12 Jun Exit 19, Kingston, New York
This sign was once a beacon in the night, alerting drivers on the New York State Thruway that at Exit 19 they could get a great meal before they traveled on deeper into the Catskill Mountains.
From the Kingston Daily Freeman:
“The original Skytop was built in 1959 and officials have described the property as one of Ulster County’s best-known landmarks with impressive views of the lights of Kingston. In a 1981 newspaper article, the view was described as an ‘unbeatable panorama from a hilltop site overlooking the Hudson River Valley.’ Of the culinary offerings, the article stated: ‘Its beef and seafood broiled over a flaming charcoal pit are hard to beat.’”
The Lo Bianco family ran the restaurant from 2005-2012, investing close to a million dollars to get it up and running, as it had been sitting empty and abandoned since 1993. They had their share of ideas about how to make it work, having run it as a microbrewery for years. But under the management of Tim Alles, they focused more on good food and service. They also refurbished the “Steakhouse” sign and we all loved seeing it blazing through the darkness at night.
Sadly now the Skytop Steakhouse is closed and the owners of the motel on the property don’t illuminate the sign anymore. Another one bites the dust. But with this painting, I have brought it back forever.