Photos by Dave Zucker
Croton Corners is your one-stop mercantile, snack shop, soda jerk, retro video game paradise, and all-around fun spot in Westchester.
This season, Croton-on-Hudson celebrates the grand opening of a shop downtown that may be new but feels like it might as well be straight out of 1985. That or 1955. (Someone call Marty and Doc Brown.)
Croton Corners bills itself as a general store, soda shop, and arcade, but the execution of each is unique and locally tinged. Opened by siblings Graydon, Hans, and Tessa Tokke — childhood transplants from British Columbia — the shop bears more of a resemblance to a kid’s paradise.
In addition to favorite snacks (some healthy, some delightfully saccharine), Croton Corners offers the standard Neapolitan ice cream flavors, plus snow cones, floats, sodas, and egg creams in a dizzying array of flavors, all of which can be combined to your liking and come in sugar-free varieties.
While the classic soda fountain dispenses plenty of delicious bubbles, the throwback vibes are heightened by the use of U-Bet chocolate syrup for the Corners’ egg creams — what egg-ficionados will confirm as the only acceptable way to make a true egg cream. If you’re not feeling like a float or a soda, though, there’s always a simple and tasty snow cone. Croton residents especially will get a kick out of “The Dummy Light,” a green, yellow, and red homage to the town’s beloved dummy traffic light, one of only about three left in New York.
Nearby, an arcade room sports a veritable professional gamer’s library. Four sitting areas offer eight vintage consoles all the way from Atari to Xbox 360 and everything in between, while custom arcade cabinets pack in an incredible 3,000 old-school video game classics. Don’t worry about running out of quarters, though; The arcade room is billed by time, paid in advance and starting at as little as $3 for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, parents (when not whooping their kids’ butts at Donkey Kong), will get a kick out of browsing the general store’s curated selection of locally sourced gifts and treats. On our most recent visit, we spotted Hudson Valley-produced handmade soaps, candles, infused honeys and other snacks, beauty and bath essentials, pet products, and, of course, plenty of Croton-themed memorabilia.
Despite opening recently, the prime location (and walls of sugary sweets) have already made Croton Corners a popular hangout for local students. “We’re hoping to attract people from all over the county and make it a ‘place to be,’” say the Tokkes. So far, they’ve hosted plenty of in-store events including live music, giveaways, a video game tournament, and a film screening of — what else? — Back to the Future. That’s heavy.
124 Grand St, Croton-on-Hudson