Metro-North Railroad has selected a successful local businesswoman to open a new, expanded and improved café at the historic Poughkeepsie Train station.
Susan Wysocki, owner of “Babycakes Café,” in Poughkeepsie, will open a branch in the station’s majestic waiting room using the existing counter space along the south wall.
“Metro-North is pleased to have attracted a high quality tenant who will enliven the station area, extend hours of operations, improve commuter amenities and increase rental revenue,” said Railroad President Howard Permut. “The station is busier than ever and is used as much on weekends as it is during the week. Our customers deserve a delightful dining experience.”
Over the past decade, Metro-North has completely restored the landmarked station, including a new terracotta tile roof and ornamental cornices, extensive repair of the original brick façade and new, monumental mahogany windows and doors. The interior upgrades were carefully planned to support retail activity, such as restoration of the historic benches and wall paneling and new expanded public restrooms.
Babycakes Café, which responded to a recent request for proposals, will provide a café/restaurant business with high quality food offerings and will upgrade the existing concession area into a well-designed and attractive café with seating and a full menu of beverages and baked goods as well as hot and cold food selections.
The business also will include a “grab-and-go” kiosk in the station overpass offering coffee, baked goods and snacks at peak commuting hours, when 900 customers board southbound trains. Another 900 people use the station during midday and at night. On Saturdays, 1,850 people board southbound trains and on Sunday another 1,500 people board trains. This does not count all the people who are coming up to Poughkeepsie to visit Dutchess County’s many attractions, especially the Walkway Over the Hudson, which is just steps from the train station.
Metro-North and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have negotiated a 10-year lease that will increase the current rent for the space by 4 ½ times to $2,500 a month ($30,000 a year), with periodic increases thereafter.