During the Catskills’ heyday, when lively bungalow colonies beckoned New Yorkers north, those unbearable hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway were often alleviated by one comforting ritual: paying a visit to the Red Apple Rest. Opened in 1931, this Tuxedo rest stop brought in 135 buses on active weekends. Here, weary travelers could fill their bellies with slabs of Yankee pot roast, pastrami, or a simple feel-good hot dog. Beyond the satisfying Americana-inspired grub, this 24-hour roadside attraction was known for its top-notch restrooms, bringing in hordes of Greyhound riders in search of clean facilities — and an ice cream cone. When a stretch of the New York State Thruway arrived in 1955 and bypassed the restaurant, sales inevitably dipped; the Red Apple Rest remained in operation until 1984. Huzzah to Neal Borrelli of Middletown for being the first to correctly identify the name and location of this famous rest area. Click here to identify the location of a massive prehistoric skeleton.
My husband and I were on our way home to Monroe when we saw a lot of trucks and lights in the parking lot of the Red Apple Rest, so we decided to stop. Woody Allen was making a movie there, and we got to meet him and shake his hand. Also, my husband used to sneak down from his Boy Scout camp when he was a kid and get burgers at the Rest.
I drove a car carrier out of the Ford plant in Mahwah, NJ in 1978. I used to get a $25 advance check, then go north and stop at the Red Apple Rest, cash the check, eat, fill a coffee Thermos, and still have more than 20 bucks when I left.
My last visit to the Red Apple Rest was many years ago when I was about 10 years old (early 1970s). We stopped on our way home from a bus trip to NYC. We all participated, cousins, aunts, and uncles, in the Pulaski Day Parade; I helped carry the banner. Jimmy Sturr was also there with his orchestra (on a separate bus).
For many years, the bus that took me to sleepaway camp in Sullivan County would stop at the Red Apple Rest in the knick of time to use the bathrooms. It was always exciting to stop there. The last time I was there, the chopped liver on rye was a treat — and the bathroom was, once again, most appreciated.
Red Apple Rest was our halfway stop from Brooklyn on our way to New Paltz and our relatives’ apple orchard/boarding house. I was always carsick in our 1946 Plymouth and my father promised we’d stop at the Red Apple Rest if I could hold on a bit longer. It was the highlight of our trip!
I ate lunch at the Red Apple Rest quite a few times in the ’70s. Always a good meal!
I remember stopping at the Red Apple Rest as a child and having a hot dog and chocolate milk. Maybe someday it will be brought back to life again.
In the early 1960s, the basketball team from Tuxedo High School used to stop at the Red Apple Rest after every away game to feed the team. They served the best hot dogs in the world, with free sauerkraut!