Long Forgotten Route 9 Restaurants Appear on Old Dining Guide
This 30-year-old guide to local restaurants and attractions on Route 9 is a peek into Hudson Valley history.
While cleaning out some old boxes from the basement I stumbled upon an old map that was part of my freshman welcome kit at Marist College. The guide was given to incoming students to familiarize themselves with local restaurants, attractions and movie theaters.
Sadly, the majority of the restaurants on the map are long gone, but their memory lives on.
The map starts north at Vanderbilt Mansion. Looking at the restaurants listed through Hyde Park, only the McDonald's and Coppola's Restaurant still survive. The Pizza Hut was located in a building next to the Hyde Park Florist that was most recently occupied by Pete's Famous. Further south was the Lighthouse Diner. I have fond memories of the dark, cozy dining room and their delicious mozzarella sticks. Now long gone, the restaurant was completely remodeled in the mid-90s and transformed into the Eveready Diner.
I'm having a hard time placing exactly where the Burger King was in Hyde Park, but I do remember the glass-enclosed exterior somewhere on Route 9. South of that, the guide shows the Springwood Inn, which was a Howard Johnson before that and is now the current site of the Hyde Park Brewing Company.
Another Hyde Park landmark was the Easy Street Cafe, a fun bar and restaurant on the corner of St. Andrew's Rd. The cafe was sold sometime around 2005 and became the now closed Coco's. Further south, just across from the Culinary Institute of America was Squire's Steakhouse. The restaurant changed hands several times operating as Sidewinder and Hobnobbin' North. The building was eventually purchased by the CIA and is now their center for research and innovation.
The map also shows just how much Route 9 has changed near Marist College. Once a sleepy two-lane road, the busy highway was eventually widened, forcing pedestrians under the road through a tunnel. When Route 9 was expanded in 1993 it forced the destruction of Skinner's on the corner of Fulton Street, which was a popular hangout for students and locals.
The bottom half of the guide reads like an obituary to chain restaurants that have long disappeared from Route 9. KFC, Denny's, Sizzler, Friendly's, Pizza Hut, Ponderosa and more are all long gone.
The Ground Round building, which eventually became the Lone Star Steak house and, most recently Coyote Grill, was recently sold. It's unclear what will be moving in, but hopefully, it will have more luck than those other restaurants that couldn't seem to keep the doors open.
Another restaurant that stands out is the Treasure Chest Cafe. On the corner of Route 9 near IBM, the building was eventually purchased by Coppola's and renamed Cappuccino's. The entire restaurant was torn down two years ago and a Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union branch was erected in its place.
While it's sad to see just how many of these old restaurants are now closed down, it's fun to reminisce about the old days and good times had at some of these long-gone businesses.
Do you have a memory from one of these old restaurants that you'd like to share? You can connect with us in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.