The Pine Hill Arms hotel and restaurant has new owners and will soon be serving dinner again.
Shuttered since March, when longtime proprietors Bob and Valerie Konefal retired after 44 years, the historic 19th-century inn is now in the hands of chef Daniel Hellmayer and his father, Josef Srp. The pair have been refurbishing the hotel rooms, which came online in May, and expect to launch the restaurant by the end of July.
“I’ve always loved upstate New York, and I’m just super-excited to be in this area,” Hellmayer tells Catskill Eats. “We saw the opportunity here.”
Hellmayer, who now lives at the Pine Hill Arms, worked in NYC and the greater metro area after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2004. Most recently, he served as executive chef at Talde in Jersey City, garnering nice notice from The New York Times in 2015.
At his new 120-seat venture, Hellmayer is aiming for “upscale pub food” in a cozy environment. The initial menu includes spaghetti and meatballs, racks of ribs, Southern-style fried chicken and a “really nice, backyard-barbecue-style burger.”
The menu will be small and change often, Hellmayer said. On the beverage side, he has installed a new draft system for beer, which will showcase lighter options such as pilsners and lagers. A full bar permit is pending, according to the New York State Liquor Authority.
Hellmayer had originally considered opening a restaurant at Phoenicia Plaza, further east on Route 28, but was drawn to the hamlet’s Main Street charm, he said. The space he was considering at the commercial strip is now under construction as the new home for Bite Me Bakery, which is relocating from Shokan and scheduled to open Aug. 1.