A craft-beer bar that puts just as much emphasis on wine and food as it does beer is what patrons will find at the recently opened Croton Tapsmith in Croton-on-Hudson. The couple behind the venture, Toni On! New York host and producer Toni Senecal and husband Tracy Shea, are bringing local beer and food to Northern Westchester. “We wanted to show people here and in this immediate vicinity what their town is all about,” says Shea. Senecal notes that craft beer, with New York State behind it, has seen tremendous growth during the ten years that she’s been featuring food and drink on her show. “I’ve seen a demand for people wanting to go behind the lines at breweries and really learn about beer,” she says. (She started the Hudson Valley Beer & Belly Tour to meet that demand.)
At the taproom, Shea says, “Education doesn’t have to be about how beer is made. I like when someone tells me about one beer they like, and I get to suggest some other possibilities.” The emphasis at Croton Tapsmith is on Hudson Valley beers and the selection rotates seasonally. There’s also local cider and a wine selection reflecting both Shea’s California background and Senecal’s Italian heritage. “This place has also become a wine bar,” Shea says.
The food goes “hand-in-hand with the beers and wine,” says Senecal. There are rotating and seasonal choices, from local favorites Baked by Susan, A&S Fine Foods, Arthur Ave Wood Fired Pizza, and a Westchester exclusive with Arancini Bros. Senecal plans on offering a number of pop-up dinners with area chefs such as Dave DiBari of recently opened Eugene’s Diner & Bar, plus The Cookery, The Parlor, and The Rare Bit, and Polpettina’s Mike Abruzese. “We’re bringing in people who are local and who we love, and highlighting them here,” Senecal says.
As much attention was paid to Croton Tapsmith’s interior as was given to the beverages and the food. With a nod to the space’s history as a locksmith shop, the pulls on the beer taps are fashioned from stainless steel doorknobs. They, and the metalwork behind them, are fashioned by noted artist Cal Lane. There’s also striking art in the bar, which like the beverages and food will rotate, and church-pew seating and newels behind the bar sourced from a former synagogue in Peekskill. Shea and Senecal, who lived in Brooklyn prior to moving north, wanted to bring some of that vibe to the area. “The experience is upscale but the atmosphere is rustic,” says Shea.
129 Grand St
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