Gina O’Brien and Ed Carroll met at SUNY New Paltz in the early 1980s, then had careers in media, landing in film and television respectively. In between they married, moved from New York City to Huntington, NY, and raised two children. They’ve returned many times to New Paltz to visit the college, vacation at Mohonk, hike the trails and stop by P&Gs. On one such occasion, the couple stumbled upon an open house in a neighborhood near campus and ended up with a weekend home.
Fast forward to an impromptu lunch at the former Murphy’s. That’s when Ed casually mentioned to Gina, “You know, I heard this place is for sale…” And so it goes. Their roots in New Paltz now extend to Main Street, with The Lemon Squeeze.
When they were college students, there were about a dozen bar/restaurants in less than a half mile stretch in and around Main Street. These included Digger’s; McQuinn’s; Thesis; Bacchus; Strawberry Fields (then Foley’s Square Pub, then Murphy’s); Coochies; P&Gs; J.K. Bowles; Snug Harbor; The Sanctuary; The North Light; and further down the road, Joe’s. Each place had its own vibe and was successful for a time, or is still.
They thought about the type of place they enjoy these days, and what might be missing in New Paltz. They decided The Lemon Squeeze would be primarily a casual dining restaurant that has a great piano bar. They’ll offer chef driven comfort food, delicious, local wine and specialty cocktails, set to the sounds of a live piano–from Broadway showtunes to Billy Joel. They hope Sinatra Sunday Brunch will become a favorite among locals.
Upgrades are planned to the building’s exterior, including an outdoor deck that will take the place of a small, overgrown plot out back. Inside will have a total gut renovation. The interior design will convey midcentury modern— a bit loungy and comfortable.
The Lemon Squeeze? They chose the name for one of their favorite local hikes, and for the subtle nod to cocktails.