If these walls could talk
River Station is the only full service waterfront restaurant in Poughkeepsie located between the bridges with outdoor dining for 100 people. Located between the Mid-Hudson Bridge with its spectacular lights & the Walkway Over The Hudson , we offer outstanding mountain & river-views all year round.
We are a full service restaurant & catering facility with the best steaks and freshest seafood for your dining pleasure, offering lunch, dinner, light appetite, pub & children’s menus. We have been on Poughkeepsie’s waterfront for 30 years serving quality food and great service as well as a special place to come and enjoy the beauty the Hudson Valley has to offer.
We offer over 320 seats with 3 different atmospheres depending on your mood. In the summer we have our outdoor patio for dining. In addition, we offer our first floor pub room with 21 beers on tap and great Happy Hour specials, as well as 8 Tv’s in Hi-Def. Finally, we offer an upper level dining experience entirely enclosed in glass for dinner or a catered event. We cater for all your needs, on and off premises. We provide full service second to none whether it be an elegant party, wedding, private function or platters and subs for the big game.
A Bit About River Station’s History
This Location, known today as the River Station Restaurant has had a long history here in Poughkeepsie.
Originally the property was owned by Baltis Van Kleek. When he died in the late 1700’s, The land was conveyed to Isaac Simons, a local blacksmith. Joseph Hemmingway purchased the property in 1866 and converted the building into a saloon. In 1871 the building was sold to George W. Lumb. He leased the building to Samual Myer, a saloon keeper. When Lumb died in 1911, a squabble over the property began. Litigation went on for 10 years. In 1921 the referee in the matter sold the property to the tenant Samual Myer Sr..
In 1925 Sam Sr. Conveyed the property to his son, Sam Jr.. Then came “prohibition” and the age of the speakeasy. Myers Clam Tavern as it was called, continued on throughout prohibition. When prohibition ended, business flourished on the riverfront. Myers Clam Tavern catered to the locals as well as day and overnight Hudson River Dayline passengers.
In those days the upstairs of these premises had rooms to rent and the Dayline dock stood directly at the end of Main Street. Passengers would disembark there and spend time shopping in our stores, eating & drinking in our restaurants & saloons and staying overnight in our hotels. Myer operated the saloon until his death in 1958. The building was then sold to George Clark (known as Mike) and named “Mikes Tavern”.
The riverfront was rapidly deteriorating during those years and the city fathers made a decision that still haunts the city today “urban renewal”. It was decided that the entire riverfront would be razed and bold new projects would revitalize the area. People were forced from their homes and businesses were forced to relocate. Fortunately this side of Main Street was spared when urban renewal ran out of money. Unfortunately the riverfront became an undesirable place to do business. Operating a respectable food & beverage establishment was impossible. With all the people and businesses gone, people stayed away from “lower Main Street”.
In 1966 a fire claimed the top two floors of Mikes Tavern. In 1970 Mike sold the business to Paul Niebert & Cliff Kihlmire, two city fireman at the time. During their years much of the same continued. The riverfront was abandoned and forgotten.
In 1979 Paul retired and Cliff and his stepson Dennis Cooper took over. They immediately began to test the waters to see if a restaurant business could be established. The main floor was remodeled to take advantage of the river-view. As people began to see that “lower Main Street” was becoming safe again, additional space was needed. The property was purchased from the Clark family in 1982 and the lower floor was expanded.
In 1984 the second story was added. In 1986 the downstairs was completely renovated and in 1992 the adjacent parking lot and outdoor deck were added. Cliff long since retired from the fire department trusted the business to Dennis.
In 2001 Cliff’s son, Kevin took over Dennis’s half of the business after it was run into near bankruptcy. Since then the business has been revitalized. Business is now being brought back downtown and the future is looking bright with the addition of the Children’s Museum, the Dooley Square project, New Hudson River Boathouse, and the lower Main Street area is well on its way to recovery. This location is the oldest continually operated food & drink establishment in the city. As time passed, this place will change. The owners will change, but one thing will never change…the people’s desire to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River and her waterfront. We are proud to be a continuing part of the history and the future of Poughkeepsie’s riverfront.