We Are Upstate NY with Jeremy Bernstein of The Catskill Pines
We’re excited to share the following interview in our We Are Upstate NY series. Today we’re with Jeremy Bernstein, owner of The Catskill Pines restaurant, bar and lodge located in rural Mount Tremper, NY. The stylish, relaxed vibe of “The Pines” (as the locals know it) is the result of Jeremy’s keen eye for design and detail combined with his diverse skill set as a carpenter, foodie and musician (aka Burnell Pines). It’s a rustic place lovingly created for locals as a communal place to gather, eat and drink, and hear renowned local bands perform live music – including, of course, special appearances by Burnell Pines himself. Come to enjoy Chef Wyatt Jaster’s fabulous farm-to-table fare, the delicious array of locally-sourced beer and specialty cocktails by Rachel Koontz (you must try her summer-perfect Jalapeño Margarita!).
Located in the valley of Esopus Creek just up the road from the hamlet of Phoenicia, Jeremy purchased the venue, then known as Tiso’s, in 2016 and proceeded to execute his vision for the restaurant, bar and lodge, which revealed his love of architecture, local history and design. He retained the many vintage details that punctuate The Pines, including the reclaimed wood and hardware and the vintage rotary phone that now hangs near the kitchen entrance. You can still see the genuine telephone exchange imprinted upon it – PR5 for Prim Rose 5. That’s the three-letter/number combination used for dialing a local call back in the day. Another local restaurant Oriole 9, derived its name from the old Woodstock telephone exchange–OR9. If you’re planning to stay, modern touches mixed with retro details can be found throughout the renovated lodge. And be sure to check out the whimsical wallpaper drawn by local artist Will Lytle of Thorneater Comics leading to and inside the men’s and women’s rooms (Lytle also designed The Pines logo and signage).
It’s the perfect time to experience The Pines, a fine place to catch up, connect and party with friends and neighbors in this backcountry cool venue. Now let’s find out more about the man behind the magic of The Catskill Pines…
Inside+Out: Tell us about yourself: Where were you born; how did you wind up in the Hudson Valley?
Jeremy Bernstein: I was conceived and raised in Woodstock NY. I have spent the majority of my life in the Catskill Mountains.
Your place is truly a local favorite. What inspired you to start your restaurant, bar + lounge? What was your journey?
Before The Pines, I spent years playing and recording music. During that time I also had a woodworking business. I woke up one morning with the desire to use the skills that I learned along the way to create a beautiful community space. One day I ended up in Tiso’s parking lot when my friend’s car broke down. Chuck Tiso came around the corner and asked if I wanted to see the place. When I walked through the restaurant and the lodging my brain went wild with all the thoughts of what I could do in that space. I never imagined owning a restaurant, but with the idea of live music and a place to stay it all made sense. It was exciting. The intention was always that it would feel like you were visiting my home. Enjoying great drinks and food, maybe hear some live music, bump into friends, meet new friends, etc.
What is your most and least favorite part about running a hospitality business?
My favorite part is watching people really enjoy themselves. My least favorite part is owning a hospitality business.
What’s one question you’re constantly asked and what’s the biggest misconception about your business/restaurant?
I am constantly asked when I moved up from Brooklyn (I have never lived in NYC). With that, I would say, the biggest misconception is that I am a city transplant.
How do your customers find you and what type of marketing do you do?
Word of mouth and Instagram.
We LOVE the Instagram videos you create where you take a big bite, shimmy ‘n smile, and then take a sip of your beer or wine. Brilliant! Some of these posts get well over 1000 views. You pulled us in with your Smoked Trout Chowder shimmy, which by the way has over 3400 views – well done! Any chance you’d share that recipe with our readers?
Thanks! We would love to share the recipe.
Great, stand by, we’ll post that soon!
View this post on Instagram
What do you love most about living + working in the Hudson Valley?
The mountains, the streams, the fresh air and the people.
What impact does your business have on your town/community?
We strive to be a place for people to feel free and comfortable. I believe there is a strong community revolving around The Pines. I love watching regulars become friends. I have made some beautiful connections because of the restaurant.
What local businesses do you rely on to be successful?
All my purveyors!
Tell us something about yourself people might be surprised to learn?
Sometimes I am very shy.
Name three things you always have in your fridge/pantry.
Olive oil, avocados and coffee.
What is your favorite thing to cook when you’re home alone or with your family?
I love to cook big bone-in steaks on an outdoor wood-fired grill.
Photos: Harrison Lubin for Inside+Out Upstate NY | Some Photos: The Pines