by Anne Pyburn Craig. photos by Matt Petricone
THE 1850 HOUSE boutique inn, tavern, and deck by Anne Pyburn Craig photos by Matt Petricone
The 1850 House Inn and Tavern is a perfect fit on Rosendale’s Main Street. The cozy pub, spacious deck overlooking the creek, and comfortable, charming guest rooms win rave reviews from both visitors and locals, and the inn’s blend of polished elegance with genuine, welcoming service shows Hudson Valley hospitality at its finest.
The inn’s landmark, three-story brick building has been a hostelry ever since its creation in the mid-19th century, taking eight different names over the years. It became The 1850 House in 2012, and the level of service offered by current owner Mike Ruger and his crew is enough to make the building’s ancestral spirits dizzy with joy.
Mike, an Ulster County native, always wanted to own a hotel and was fond of Rosendale as a location, but he did not rush into anything when he purchased what was known as the Astoria in 2001. The hotel had long-term tenants who needed time to relocate before renovations began, and Mike and his partner, Kristen Tully, had some planning to do. On a visit to the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, Mike studied the management and the role a fine hotel could play in a downtown environment.
He then started the $1.5 million renovation—a voyage of discovery. Wide-plank wood flooring and leaded-glass windows were lovingly restored to their original glory, mechanicals were brought up to state-of-the-art specs, and guest rooms were fitted with ample closet space, modern plumbing, flat screens, and fine linens.
And every room offers a view. Guests can choose whether to overlook the village, the creek, the iconic train trestle, or Joppenbergh Mountain, and huge, black-and-white antique photos of Rosendale back in the day make for striking decor.
Downstairs, the comfortably furnished classic pub, generous sitting room, and bright sunroom blend history with modern comfort. The addition of a spacious deck overlooking the creek gives yet another delightful dimension to this inn. “It’s a venue in itself; that’s why we call it ‘Deck 435,’” Mike says. Locals and hotel guests flock to Deck 435 for cocktails, food, relaxation, and live acoustic performances. Mike and his crew also welcome celebrations, whether of a holiday or of a guest’s personal milestone.
Something else to celebrate at The 1850 House is the work of Chef Kyle Ruger, who honed his culinary chops at Fresh, a top-ranked eatery in Camden, Maine. He came south to Rosendale to lend his gift for global cuisine to his Uncle Mike’s hotel endeavor.
In addition to great food, the staff at The 1850 House provide warmth, taste, and discretion worthy of their setting.“I look for people who have innate hospitality abilities and make sure they thrive as a team; everyone’s strengths complement everyone else’s,” Mike says. “By asking the right questions, we anticipate our guests’ needs before they even know what it is they need—and we are flawlessly discreet.”
Another part of Mike’s vision includes
Ruger’s vision includes maintaining a strong sense of Rosendale’s small-town culture.
maintaining a strong sense of Rosendale’s smalltown culture within the beautiful Hudson Valley.
“The house guests spend time in the tavern, getting to interact with our staff and locals,” says Mike, “and by the time they leave town, they have experienced all that Rosendale has to offer: shops, food, beverages, a community theater…”
The 1850 House also works hand-in-hand with other local businesses and attractions. “Their advertising generates stays at the inn and visits to the pub and deck,” Mike says, “and we promote them with our ‘stay and play’ and ‘picnic in the park’ packages.”
Other popular packages include special touches like house-made truffles, fine champagne, and a massage and flotation tank combo session. Mike’s crew also fulfills special requests, from accommodating dietary restrictions to pointing guests toward Hudson Valley hotspots.
It is clear that Mike’s dream of being an innkeeper is coming true, and he is loving every minute of it.
THE 1850 HOUSE INN & TAVERN
435 Main Street, Rosendale