Barroom and boarding house Wm. Farmer & Sons in downtown Hudson is housed in a historic 1830s building. Purchased in 2013 by husband-and-wife duo W. Kirby Farmer and Kristan Keck, the property has since undergone a gut renovation,transforming the location into a relaxed, rustic-chic space.
With eleven guest rooms, all bearing the names of family members of the Farmer clan, Wm. Farmer & Sons is the ideal spot for a sojourn upstate.
W. Kirby, a chef and Culinary Institute grad, and Kristan, a former TV producer, collaborated to make the space into something truly unique. “It’s comfortable but not pretentious,” Kristan says. “You can come in a baseball cap or come in a tux.”
The property features: the Hudson Merchant House, a building with four unique guest rooms and a large common space suitable for private parties; the main building, which houses the bulk of the guest rooms; and two annex suites directly beside the main building, each of which feature full kitchens and apartment-style accommodations, perfect for longer stays.
At this barroom and boarding house, family comes first—it’s even in the name.
Guests are treated to free Wi-Fi and Tivoli radios in all rooms. Bed and bath options vary in extravagance from room to room, ensuring that visitors with any budget can spend a few nights with the Farmer family. Rooms in the main building start anywhere from $229 to $329 per night, while apartment-style lodging like the annex suites range from $249 to $279 per night.
Rooms in the Hudson Merchant House run the gamut from $279 to $399 per night. Guests can also inquire about booking the entire Merchant House for larger parties—with its airy, open common space featuring a private outdoor patio and garden, it’s a no-brainer. Weekends book up fast, Kristan says, so plan your end-of-the-week getaway far in advance.
”It’s comfortable but not pretentious,” Kristan says.
“You can come in a baseball cap or come in a tux.” –Kristan Keck, Co-owner
Wm. Farmer & Sons boasts a strong local clientele, something that’s very important to Kristan and W. Kirby. The team also attracts wedding guests from nearby venues in the area. Hudson has become something of a culinary destination, Kristan says. Antiquing put the sleepy upstate town on the map, but inspired eating has changed the town, attracting a “finer-tuned clientele,” she notes.
The boarding house doubles as a full-service restaurant, bar, and coffee shop. “We wanted to create a place where people could have almost too much fun,” Kristan says with a laugh. “You can completely relax into your meal, into your environment. It’s really all-inclusive.”
Inspired by his father’s Midwestern heritage, resident chef W. Kirby, who grew up in North Carolina, based the restaurant’s menu on the Farmer family’s multi-generational food traditions.
“This project has been, and continues to be, in great part about family,” W. Kirby says. “The food is no exception.” W. Kirby and Kristan have amassed an incredible lineup of professionals to run their bar and coffee shop, too. Wm. Farmer & Sons’ coffee program was put together largely by Irving Farm, a coffee roastery in Millerton that boasts a large retail presence in New York City. “[Irving Farm] is very serious about their craft and passionate about investing in their people,” Kristan says.
The Farmer clan also worked to develop their bar menu with Sasha Petraske, the late cocktail connoisseur who founded the luxury New York City speakeasy Milk & Honey. “Sasha was on with us from the first stages of design and build out through to the first drinks served,” Kristan says. “He created a custom cocktail program for [the bar], including all cocktail
“This project has been, and continues to be, in great part about family,” W. Kirby says. “The food is no exception.”
offerings and extensive staff training.” The bar also features a selection of local beers and wines. At this barroom and boarding house, family comes first—it’s even in the name. According to Kristan, the business’s title honors a tradition in the Farmer family.
All three of the living Farmer men have the same first name, William, but go by their middle names. It’s also “a dedication to Kirby’s father,” W. Joseph Farmer, Kristan says. “[Joseph] was an integral part in making this dream a reality,” she notes. “He was newly retired and jumped on board to be the main engineer on the project, which was a very big and compacted job.”
Spend a few nights at Wm. Farmer & Sons for inspired food and drink and a relaxing stay, all orchestrated with the family-first mindset of the Farmers. Kristan says it best: “I tell my staff all the time that we’re given the opportunity to create an incredible memory for someone each weekend. [That’s] what we try to do.”
wm. farmer & sons
20 South Front Street, Hudson