A little over a week ago Janet and Darryl Greene opened a new family eatery in the hamlet of Highland at 55 Vineyard Avenue called the Trolley Stop Café. Presently, they open for breakfast at 7:30 a.m., which is served all day, and lunch starts at 11 a.m. They close up at about 3 p.m.
Janet said the very last business in this space was Vic’s Penny Arcade and before that it was Frank’s Fruit Market but it was just used for storage since about 1970. The couple purchased the building in May 2018 believing that the hamlet needed a local breakfast/lunch place.
“It was just this empty space, which is exactly what we wanted and that’s why we took it on,” she said. “It was a storage unit just full of junk. We cleaned it out, took down all the old paneling. We did the whole facade first, starting about a year and a half ago.”
Janet said they chose this spot because they wanted to locate their business in a little hamlet.
Janet has always worked in hotels since college and her husband as a cook in various kitchens. The two met at the Mohonk House and together they ran a Bed & Breakfast in New Paltz for two decades. They sold it in 2017, in part because of the proliferation of Airbnbs in the area.
Janet said they tossed around names for their café and settled on Trolley Stop Café, “to keep it vintage and we’re on the old trolley line and there was the stop,” pointing to just outside her front door.
Janet said she has been getting a lot of positive feedback with some locals coming back several times in just the first week.
“A lot of people say they love the food, spread the word, glad we’re here,” she said.
Janet said after running a Bed & Breakfast 20 years they know what works well on their menu, especially their Trolley Stop Special, which is two eggs cooked as the customer wishes along with house-made corned beef hash and toast. She said their sandwiches are generous proportions and can also be made to take home and have for dinner.
“There is a learning curve and we’re getting to know the people and what they want and hope to see here,” she said. “I know there is a nice older population here and I wanted to have food that they can eat, like egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches.”
Janet stressed that the food they serve is freshly cooked daily on the premises. She added that her daughters Alanna and Geneva help out at the café. She pointed out that her husband made the pine tables and the two front counter tops are made from black walnut. They even traveled to Waterloo, NY to purchase a long pew for seating and the stools came from Westchester County. After taking down the old paneling they found wainscoting on the walls that they have spruced up and preserved. The front door came from England, which she bought from a collector in town.
Darryl likes their location and the inside space, “because it’s not too big” They can serve up to 22 customers at one time. He also likes the older style architecture of the building.
“This is a great community as far as I can see; we’ve met a lot of nice people,” he said. “We come from New Paltz which is hectic and busy so this is a nice change.”
The café can be reached at 845-261-2250 and on the web at atrolleystopcafe.com.