There’s no doubt that Rhinebeck is one of the most popular destinations in Dutchess County. With its quaint local shops, great restaurants, and perfect location, both locals and out-of-towners flock to Rhinebeck. But if you’re new to Rhinebeck you may not remember this cool place that was a favorite hangout.

If you are on the northern outskirts of Rhinebeck on Route 9, you may have noticed a boarded up, burned building across from the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. It’s an empty eyesore right now, but at one time it was packed with people eating, drinking, and socializing.

A couple of decades ago that building was the Rolling Rock Cafe. It was the perfect place to go for a decent meal at a good price. They had some cool rock and roll relics, and it was always packed. I have great memories of meals eaten at the Rolling Rock in Rhinebeck.

Then the Rolling Rock opened a place in Wappingers Falls and eventually closed their doors in Rhinebeck. But another popular restaurant soon moved in. The Eveready Diner, a favorite diner of Hudson Valley folks. And all was good again. Until the fire.

I remember hearing about it on the radio. They were talking about smoke and flames and Route 9 traffic. It was June of 2014. I thought for sure it would get fixed up and Eveready or another restaurant would soon open. Nope. It’s been empty and boarded up since the fire. Over 7 years. What a shame.

I don’t know real estate, and I’m not a businesswoman, but it seems to me like a great spot. Right on Route 9 and right across from the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. I’m still holding out hope that someday the building will once again be filled with people and laughter.

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