Doria Paci and Jim Mamary never met Betty, the woman who ran an eponymous magazine stand and sold hotdogs and hamburgers to commuters at the old Newburgh Ferry terminal in the 1960s. But they discovered her business, Betty’s Snack Bar, while they researched names for their newly acquired restaurant (formerly Liberty Street Bistro) in Newburgh’s East End historic district.
“We were just looking at all the pictures of the city before everything was torn down due to urban renewal,” says Paci. “We found an old photo of Betty’s Snack Bar and learned that she was a young woman from Beacon when she opened her shop. She continued, even after the buildings were gone. In the end, she was making food for the people hanging around at the bus station.”
In that same spirit of hospitality, business partners Paci and Mamary had run their own successful bars and restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan before relocating to Orange County. While familiarizing himself with Newburgh, Mamary discovered the empty Liberty Street Bistro restaurant, which shuttered in November 2022. The pair signed the lease the following month and began brainstorming concepts, ultimately deciding that Betty’s would offer a little bit of everything.
The partners divided the 2,000-square-foot space: One side features a coffee bar and bakery, as well as a small market that carries products like eggs, butter, chips, and cheese. The pastries, prepared in-house by Ann Nickinson (formerly of High Falls Kitchenette and restaurants in Tribeca and the Upper West Side), range from fresh-baked lemon loaves and brownies to raspberry thumbprint cookies and cranberry-walnut scones. The other side is a tavern with a full dinner menu and a bar that serves Newburgh Brewing Company’s MegaBoss IPA, Hudson North Cider Co. Standard Cider, and craft beers by the can.
“Newburgh is so small, and everyone knows everyone, and everyone supports everyone,” says Paci.
Breakfast at Betty’s features burritos packed with scrambled eggs, potatoes, avocado, cheddar, salsa, and crema; an avocado bialy with tomato and watercress; and a blue-plate special consisting of eggs, home fries, a buttermilk biscuit, and a choice of bacon or turkey-apple sausage. Mamary and Paci rolled out a Sunday brunch menu last August featuring omelets, biscuit sandwiches, and house-baked granola. Cocktail lovers can jump-start their day with Rise & Shine, a cinnamon-spiked espresso martini, or traditional Mimosas and bloody Marys.
If you’re stopping in for lunch, the stars on the menu are mac ‘n’ cheese—made with a blend of Swiss, Parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella—and a barbecue meatloaf sandwich spiced with peach habanero sauce on brioche, as well as a soup of the day. Dinner offerings include chicken schnitzel and potato pancakes, a hot open roast turkey sandwich with sides of cornbread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry relish; and buttermilk-fried chicken served with mac ‘n’ cheese and collard greens. At the bar (happy hour is 5–7 p.m. daily), try the Blue Hawaii, a blend of Coconut Cartel rum, blue curaçao, pineapple, and house-made sour; or pucker up to a Rusty Nail made with rock scotch, Drambuie, and orange bitters.
Paci and Mamary are pleased with the reception they’ve gotten from the locals so far and say it’s a refreshing change from the city. “Newburgh is so small, and everyone knows everyone, and everyone supports everyone,” says Paci. “Coming from the city, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t know anybody, except my staff. Here, I literally feel like I’m running a country store so that’s been the most enjoyable part for me.”