The rising popularity of farm-to-table eateries and craft beverages was most certainly not lost on Madyson Vance and her father Tom when they combined both to create their comfort-food & drink emporium – The Tasting Lab. This is the second joint venture in Greene County for the father/daughter team who opened Hop Barn Brewing in 2017, just up the road at the family’s Maple Street farm.
The idea for The Tasting Lab was to create a destination that showcases (or taste-cases) crowd-pleasing comfort foods made from local ingredients and enable patrons to pair these delights with the wide variety of craft-beverages produced in Greene and surrounding counties.
The corner of NYS Routes 32 and 81 designates the center of the town of Greenville, NY. When a legacy-storefront became available near these crossroads, the Vances saw it as the ideal location. As far back as the early 20th century, residents and travelers had stopped in at the former Steven’s Store which not only featured necessities, but also a lunch counter, soda-fountain, and even a gas pump out front. By the 1980s the store had closed and the space rented to other businesses including an upholsterer, and ultimately an antique-dealer.
The renovation of the space (done mostly by Tom) included keeping some of the unique physical attributes and features of a mid-century country store. Built-in stock shelves line the walls of the dining area under the sculpted metal ceiling, and the stainless-steel bar conjures up memories of the busy lunch counter that surely preceded it in earlier days.
Behind the bar, you’ll find no less than 20 taps to dispense pint after pint of the rich effervescence of the malts and hops created by Greene County crafters including The Hop Barn, Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company, and Honey Hollow Brewery to name a few.
Revitalization of legacy spaces continues to be a key new-business driver across Greene County, and is supported by business assistance programs administered by the Greene County Economic Development Corporation. The Tasting Lab is a recipient of a Quantum Fund low-interest loan for job-creating businesses, which assisted with the renovation and opening of their space.
The menu is comprised of dishes of delicious simplicity produced entirely from local ingredients. Start with jalepeno poppers or a couple of scotch eggs before moving on to your choice of sandwich. Locally made milk buns and hard rolls surround veggie burgers, boneless fried chicken thighs, or 6 oz. patties hand-made from beef, elk, venison, buffalo, and even wagyu beef! (Don’t forget a side of poutine). For brunch, delightfully filling combinations eggs, cheeses, and veggie & meat patties are served with focaccia and crossant.
The Tasting Lab is now part of a growing number of new businesses finding success on revitalized Main Streets across our Catskill Mountain, Rural Valley, and Historic Hudson River Towns.
To find more stories on great Greene County businesses, follow our blog on BuyInGreene.com.