The Hereafter Is All About an Elevated Bar Experience in Hudson

This eclectic cocktail spot is making a splash in Hudson.

Minutiae matters when it comes to creating a vibrant venue for adventurous drinks, slow sipping, and deep conversation. Jeremy Dubroff and Isi Laborde don’t mind admitting that they overthought the tiniest of details before debuting The Hereafter, a cozy cocktail haven, on Columbia Street in Hudson, in February.

The couple, who had worked together for years at cocktail bar Blueprint in Park Slope, says it was a passion for authenticity that drove them to sweat the small stuff—from the hand-sewn paper menus to the house-made bitters and tinctures for their drinks. “It’s that thoughtfulness and being fussy about those details that make the difference, especially with our drinks,” says Laborde, an actress, who doubled as a bartender at Blueprint. “We want people to have a curated experience both visually and with their palates.”

Dubroff, who worked at Blueprint for 12 years (eight of them as a partner), adds that he and Laborde wanted to bring a fresh approach to Columbia County’s craft cocktail scene. The two had often come to the region to visit friends and moved from Brooklyn to Hudson last year. “It’s just a beautiful area, and we like the vibe of the town as well,” he says. “It has an artsy, progressive feel, and we thought that a cocktail bar would work in this area. We wanted a space for creatives and one for our own sense of joy and something that feels like a little piece of art,” he says.

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The space sets that tone. While The Hereafter is at the site of the former Golden Grain Pizzeria, the business partners recruited an all-star team of professionals, including famed architectural designer Christian Garnett to rethink the 1,000-square-foot space and give it an aged look. The pair further sought out unique accents to fit into the overall redesign, including wainscotting that had been ripped out of a Harlem church, lighting from Luddite Antiques in Germantown, and vintage bar stools from an antique dealer in the Netherlands.

“It was a jumble of stuff that we had collected, and it’s quirky, but it works,” says Dubroff. “We made it very approachable, and, I think, very beautiful and down to earth.”

As for drinks, The Hereafter pops with artistic flair, offering nuanced flavors and profiles with personality. Dubroff and Laborde are mindful of the tactile experience associated with every cocktail and believe each can convey a story, match a mood, or awaken a memory.

The Hereafter

The menu is divided into four categories: fun, classy, eccentric, and deep. “The way we use our categories is like a navigational tool,” notes Laborde. “While people order drinks from all the categories, it’s kind of like, ‘What is your mood today? ’ If you’re coming into a cocktail bar, it should be about exploration and trying something new.”

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Under the Fun category, the popular “Hell Cat,” tantalizes with a blend of mezcal infused with spicy ancho and pasilla peppers, strawberry amaro, guava, lemon, and agave, while the “Casablanca” (in the Classy category) harkens back to glamorous soirées with flavors such as London dry gin, Turkish fig-infused vermouth, walnut liqueur, and orange bitters. Feeling eccentric? Go for the “Tiger,” a bold blend of tequila blanco, roasted-pineapple brandy, and mango and kaffir leaf cordial, shaken and served with a cilantro-salt rim.

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Dubroff and Laborde believe cocktails can convey a story, match a mood, or awaken a memory.

Like everything else, Dubroff and Laborde thought long and hard about food to complement their cocktails. They brought in Argentine Chef Negro Piattoni (co-founder of The Modestos in the Catskills) as a consultant and tapped Michele Hunter, formerly of Hamlet & Ghost in Saratoga Springs, as their chef. The result is a menu featuring small bites such as marinated olives and warm bread to slightly larger options like steak tartare, trout marinated in escabeche, and pork shoulder steak. “For a place that is primarily a cocktail bar and not a restaurant, we’re putting out an elevated experience,” says Dubroff.

The Hereafter

The Hereafter, a name picked for the idea of “leaving the world behind and finding new versions of yourself,” is open Wednesday-Sunday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. (and until 1 a.m. on weekends). “The response has been amazing,” says Dubroff. “People are praising how approachable the bar is and how it feels like an old friend.”

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