Breaking: The Cabin Is Open Again!

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The Cabin, the lamented and loved old restaurant in Greenburgh, has re-opened in a spiffy new space that’s light, bright and welcoming. My colleague Karen Croke just got back from lunch and said her “Tuscan Chicken,” with sundried tomatoes and mozzarella on toasted ciabatta, was great.

She didn’t take any photos, but the restaurant’s web site here has a photo gallery where you can see the river stone, new floors, open airy feel.

There’s a link to the menu here.

The restaurant is owned by Steve Cross, the owner of Striped Bass and Greenwich Lobster House. I’ll update you after I speak with him.

Here’s a look at the story Rebecca Baker Erwin wrote when the original closed in fall, 2006:

‘Family’ saying goodbye

GREENBURGH

Michael Bassett began helping his parents run The Cabin restaurant when he was just 14.

Tim Minogue started working in the kitchen when he was 16.

Jody Bassett was hired as a waitress at 19 and married the boss’ son.

Those teenagers — now in their 50s — have kept The Cabin going for more than 30 years, sharing food, drinks and laughs with countless neighbors and friends.

All that will end late tonight, when The Cabin will close for good. Jody and Michael Bassett are selling the restaurant that Michael’s grandfather, Oldrich Havranek, bought in 1948.

Jody and Michael’s three sons are pursuing different careers and did not want to take over the family business, although two of them work part time at the restaurant.

“After 35 years, I need to retire, and he needs to retire,” Jody Bassett said. “We want to enjoy our retirement years.”

Minogue, who lives in Cortlandt, said he hasn’t thought about what he will do once the restaurant closes. The 50-year-old cook and bartender has only taken three sick days in 34 years and smiled when asked why he never left.

“The beautiful women kept me here all these years!” he said, gesturing to Jody and the other waitresses, who burst into laughter.

The joking, easy-going manner of the staff has kept diners coming back to the long, brown building whose eclectic decor includes a hanging bucket and airplane propeller. Chase Caro, an attorney who has a law office on Knollwood Road, hugged one of the waitresses as he paid for his favorite Cabin lunch — cajun catfish.

“It’s good food, good company,” he said. “A great group of folks work here. This is sad.”

His wife, Carla Caro, said she and her husband would bring young attorneys who just passed the bar exam to The Cabin, as well as co-workers celebrating birthdays.

“It’s like family,” she said. “The best eggplant parmesan anywhere.”

Jody Bassett compared The Cabin to the bar on the TV show “Cheers,” where regulars sit at the same bar stools and where the staff is close. She said she still sees herself as a waitress, not a boss, and didn’t blink when another waitress told her to hurry up and serve dessert.

“Everyone is equal here,” she said. “We’re all workers. Most of us were friends before we started working here. It’s all family.”

She showed pictures from the staff’s Halloween parties that raised money for Rosary Hill, a home in Hawthorne for people terminally ill with cancer. She choked up when she described the Kiwanis Christmas parties for the elderly, many of whom greeted Santa from their wheelchairs.

“They’d give everybody a tin of butter cookies,” she said, wiping her eyes. “Oh, that’s a tear-jerker.”

The restaurant is still a popular place for parties, reunions and meetings of clubs such as the Red Hat Society, a social group for women over 50, whose Bronx chapter, “Touch of Class,” had lunch there earlier this week.

“There isn’t a negative thing to be had in this place,” said Maryanne Stargiotti, a Red Hat member from Greenburgh. “They used to have New Year’s Eve parties here. It was nice.”

The Cabin also has been where the Mayfair-Knollwood Civic Association has had its annual “Cabin Fever” neighborhood parties. Charles Vamossy said he started Cabin Fever in the early 1990s to help heal the neighborhood, which had been roiled in controversy after protesting Westchester County’s decision to open a large homeless shelter there.

“The first [party]had 30 to 40 neighbors. The second one had 125,” he said. “It’s within walking distance for a lot of us.”

Vamossy, who said he took dates to The Cabin in the 1950s, said he and his neighbors are anxious to see what happens to what he described as “an institution.”

“Let’s hope whoever buys it will keep it,” he said. “I hope it’s not going to turn into a McDonald’s.”

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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.

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