A popular award-winning restaurant is planning a major expansion in the Hudson Valley.

The owner of Liberty Street Bistro signed a lease to expand the restaurant on Liberty Street in Newburgh into the space that formerly housed Caffe Macchiato, the owner confirmed to Hudson Valley Post.

"When it became clear that no new owner was coming and no suitable new tenant would fill that void quickly, I reached out to the property owners and suggested LSB could get a little bigger and take on the mantle of anchoring this corner storefront," Liberty Street Bistro owner Michael Kelly told Hudson Valley Post in an email. "The owners of 97-99 Liberty Street have been incredibly supportive of me since day one. When a 27-year-old with a crazy look in his eye said he wanted to put in a 5-star kitchen and serve avante garde French cuisine in their building, they barely blinked."

Caffe Macchiato's owner declined to extend the lease and said on Facebook the business "simply become too much for me to handle alone anymore," when posting about the cafe's closing.

"The news of Caffe Macchiato closing on Liberty Street was upsetting for the Newburgh community. Caffe Macchiato was one of the original businesses to take a chance here, on the corner of a street that was once known for drug use, drug dealing, and violence. For that reason alone, Caffe Macchiato deserves to be remembered as a linchpin business that helped anchor an ongoing revival of the city," Kelly said.

Kelly grew up in Cornwall and later attended the Culinary Institute of America in Dutchess County. After graduating from the CIA, Kelly worked at some prestigious kitchens in New York City, including Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery and Gordon Ramsay's Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel, according to the restaurant's website.

Kelly opened up Liberty Street Bistro in 2016 bringing French-influenced cuisine to Newburgh, just past Washington's Headquarters.

"Liberty Street Bistro (LSB) was born out of a personal need for me to bring my passion for dining and restaurant culture to the Hudson Valley (specifically to Newburgh)," Kelly said in an email. "Opening a business in Newburgh is not a decision taken lightly, especially a fine dining restaurant where to the best of my knowledge, there has never been one. The City of Newburgh has a history, some good and some bad, but it is definitely complex. My desire to open LSB here in Newburgh stems from a desire to affect change in general.

In 2017, Hudson Valley Magazine named Liberty Street Bistro the "Best New Restaurant."

The restaurant currently has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp and 4.9 out of 5 rating on Facebook. 

As of now, Kelly wants to keep the renovation plans a secret but hopes to have the renovation done by mid-March.