Bob and Hilary Hayes, owners of Hudson Hil’s in Cold Spring, have been together over 20 years. Meeting in Montana, the pair relocated east with the idea of commuting to New York City from a home that offered easy access to the outdoors. With their family settled in Garrison however, Bob and Hilary decided to open a business right here the Hudson Valley, where they could really connect the community.
A classically trained chef, Bob initially wanted to offer prepared foods to go, but when they snagged their restaurant’s Main Street space in 2010, the couple quickly realized it was a perfect breakfast spot. “We asked locals what they wanted and this is what the people were looking for,” says Bob.
If the local crowds lining out the door every weekend are any indication, they were right. One popular menu item is the shirred eggs over wilted tri-colored Swiss chard. “We tried it at home one night and it was incredibly hearty and healthy, with a nice complexity of balanced flavors,” says Hilary. “So we brought it into the café to see how it was received.” Other dishes are collaborations between Bob and the kitchen staff, and when customers favor any one dish, it has to go on the menu.
The couple agrees that the best part of owning a business here are the people. “When I was commuting to the city I felt disconnected,” notes Hilary. “It’s so nice to be here and be an integral part of what’s going on in the Valley.” As their daughter helped them package pies Hilary added, “It’s been amazing for our family life.”