The Greenville, NY Drive-In has been recently renovated to portray a 1950s drive-in in the modern day Catskills. However, the establishment doesn’t just operate as a drive-in. It’s serving up New York State-made treats at the snack bar and local beer at their soon-to-be beer garden, offering a new market to small businesses in the area.
Leigh Van Swall and Dwight Grim, owners of the Greenville Drive-In, bought a weekend place in 2008 where they began experimenting at home, mixing wine and fortified wine with various botanicals such as herbs, spices seeds and flowers to make vermouth. Eventually the hobby led them to seek formal education about botanicals. They then took their dream to a commercial audience.
The couple opened up the drive-in with the intent for it to be a place to make their vermouth. However, one thing led to another and the couple turned their vermouth business into a drive-in with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. The drive-in shows mostly retro and some first-run movies on the weekends, hosts video game nights on Mondays, and has a calendar of events.
Future plans for the drive-in include themed events that pair movies with particular interests and foods, such as chocolate. The theater is also able to host private parties and events.
The couple has created a new kind of movie concession stand, where they are serving up ice cream sandwiches and a non-alcoholic lemon-lime soda made across town by Two Twisted Ladies. Almost everything in their concession stand is made in New York State.
From the out-of-the-box concession stand to the drive-in that has an 80-foot-wide screen and a lot that is able to hold 225 cars, the Greenville Drive-In has also constructed a beer garden made out of repurposed wooden pallets. The beer garden is set to open sometime in the fall when the establishment gets its liquor license.
Meanwhile, the couple is working on perfecting their homemade vermouth for eventual bottling and sales.
Visit the Greenville Drive-In website.
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Adapted from a story published August 3, 2015, at CatskillEats.com