After many years spent aside on reverse sides of the nation, two sisters have reconnected with their Hudson Valley roots to run an inn and restaurant in Germantown.
Leslie Carr-Avalos and her sister Julia Carr grew up collectively in Crimson Hook however their paths diverged as adults: Julia headed to town whereas Leslie jetted to San Francisco. There, Leslie grew to become a line prepare dinner at American-style restaurant Common Cafe earlier than buying the enterprise simply two years later. She ran the cafe for almost twenty years, closing in 2021.
“The closure was a results of the pandemic, however I feel that point gave a few of us readability about what we actually need in life, and methods to transfer ahead in attending to that subsequent section,” Leslie says. For her, that included being nearer to her sister and household again house. However she hadn’t given up on the thought of operating a restaurant.
The 2 sisters noticed a chance to buy one of the vital well-known and historic buildings in Germantown: the Central Home. In earlier lives, the constructing served as a brothel, speakeasy, stage coach home, and a number of eating places. In its final iteration, it was arrange as an inn with restaurant area.
“The constructing is from 1876 and the proprietor we purchased it from was operating it as a B&B,” Leslie explains. “We visited sooner or later and fell in love with area, considering it is likely to be one thing we may tackle and reinvent collectively.” They purchased it in October 2022 and began renovating straight away.
The pair stored the identify Central Home, however upgraded the lodge’s six bedrooms, frequent areas, cozy lounge spots, bar, and eating room with decor they describe as “eclectic, whimsical, and fashionable.” Designer Eduardo Rodriguez matched daring statements like a black-and-white buffalo-plaid ceiling within the breakfast room with toned-down components like white nation cabinetry and rattan furnishings. Delicate whimsy continues by the bar the place you’ll discover a big gold-framed portrait hanging upside-down close to traditional-style lamps illuminating organically formed pottery.
The area allowed for a renewed model of Leslie’s former restaurant idea, now dubbed Common Cafe & Bar. “It’s a ravishing, recent, enjoyable new area,” says Julia. “Plus, Central Home wasn’t open to the general public earlier than, so now the restaurant supplies a spot each for guests and locals to assemble.”
Open since March, the eatery focuses on small plates that add a tremendous eating twist to New American bites. “The menu adjustments actually because we need to keep seasonal and as domestically sourced as doable,” Leslie says. Elements are primarily sourced from close by farms and purveyors, together with Kinderhook Farm, Northwind Farms, Montgomery Place, and the sisters’ personal gardens.
The menu is split by three sections: snacks, sharing, and desserts. Widespread choices embody a spicy fried hen sandwich with buttermilk dressing and a recent cabbage slaw ($18), hen liver parfait with grilled bread and cherry-shallot jam ($15), and a smashed cucumber salad with radishes, sumac, mint, and feta-labneh ($16).
Desserts are made in-house and can change seasonally, as nicely; presently you will discover objects like a strawberry-black raspberry cobbler ($15) or chocolate pot de creme ($12).
The bar options 10 beers on faucet together with native favorites like Mill Home Brewing, Vosburgh Brewing, and Sloop Brewing Co. Or, go for a seasonal cocktail; bar supervisor Tom Turck, previously of shuttered Mexican hotspot Fashionable Taco, elevates spirits with housemade syrups and fruit purees. This season, you’ll discover creative choices like Grilled Pineapple Mezcal Bitter with habanero syrup, lime, and chili oil; or Flor de Soul with chamomile-infused vodka, sherry, Meyer lemon, honey, and egg white (all cocktails $16).
The almost 150-year-old constructing additionally boasts an elegant-yet-contemporary occasion area that may accommodate about 100 visitors. White marble tables paired with black Shaker-style seating stand out in opposition to mild grey board-and-batten partitions adorned with modern artwork.
“We’re a part of a very vibrant neighborhood, so we like being inventive and stylish, however in a method that’s heat and welcoming,” Leslie says.
“It’s thrilling to personal a ravishing property and have the ability to host folks from throughout,” Julie provides. “And we each stay close by—we’re lastly collectively after so a few years aside, welcoming folks to assemble in an area that’s turn into like a second house for us. It’s actually a dream.”
Central Home reservations may be made on-line, and Common Cafe & Bar is open Thursday by means of Sunday from 4-10 pm, serving meals from 5-9 pm. Discover them at 220 Important St., Germantown.