Lake View House in the town of Newburgh has the distinction of obtaining the first liquor license in Orange County


Anthony P. Musso

Built in the mid-19th century, Lake View House in the town of Newburgh is a lasting remnant of a once thriving resort community that existed around Orange Lake. Perched on a cliff overlooking the lake, the property still has a classic bar and gourmet restaurant, while the accommodation that was once available on its second floor has disappeared.

The company has the distinction of having obtained the first liquor license in Orange County, in 1899. The original certificate is still displayed above the bar.

Lake View House opened in the mid-19th century, next to the south shore of Orange Lake in Newburgh.  It still functions today as a bar and a gourmet restaurant.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Orange Lake was a popular seaside resort that housed cabins, yacht clubs, a dance hall, an ice rink, and a theater. The Jack Rabbit tour boat took guests for a ride on the lake, where swimming, fishing, and canoe rentals enhanced the activities available.

In 1899, Lake View House was the first company in Orange County to be issued a liquor license.  It's still on display in the bar.

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On the lake’s north shore, an amusement park featuring a Ferris wheel, arcade, carousel, shooting range, and picnic grove entertained guests during the day, while the Pine Point Casino provided top-notch entertainment at night.

“Frank Sinatra was one of the many prominent artists who performed at the casino,” said restaurant co-owner and chef James Carter, who, along with his wife Tori, bought Lake View House in 1992. “People” came to tell me that their grandfather was bringing them here or that they had their first drink there 75 years ago.

The restaurant, bar, and at the time the guest rooms, welcomed weekend and weekday guests from as far away as New York City to enjoy a meal, drinks and an enviable view of Orange. Lake. The building has slate gray cladding, a wraparound porch and an exterior balcony on the second floor, and its interior dining room still features its original pewter ceiling.

“The business was originally called Lake View House and then it became O’Malley’s for many years,” said Tori Carter. “When we bought it in 1992, we gave it its original name.

“The last owners of this place closed it down before Jim and I bought it,” she said. “Jim attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and worked at a very upscale restaurant with an extensive wine list in New York City.”

Since purchasing the building 26 years ago, the couple have overseen a number of renovations and improvements, including outdoor dining on a patio and oversized windows installed in a second dining room, which was formerly a screened-in back porch overlooking the lake.

The walls of the vintage bar include framed displays of many early 20th-century postcards from the resort area, streetcar schedules that in summer ran from 5:50 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. and cost 10 cents each way , and even an old company menu; tenderloin steaks cost 25 cents while a glass of wine cost 20 cents a glass and a dry martini sells for 25 cents.

When the ban, nationwide legislation banning the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages was implemented in 1920, O’Malley’s Bar (now Lake View House) – like many other drinking establishments in the area – has become a sweatshop. With enthusiastic vendors such as mobsters Dutch Schultz and Legs Diamond, the business flourished.

Later in the decade, when the stock market collapsed in 1929 and was followed by the Great Depression, many of the resort’s attractions could no longer support the loss of tourists, resulting in loss of income and unemployment. generalized. The summer cottage settlements have started to close and the number of visitors has declined.

After World War II, the tram service closed and the amusement park closed. The Pine Point Casino suffered a devastating fire and has never regained its original luster.

Through it all, Lake View House has survived and continues to thrive with its classic bar and restaurant.

“From our location, we always have the most beautiful sunset,” said Tori Carter.

The Lake View House is located at 343 Lakeside Road, Newburgh.

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