The Greenwood Lake Public Library, located at 79 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake NY, will welcome author Elaine Lindenblatt on Thurs., Oct. 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. She will tell the story of the Red Apple Rest Stop.
Lindenblatt, the daughter of proprietor and creator Reuben Freed, chronicles its history in her book, “Stop at the Red Apple: The Restaurant on Route 17.” The book reflects on her father’s life and on the roadside landmark he ran for half a century and what she calls her “strange fraternal twin.”
Freed, a Russian immigrant, worked in the garment industry as a coat-maker in the 1920s until the Great Depression hit in 1929. It was then that Freed lost his business, but a drive upstate with his cousin would be the beginning of a new venture.
In 1931, the cafeteria-style restaurant, on Rte. 17 in Tuxedo, was opened and stayed open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. It provided a stopping point for travelers, legendary entertainers, “Borscht Belt” comedians, and professional athletes headed to the hotels of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.
Once the New York State Thruway was built in 1953, traffic would bypass the restaurant. The restaurant, however, would still remain very busy until the 1970s. After 53 years under the Freed family management, the Red Apple Rest Stop was sold in 1984 to a Greek businessman who ran it for another 21 years, until its closing in 2006.
To register for this program, call the Library at 477-8377, ext. 101 or stop by in person.