BP&G’s has been a staple of New Paltz since 1900. Originally a casino, it eventually transformed into an inn, then a real estate office, a drug store and a clothing store, until someone finally saw potential for it to be a restaurant. Though still a restaurant, P&G’s has transformed again through their first big renovation in over 10 years.
Mike Beck has owned P&G’s since 1985 when he bought it from his father. Now, Beck works at the restaurant with his son, Mike Beck Jr. and his daughter and general manager, Kristen.
Beck’s first big renovation of the restaurant was in 1983. Then in 1994, Beck renovated P&G’s to make the restaurant’s exterior look more like it did in1900. The last major renovation, due to a kitchen fire, occurred in 2008.
The opportunity for the newest renovations arose when the barber shop next door, Ricci’s Barber Shop, moved locations, creating potential space that the restaurant could expand into.
“We needed to expand the kitchen because of demand on the restaurant,” Beck said. “So we thought that we would take half of that space and give it to the kitchen and half of that space to the bar.”
Before the expansion, P&G’s had only two ovens running the entire restaurant, making it really tough on a Saturday night with the dining room full. Now, the kitchen line is longer, the kitchen has large convection ovens and there is more room for kitchen storage. With the updated equipment and extra space, P&G’s staff hopes they can improve their ability to provide catering services, according to Beck Jr.
The biggest impact the renovation will have on nightlife is the expansion of the bar. Prior to the renovation, the restaurant’s bar could only allow three bartenders a night. Now, the bar can fit five bartenders behind the counter.
Along with the kitchen and bar expansion came a whole new sound system, including subwoofers, which the restaurant has never had before. The TV systems were updated and more security cameras were added inside and outside the building. Both bathrooms were updated and the women’s bathroom was made larger.
“I think it’s really great that they’re renovating the bathrooms,: said Rebecca Kavaler, a second-year digital media production and sociology major. “On a weekend night, there is a line out the door and even when you get inside it’s still crowded,”
There were 30 to 50 people working around the clock for 20 days in order to complete the renovations. The P&G’s family has always been loyal to one another, with some kitchen staff working there for over 20 years, and that didn’t change when it came to people helping with renovations. According to Beck Jr., almost solely local local businesses and friends completed the renovations.
“It was kind of fun. It was stressful, obviously, trying to get it open, but it was cool that everyone had that sense of ‘Let’s get this place back open as fast as we can,’” Beck Jr. said.
Though so much has been completed in such little time, there are still some loose ends to tie up. Beck is hoping to turn some of the four-seater booths into six-seaters and to add a few more tables. Even so, Beck’s not sure if they will ever really be done renovating.
“A lot of the things that happened weren’t part of our original plan. They were things that we found out we were able to do once we started tearing things up,” Beck said, “This has opened our eyes to other possibilities that are just going to be ongoing, we hope, ongoing over time.”