Every town has a story. Sometimes the story and the name are intertwined. Livingston Manor is named for Robert Livingston (who was the last Lord of the Manor of the town and a landowner) and Hardenburgh for Johannes Hardenbergh (a landowner and patentee), two formidable founders of settlements in upstate New York. Renaissances are like that too. Sometimes a town grows up and thrives around a sole proprietor of a grocery store or restaurant, mainly because of that leaders stick-to-it-ive-ness. Other towns like Hobart shoot the moon around an idea like becoming a town of bookstores (totally worth the visit).
In the case of Mountain Dale, Main Street is a curatorial experiment and one worth checking out. In 2012, long time Mountain Dale resident Butch Resnick bought 31 buildings in Mountain Dale with hopes of inspiring folks to open shop there, and they have. For now the shops and their keepers are operating on a no or minimal fee basis fueled by Mr. Resnick's generosity and passion for bringing back (or reinventing) the town's former vibrancy.
Mr. Resnick hired Nhi Mundy of Bá & Mę (see her other outpost in Callicoon here) to help bring in new business, starting with her super delicious Vietnamese restaurant. Start there (54 Main Street), grab a pork bun and then get busy #gettinglostandfound in Mountain Dale. If you have already tried the one in Callicoon, head over to the new bar and cafe in town -- High Voltage (47 Main Street) -- where you can get a bite to eat and a nip of something, and hang out in their beautiful, relaxed space.
Once you've accomplished that, you can check out some of the galleries there -- often featuring local artists -- like Elozua Gallery, Grocery Store Gallery and A Guide to the Field (2 Post Hill Road). Don't miss State Land Supply Co. (6 Main Street) because its owner, Denny Brownell, is a big bearded Grizzly Adams type with a penchant for tattoos and collecting everything. He has a magical touch.
And plenty more is on the way to Mountain Dale including a wine shop, a bookstore, a coffee shop, etc. Finally, a trip to Mountain Dale would not be complete unless you stop in to Ambika Boutique (63 Main Street) to check out her vintage finds and her pet angora rabbits!
If all of this sounds good to you for a weekend of small town spelunking, go all in and book a stay at the geodesic dome just outside of town at the Outlier Inn.
Also, check out this post on Mountain Dale's High Voltage Cafe & Bar, a great town hub and watering hole.
XOXO Farm Girl