The driving season in the Catskills is quite short, abbreviated by snow and salt in the long winters and a spring rainy season that can sometimes feel endless.
But now that it’s the heart of summer, and people can mingle again, Jared Lamanna wants to provide a place for them to gather — and bring their cars.
His coffee-shop-slash-garage-slash-vintage-dealership, Churchill Classics Coffee, is intended to be that, with colorful indoor and outdoor seating, a food truck in the side yard and a half-dozen cars for sale in the showroom. Down the line, Mr. Lamanna plans a weekend rental business for vintage trucks, outfitted for overlanding — rugged backcountry camping — and featuring downloadable guides to take advantage of the area’s bounteous trails and growing restaurant and performance scene….
In the soaring, skylit bar of the newly built restaurant, Mr. Twomey described the various modular spaces he has created with Karl Wasner, an architect at the Modern Catskills firm, using sliding reclaimed wood walls.
“We’ll have an espresso bar here by the entrance for the morning, before the bar opens,” Mr. Twomey said. “We’ll have two private tasting rooms, a smaller one in the old office and a larger one in the old showroom. And upstairs, on the roof, we have a deck for 60 people.”
For now, the roof deck will open in early August, serving food and drinks Wednesday through Sunday evenings, though the rest of the indoor spaces will hopefully open this fall, pending whatever occurs with the pandemic.
This new venture, Narrowsburg Motor Works, will source non-running, but solid, first-generation Mustangs, and use a bolt-in conversion kit from a reputable Southern California supplier, Electric GT, to swap out Ford’s rumbly internal-combustion engines for silent, battery-powered electric motors.
“We’ll upgrade them to modern safety standards, and add in a little customization, like wood-rimmed steering wheels,” Mr. Twomey said. “And they’ll be the perfect second car at your country house. Luxurious, but not pretentious. Fun, and friendly.”
He hopes to start performing conversions late this year, with the goal of selling the cars for $75,000 to start. To test out the practice, he’s first converting the shop’s truck, a 1970s Ford F100 pickup.
The mechanics “who worked at the dealership before I bought it were skeptical at first,” Mr. Twomey said. “But they’ve come around to the idea.”
FULL New York Time Article HERE