

Find phone numbers and addresses for all Beauty locations in our  Beauty Guide.

Barb's Butchery
69 Spring Street

Find this crave-answering cheeseburger at Barb’s Butchery for lunch. While you're there, pick up a few short ribs, ground beef for chili, and two dozen local eggs for the morning. Meat errands and lunch, DONE.

Visit our Restaurant Guide for a complete list of eateries in Beacon.
Antalek & Moore
Flooding from residential apartments above storefronts has hit Beacon's Main Street hard, with the most recent loss happening this week. We wrote an awareness piece on such flooding with Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, which all renters and storefronts should be aware of.
Daniel Aubry closed a major real estate deal on the West End of Main Street, ushering in a new era for several apartments and storefronts. Learn more about it soon at A Little Beacon Blog as we reveal the details. Meanwhile, for you inquisitive types in Beacon real estate, visit for recent listings.
Atelier Room 205, in the old Beacon High School
The Atelier Room 205 is a Teaching Studio, an artist's playroom! It’s located in the old Beacon High School, which has been converted into artist studios. The Atelier is a well-equipped studio for teaching art workshops and is run by artist Maria Amor. Contact her to book the space to host a workshop by calling (646) 705-3833 or emailing, and tell your friends about this rental destination.
BeaconArts is a fiscal sponsor of Beacon Open Studios, and is letting you know that registration for artists is open now, as are advertiser spots in the printed program! See for details.
Beacon Chamber of Commerce
The Beacon Chamber of Commerce has a new website including a new Member Directory. Want to host a Chamber of Commerce meeting in your space? Or speak at a meeting as an expert? You can do that! Visit their website to submit yourself.
Tin Shingle

Looking for classes in SEO and Social Media? How about a class and swift kick in the pants for sending out your company's newsletter? In-person classes are coming to Beacon from Tin Shingle, but in the meantime, you can stream several here.

InHouse Design Media

InHouse Design Media is proud to be involved with the redesign of the new Beacon Chamber of Commerce website, as well as breathing new life into their social media presence and setting up new systems for them to follow as a multi-person entity when getting the word out. Congratulations on new directions!

A Little Beacon Space
291 Main Street

There are all kinds of reasons you'll love hosting your event in A Little Beacon Space, from our location in the heart of Beacon, to the warm light. Click here for more details and to book online.

You’re Invited - Don’t Miss These Events!

A Lovely Little Pop-Up
February 11-12, 2017
You'll love what you'll find in this Valentine's Day-inspired pop-up next weekend. New designs from jewelers Kit Burke-Smith, Margaux Lange Jewelry and Third Muse Metal Arts. Baked delights from Five Hens. Flowers from Viridescent Floral Design. Limited edition scarves from Kate Aubrey Textiles.
We Know What You're Thinking: "I want my business featured here!"
Pictures shown above are from our Guide advertising partners in the Things To Do In Beacon Guides. We can include your most exciting news here, too!

Until next week!

Super Bowl Snacks That Are Almost Healthy - And Fried Food Of Course

Supplying ideal gameday food is crucial, whether you have a crew descending on your house or you're bringing a dish to someone else's shindig. Gameday food, aka football food, is so often delicious because it's normally smothered in a sweet or spicy sauce, or drowning in a mayo-based dip. It can also be a bit stressful because when the game lasts so long, one must carefully time when different dishes are presented. Just as the players on the field pace themselves as they crash into each other, so must viewers at home pace themselves through gameday food and drink. Here are some locally sourced ideas to make your gameday plan easier:

The Dips

We asked professional healthy eater Ashley Lederer, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Thoughtful Food Nutrition, what she would serve that might pass as healthy, and actually be a vehicle for getting veggies into your body. "I would say dip - so that you can get some veg in there. Black bean dip or spinach yogurt dip served with crudités is a great way to balance out some of the other heavier dishes that may be available." And what about an even easier finger food? "Popcorn with some fun seasoning, instead of pretzels or crackers," suggests Ashley. "Season the popcorn with chili-lime or nutritional yeast instead of cheese."

The Meat

It's pretty easy to order chicken wings around town, with BAJA and Max's at the ready to send you away with a to-go box. (The Vault used to have wings, might still, but is open for Brunch/Lunch only this Sunday.) Kitchen Sink has a transcendent brisket grilled cheese on house-made challah with melted cheddar and muenster cheeses inside that really, may be one of the best grilled cheeses you ever have. Kitchen Sink did have a special Super Bowl catering menu that involved wings and blue cheese, but orders had to be placed by earlier in the week. Barb's Butchery and Stock Up have hearty meat selections. And oh my goodness, Draught is having free wings with purchase of beer while the game is played on a big screen.

The Bread or Filling Starch

To go with those wings, pick up loaded potato skins from Max's. Those are a staple in our house and even ordered without wings, are a meal unto themselves. Inclined to make your own doughy accompaniment? The best buttermilk cornbread recipe I have ever used is here, and involves melting a stick of butter in a deep pan, and then making the batter in that pan on the stove.

Football Distractions

For those who find it a bit difficult to sit through four hours of a game, you could wander on down to a sale at the new fabric and knitting store in town, Beetle and Fred (rhymes with needle and thread), that is happening pre-game. There is a 15% "fat quarters" sale just for Super Bowl Sunday. 


To satisfy the sweet tooth, well, you have a lot of choices here in Beacon, all of which are listed in our Restaurant Guide. But what you may not have noticed was the frozen chocolate mousse pie in the freezer section of Key Foods. It's sort of delicious and involves a chocolate crumb crust. To health it up a bit, serve with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

The Beer

You could get growlers at any of your favorite local spots, like Draught or Two Way Brewing. As of this weekend, you can also get it straight from another local brewery, Hudson Valley Brewery. Locals have been able to get this freshly brewed Beacon beer from restaurants around town, and now the tasting room is open during select times, including Sunday. As for good beer in a can or bottle - the gas station on Main Street across from Antalek & Moore and near the post office actually has a impressive selection of IPAs and other craft brews, as does the shop in the Wolcott Plaza near Beacon Dental.

Renovated Beacon Hotel Restaurant Opens and Shines New Light From Main Street’s East End

EDITOR’S NOTE: The staff has since changed at this establishment. Described here is who the restaurant launched with.

The wind whistled through the newly installed windows on the third floor of The Beacon Hotel last Wednesday afternoon under clouds threatening snow. Down on the first floor, newly hired staff buzzed busily around The Beacon Hotel Restaurant, hustling to get ready for their first dinner service, set to start Friday evening at 5 pm. It will be the first time the hotel has been renovated and open to the public in decades. 

This massive project is another feather in the cap of Beacon development visionaries like the Sauers, the McAlpines, and so many others. Business owners in this city have a long tradition of renting once-shoddy storefronts and building them out: Beacon Bread Company (remodeled a dilapidated diner), Beacon Dental (outfitted offices in questionable neighborhood), Giannetta Salon & Spa, and so many more. They breathe fresh air into the city by transforming once-forgotten buildings and giving them new life for the people of the Hudson Valley - and a longer life for the history books.

The Hotel in 1877, when owned by Warren S. Dibble. Photo Credit:  The Beacon Historical Society

The Hotel in 1877, when owned by Warren S. Dibble.
Photo Credit: The Beacon Historical Society

Most people around town know this hotel as the location of SRO (single-room occupancy) apartments on the East End of Main Street, contributing to a kind of "no-man's land" feeling of limited business activity in the area. That has gradually decreased as businesses and real estate pioneers have moved in and renovated buildings throughout Beacon.  

Originally built in the 1870s, this hotel is no stranger to entrepreneurial visionaries. Warren S. Dibble bought the property in 1877, creating 75 rooms; amenities included a horse stable. Across the street he built a roller rink, which he turned into The Dibble Opera House, as illustrated in the book Historic Beacon. "Some of the most famous actors of the nineteenth century entertained Matteawan's elite and Mr. Dibble's hotel guests," according to Celebrating Our Centennial, Beacon at 100, the historical reference book published by the Beacon Historical Society. In fact, rumor has it that there is a secret passageway under Main Street connecting the hotel to the theater, so that actors could quickly get from one place to the other. The Beacon Theatre that stands today is currently being renovated into luxury apartments. The entertainment scene has changed considerably since the heyday of the theater and Mount Beacon's Incline Railway. (The railway carried 3.5 million people to the top of Mount Beacon during its years of operation, according to Celebrating Our Centennial.)

Local Entrepreneurs Bring Back The Beacon Hotel and Restaurant

Enter the new owners: Alla Kormilitsyna, a renovator of townhouses in New York City, and Greg and Evey Trautman, veteran renovators of restaurants around the corner from their previous home in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn (Olmsted and Plan B). They, with another partner, purchased the hotel from the estate of Ritchie Rogers after he passed in 2014. For Greg and Evey, who have since moved to Beacon, having a comfortable restaurant around the corner is important: "We loved having a local restaurant near where we lived and contributing to the community." After moving to Beacon, they got the itch to dive into restaurant renovation again. "We loved the history of Beacon and the fact that the hotel was the oldest running hotel in Beacon, dating back to the Dibble House. With Alla's construction knowledge and get-it-done spirit, we knew we [would be] able to reinvent the space to bring back its glory."


The Food -  Get To The Food Part!

The kitchen team at The Beacon Hotel Restaurant, preparing for the weekend's opening.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Right - so, as you know, eating in Beacon is getting more delicious by the month. (We track it here in ALBB's Restaurant Guide). Those who were missing the creative culinary creations of Matt Hutchins, former co-owner and original executive chef of The Hop, can order from his carefully crafted menu once again. His dishes delighted critics from the neighborhood to The New York Times, while his commitment to feeding the cravings of community strengthened his relationship with the people of Beacon: "I love to play with food, but more importantly I love how it can bring people together," he says. 

Executive Chef Matt Hutchins is back in the kitchen in Beacon, creating dishes you'll remember forever.
Photo Credit: Evey Trautman

Matt studied in Berkeley, CA, "where 'California-Mediterranean' is a thing," he says, and attended the Culinary Institute of America. He calls his culinary style partially “Hudson Valley-Mediterranean.” Having grown up in North Florida, Matt says those roots deeply influence him as well. In Florida, he says,  "many cultures come into play, from Mexican to Caribbean, Deep South to Cajun. I have been passionate about locality in food sourcing, and nose-to-tail cooking, for I strive to utilize every part of an animal I can to honor that animal’s life (and death)."

From the menu, you can expect to see dishes that will change with the seasons. This season, look for Pork Belly and Scallops, Beet Tartare, and Cuttlefish and Clams. For your main dish, look for the Grilled Duck Breast, Beef Tenderloin, Chestnut Lasagne, among others. And save room, of course, for the Peanut Butter Pie and New York Apple Beignets. 

The Decor - What Will It Look Like?

Beautiful. Industrial. Like you'll want to settle in and stay all night. The team was inspired by Beacon's history and mandated that the atmosphere reflect it. They tapped local architect Aryeh Siegel, well-known for creating the uplifting look of Main Street Beacon through his work on several buildings including The Roundhouse, the Beacon Lofts, pieces of the galleries in Dia: Beacon, and other residential and business projects. 

As for the interior direction, the team approached Clodagh Design, a design firm based in New York City, yet calls Beacon home. "When owners Alla and Greg selected our studio to capture the spirit of Beacon in their Beacon Hotel Bar and Restaurant, we jumped on the opportunity with huge enthusiasm," Clodagh says. "My love affair with Beacon started over 14 years ago after purchasing property in Beacon in 2003 with my husband Daniel Aubry, Beacon artist and realtor. The wonderfully tight community and necklace of fabulous restaurants and music venues makes it a great place for a quiet night dining or out on the town, with each establishment offering different experiences."

In keeping with the instinct to tie the look to Beacon's past and manufacturing history, Clodagh designed using a reclaimed and industrial theme. The tables were crafted by After the Barn, using joists found in the original hotel, and several decorative objects were sourced from the Beacon Flea and local antiques shops. Effort was made to join the space in the front - the storefront windows are bi-fold and will be open in the spring and summer months - with the garage door in the back of the restaurant, to encourage a breeze all the way through the restaurant. Add to that a double fireplace between the back patio and inside party room, to supply cozy ambiance inside and out.


Behind the Scenes of a Restaurant and Hotel Renovation and Build

This scene could be one from a musical about the makings of a restaurant, but it is co-owner Alla wiping shelves in preparation for a walk-through by people who were getting sneak peeks of the restaurant before it opened.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

If you're a longtime reader of A Little Beacon Blog, you know that we live for behind-the-scene stories. We want to see the prep work and learn how people got to be doing what they are doing. Co-owner Alla met with me days before the opening to answer a few questions for this article. "Come!" she said. "Let's meet in the bathroom. It's quiet." Every single aspect of this restaurant is brand-new, so it's not like a management office is ready yet, and there were people literally in every corner - bartenders arranging bottles of wine and spirits, electricians in closets I didn't even notice until I saw their flashlights moving, her partner Greg outside ripping off the white plastic coating from the new front doors, and Matt and the kitchen staff breaking down large boxes once they were unpacked.

The space for the hotel was completely gutted to become what visitors see today. The upstairs hotel rooms, accessible only by stairs winding through the towers (the ultimate walk-up!), remain under construction. Phase 1 is slated to open with 12 rooms, one of which, "Hikers Haven," will offer bunk beds and is aimed at being a comfortable resting spot for locals and day-trippers who want an inspiring night on the town. 


Says Alla, a master renovator of townhouses: "The facade was restored to the original state, and extreme measures were taken to structurally reinforce the building. We did create an entirely new facade of the first-floor restaurant, with the bi-fold windows in the front that will be open during the spring and summer."

When asked about the unexpected challenges of restoring this building, Alla mentioned several: "Site-work to take care of the storm water, running electrical and gas lines. The sprinkler and fire alarm system were very difficult. The Ansul system, which carries the smoke from the stovetop out of the kitchen, was very difficult to run out of the kitchen to the rooftop. You can see the Ansul running up the back brick wall of the patio."

If you've driven past any of these renovation projects (another hotel and spa is currently under construction on the West End of town, near the clothing boutique Nella's Bellas), you will see that they involve a lot of people, and if everything is going smoothly, the site always has something going on. We asked Alla what it's like having a renovation project as your full-time job: "It is all-consuming and takes over your life. Given the complexity of the project, you are on-call 24/7. There is constant managing of construction workers, buying supplies, and creating your timeline to open. Essentially, this is three projects in one: the construction of the hotel rooms, the restaurant, and the creation of the business."

The restaurant will be open for dinner only on most days (check their website for updates), and at some point soon will include a Sunday brunch. We wish everyone involved the best moving forward, and we look forward to cozying into one of the tables to order culinary happiness.