Woodstock's Inimitable Musical & Culinary Renaissance Marches On
New music venues, bars and restaurants spark local resurgence and boost in tourism in time for the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival.
By: Colony Woodstock
Back in the 1990s, 'the most famous small town in America' had more than a dozen bars and music venues, making it a prime weekend-getaway destination for urban escapees. However, the departure of the IBM campus in nearby Kingston created an economic vacuum, and tougher state laws helped dry the festivities up.
That's all changed.
The Ulster County town of Woodstock – 90 minutes from Bethel, NY, site of Woodstock '69 — is experiencing a re-awakening, with new bars, restaurants and nightlife venues opening up all along the main drag and beyond.
The Colony is a cornerstone of this rejuvenation, housed in a majestic 90-year-old building merely 200 yards from the Woodstock village green. With its wraparound balcony and timeless vibe, the renowned music venue, bar, restaurant and event space for private parties and weddings was re-opened in 2017 by local proprietors Neil and Lex Howard. Over the past two years, they've played host to popular national bands and artists including the Wailers, the Drive By Truckers, Langhorne Slim, Fishbone, the Blasters and Rhett Miller, plus local legends such as Simi Stone, Lindsey Webster, Happy Traum, and youth members of the Paul Green Rock Academy.
Nestled on Tinker Street, a five-minute walk from the village green, is The Station Bar & Curio, forged from a historic rail station originally set 10 miles south and brought back to life by Lily and Ben Rollins. A local hotspot since opening in 2016, The Station is all about community; equipped with a pool table and tons of board games, filled with arts and artifacts from around.
The area and offering up local craft beers, custom cocktails and bar bites. Free live local music is no stranger on weekends throughout the year.
The Lodge has been 'keeping Woodstock groovy since 1945,' but things got a lot groovier in 2016 when real estate development expert Michael Skurnick, Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble alum Brian Parillo and others lovingly restored, redesigned and reimagined the property. An oasis in the woods, and still only a three-minute drive to the village green, The Lodge features revamped rooms, a new heated salt-water pool with spillover jacuzzi, and a bar, performance space, and restaurant serving sustainably-
Since 2017, the A&P Bar has been defined as much by the ambiance as by the fantastic food and drink. Tucked away speakeasy-style – with subtle signage – at the back of a parking lot in a building that once housed an A&P grocery store, the two-story A&P bar and restaurant embodies 'Brooklyn meets the Hudson Valley.' The design is industrial, modern and yet somehow also rustic, and the Flammkuchen (German-style pizza) and signature cocktails are distinct and delicious. For owner Gemma Bloxham, A&P is about raising the bar and redefining the terms 'classic' and 'comfort.'
Provisions restaurant and pub, an open-to-the-
Also on the main road heading up to the green, the R&R Taproom is a craft beer bar and café from certified beer sommelier Megan Reynolds. Megan curates a rotating selection of 10 drafts and has over 50 bottled beers, ranging from local lagers to Belgian classics. The kitchen serves a small plates menu with a focus on beer-friendly bites and local, seasonal produce. The convivial roadside spot also offers creekside dining in season.
Another new arrival in town is Early Terrible with an ambiance derived from its surroundings in the bosom of the Catskill Mountains. Here you will find arboreal architecture, an unparalleled global wine list, a sterling cocktail offering of the very best classic and contemporary libations, as well as the very best of the rare in terms of craft beer. Go lounge in the outdoor park and kick back with a drink and good friends.
For out-of-towners wanting to feast or frolic at any and all of these hot spots, The Herwood Inn is destined to become the cozy nook that helps buoy Woodstock's surging hospitality industry. Set to open in early September, this old-timey inn will feature many contemporary flourishes, including the currently cryptic Commune, Shed and Garden. And, tucked behind a waterfall along a babbling brook, Woodstock Way is a happening contemporary twelve-room hotel that sits steps from Woodstock's iconic Village Green.
And this is just the beginning.
There's also the newly-reopened Woodstock Pub, just across the main street from new eateries Shindig and Silvia, and local vegan favorite The Garden Cafe.
So what does this mean?
The travel sites and magazines are right, and the awards are warranted. There's good reason to book your vacation or day trip to Woodstock, especially in 2019.
This summer, Woodstock, NY, and all its bars, restaurants, music venues and other local, independent businesses and organizations will be celebrating The Town that Started It All – the town whose music, arts and culture inspired the original Woodstock Music Festival; and the town whose recent resurgence puts the oldest operating Arts & Crafts Colony back on the proverbial map.
Located in Woodstock, NY, the Colony is a historic live-music venue that first opened its doors in 1929. It plays host to a vast array of artists, inclusive of musicians, performance artists, and comedians, who have lived, performed and created in this hamlet for decades. Open Thursday through Monday, the Colony has a full-kitchen and serves up a unique menu of bar-food delicacies. The space is available for weddings and private events.
22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, New York
Andrew Ciccone, Public Relations Director
Website Links for all:
Colony Woodstock https://www.colonywoodstock.com/
Station Bar & Curio https://www.stationbarandcurio.com/
The Lodge https://www.stationbarandcurio.com/
A&P Bar https://aandpbar.com/
R&R Taproom https://www.rrtaproom.com/
Early Terrible https://www.earlyterrible.com/
Woodstock Pub https://www.facebook.com/
The Garden Cafe https://thegardencafewoodstock.com/
The Herwood Inn https://www.theherwoodinn.com/
Woodstock Way https://www.woodstockway.com/
Page Updated Last on: Aug 10, 2019