I am not really sure when it happened but dining out has taken on a new challenge. Last weekend I had to go to 4 different restaurants before I could find one still serving new customers at 6:45 PM on a Sunday Night.

Now before you ask if I had reservations I will openly admit no I did not but I also wasn't trying to get into a place where I typically would have reserved a table. I am learning now though you need to make a plan no matter where you are heading out to eat.

Places to Eat Near New Paltz, New York

I have been dining out in New Paltz for decades. It is known for its number of restaurants so there is always a place you can get a bite to eat. Lately, though I am thinking that the dining out whenever you feel like it attitude may have to make an adjustment or two.

SEE Also: Places that Serve Food at the Bar in the Hudson Valley

So here is what happened. Last Sunday at around 6:30 PM a friend unexpectedly came to town. They had an hour or so to catch up so we thought let's grab a bite to eat. Turns out the first 3 places we walked into were no longer taking new customers.

McGillicuddy's New Paltz via Facebook Sangria
McGillicuddy's New Paltz via Facebook Sangria

The first restaurant seemed packed and the place was small. The second place apparently had just closed and the third was willing to squeeze us in at the bar because they felt bad they were going to be the third place to turn us away.

SEE Also: Places Serving Fun Fall Cocktails in the Hudson Valley

We thanked them and then headed to one more location, McGillicuddy's which had a waiting list but we were seated in a reasonable amount of time. So who would have ever thought in the restaurant capital of the Hudson Valley, New Paltz that you would have to search so hard for a place to eat a 6:40 PM on the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend?

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Possible Reasons Why Hudson Valley Restaurants Close Early

I can only speculate on why so many places had stopped serving so early.

1 - Many restaurants are short-staffed these days and I am sure some folks were pulling double all weekend.

2 - The weekend had been so busy that they ran out of enough food for certain menu items and were left with nothing to serve anyone.

3 - Dining habits have changed since COVID and more people eat earlier meaning restaurants just don't stay open late.

No matter what the reasons were I just caution you to be prepared to be turned away at the door if you haven't planned ahead.

McGillicuddys via Google
McGillicuddys via Google

I want to close by saying thank you to McGillicudy's for finding us a table and being ready to serve the Hudson Valley and our Fall visitors until we are all fed.

Bar Seats for Dinner Aren't Bad at these Hudson Valley Restaurants

Hudson Valley Restaurants Where You'll Want to Eat at the Bar

Chances are your favorite Hudson Valley Restaurant in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and beyond has an awesome bar. Next time you are at your favorite lunch or dinner spot consider a seat at the bar for your meal. I tried it once because the dining room was booked and now the restaurant bar for food and drinks is sometimes my preferred choice. Here a some of the ones I have discovered that you can enjoy.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

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