We are the oldest continually operating Restaurant and Bar in Hudson NY, only one other may claim that title but if your idea of food is beef jerky and chips then we will secede that title.
The Red Dot opened Bastille Day in 1999, on a block blighted by crack and prostitution. No antique stores but Carrie Haddad’s art gallery was open so we were not entirely alone, as was The Opera House, Steiners Sports Store, Smolinski’s a Bakery and a bar that I cannot recall it’s name.
For a full service Restaurant it was a challenge, no walk ins, no strolling visitors, so it was a simple case of word of mouth and from day one we did business.
As we were the “The socially accepting” hangout we attracted those that had no place to call a home before, one had The Charleston and The Paramount but these were not late night social scenes, We were and still are.
Over the past years we have hosted and supported a mass of events and parties, fund raisers, halloween celebrations, wedding and birthday parties, New Years Eve celebrations, charity auctions, some political functions, film club projections, the list goes on. This is to illustrate how firmly embedded we are in the community.
After trying to accommodate all our customers needs we felt cramped so we bought the building west of us and renovated the ground floor and garden to provide a “no smoking” environment, well that was 2002 and by 2005 it was all no smoking but I’m glad we expanded, the new space gave us a dance floor, screening room, private party space and a wonderful garden, plus a seated space for an outdoor fire giving smokers a place to convene.
We decided that our first Menu was to be limited, to keep costs down we opened without a chef, the heart of our cuisine was basic, Belgian Frites, Mussels, salads, steaks, hamburgers and of course Fish and Chips and our customers ate it up.
Then we met Kevin Katz and he agreed to work for us full time, He put us on the culinary map, from his experience in high end kitchens he leap frogged us to a new dimension, best investment in manpower. We opened for Brunch, Saturdays and Sundays and started another scene. He moved on to open his own place. Since his departure, much to our reluctance, our chefs have contributed significantly to our reputation for good quality cuisine.
Many a new “restaurant to be” owners have looked at us and figured well if they can do it so can we, they have eaten and drunk with us whilst under construction. We have shared our experiences with all and continue to recommend possible employees and share other hazards of operating in this city.
Our Christmas decorations have an International reputation, a friend of mine told me of a group in Toronto who come to Hudson every December to relish in our display. Winterwalk and Flag Day are citywide celebrations, so we are pleased to complement those events.
It’s a blast, we love our space and all who come in, so all are welcome and we try to stay realistic about our prices and services