The Red Hat is Moving to the Hudson Riverfront

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We’ll have one more choice for waterfront dining this summer. <a href=”http://www.redhatbistro.com/” target=”_blank”> The Red Hat in Irvington </a> is moving to a new location — and it’s right on the Hudson.

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Owner Jim Parker, who emailed me these photos, says he got an opportunity he couldn’t pass up — a building with river views became available just down the hill and over the train tarcks in the old factory by the river.

He’ll be offering outdoor dining 20 feet from the water’s edge — and every seat in the restaurant will have a water view, including the roof. Here’s the view from the roof:

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Jimmy told me he’s going to have 125 seats, but it will swell to 225 in the summer with the outdoor space.

The room is going to be grand. It has 22 foot ceilings — and a wall of windows that reaches all the way to the top, so even the mezzanine level has a view of the water.

Jimmy says “You feel like you’re on a ship.�
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He’s keeping his same chef — Jennifer Aristy — but he will likely bring someone else in to keep up with the pace.

And people are already asking him to book the space for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

“I’m like — let me break ground first!� he laughs.

One concern I’m sure you share with me is, How does he plan to translate the cozy vibe of the Red Hat? It’s a neighborhood bistro for Irvington residents, which is great for the weeknights, but upscale enough to attract people from all over on the weeends.

Jimmy’s words:
“I think it’s important that we stay who we are, and the obvious challenge is to keep it cozy, becasue that’s what everybody loves about this place.�

He didn’t say exactly how he was planning on doing it, but he did say it was a top priority.

We’ll wait to see when he’ll actually open. He thinks it’ll take a miracle to to open the doors by July 4th, but he’s saying Labor Day for sure.

And the name? He’s keeping the Red Hat —

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<br>— named for a painting he came across while decorating the original restaurant. But he might add a little something to it.

How does Red Hat on the River grab you?

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

9 Comments

  1. My friends and I are always looking for a good restaurant along the water (especially in the summer). It can be hard to find something where the view matches the food! We’ll look forward to trying it out. The ambiance of the Red Had is one of my favorite things about it. I hope the owner is successful in maintaining the cozy bistro feel.

  2. Jim is my brother, and I’m so happy for his continued success. May his future be bright and beautiful!!!

  3. My “foodie” daughter and I were out and about in the area yesterday taking in some of the local attractions (up from the city) and we ended up at the Red Hat (as per a quick google search). We had an amazingly delicious meal, from the thoughtfully made coctail (replete with a mint leaf studded strawberry embellishing the glass) to the refreshing (and perfect) iced mocha drink for dessert (not to mention a wonderful pate — an impressively sized appetizer with capers, coarse mustard, finely chopped onion and bread drizzled with olive oil; a beet and goat cheese salad; a lovely, simple but brightly flavored pasta; delicious scallops, mashed potatoes and greens; and a hazelnut gelato; –even the bread was especially good), and so we couldn’t be happier………we’ll, not exactly.
    We arrived quite early (we didn’t even know if we’d find a place open for dinner at that hour; it was 5:30) and we were immediately ushered through an ALMOST COMPLETELY EMPTY front room into a completely empty back room. The usherer (owner? I don’t know) even seemed a bit embarrassed and hastily added that there were lots of reservations; she hadn’t, thankfully done that thing — oozing scorn if one arrives without a reservation, searching the room, the seating plan, with wrinkled brow as if trying to conjure some possible tiny available space in which to squeeze the unexpected “guests;” it would have been just too silly if she had; the place was truly empty. Hidden from view in our private back room made us feel a little unwanted, or too fat, or too brunette or underdressed — and had we been in Manhatten in certain restaurants we probably would have been. But we were in Irvington! In Westchester! and the other table wasn’t all that thin or blonde either —and we were even wearing a skirt and a dress respectively; okay, so we had clogs on and footless tights, but it was Irvington, not Scarsdale. And…..the restaurant remained fairly empty until we were almost finished with the meal. A trip to the ladies room revealed that the front room kind of stayed empty while the back room was beginning to get cozy. Here’s what I’m supposing happned: Yes, we didn’t have reservations and others did; but I think they tried their hardest to get everyone who was willing into that back room– saving the front room for the more demanding. But comments were overheard: one man asked his wife if she was alright with the seating arrangements; an elderly pair of ladies complained that the room was too cold; another man hesitated until his wife (quite blue blood looking, at that) said, “This is fine……….” The room in the back was getting squeezed and still the room up front remained relatively free of diners. What’s the point? The tables in front were set for twos and fours, mostly; there wasn’t a large group coming in I don’t think. WHy make customers feel unwanted when there’s no need to — and when they are plunking down over a hundred bucks for two people? If the food wasn’t so good, I wouldn’t return. But I know fine food when I see it (and savor it) so I will be back. Maybe a slightly anxious policy or practice? Who knows. But why damper the experience? We all know that restaurant dining is not only for the food. It’s for the experience.
    I will gladly follw the Red Hat down to the river. If not for the back room deal, I’d be singing their praises from the rooftops—well maybe I still am, am I?
    Good food!
    I’m so glad I found your website; we have a house in Lake Carmel as well, and we’re always looking for good affordable foofd.
    Thanks!

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