New & Noteworthy: Enhancing the Community in Different Ways

Periodically, River Journal highlights New & Noteworthy businesses and organizations in the River Towns. Here are three that deserve recognition. 

Community Wardrobe 
horsemenpta.com/community-wardrobe/
Shames JCC on the Hudson
371 S Broadway, Tarrytown 

Born out of acute necessity during the early days of the Covid pandemic, the Community Wardrobe provides a free and dignified shopping experience to any community member in need. After occupying a series of temporary locations, the Community Wardrobe found a permanent home at the Shames JCC. This move has enabled them to keep the shelves and racks stocked, so in addition to quarterly “shopping days,” they can be available at a moment’s notice to support the immediate needs of community members, as they did when several local families lost everything in a recent fire.  

This group effort led by Horsemen PTA members Elissa Smith, Daphne Uviller, and Sophia Rana, and Diana Loja, Sleep Hollow Community Liaison, leveraged the outpouring of support from the entire community to bring their vision from inception to fruition in only five weeks. The community rallied behind the mission, providing donations not only of clothing and shoes, but racks, hangers, shelving, and thousands of hours of volunteer labor. They describe the process as “charmed and magical, people were dying for a meaningful and tangible way to help support their community members.” 

During the first shopping days at the JCC, the Community Wardrobe was able to clothe 162 adults and 121children from Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and the surrounding towns.  

And these women are not slowing down. Recently launching a satellite shop at Sleepy Hollow High School where students can pick up everyday necessities along with clothing they need for a variety of school events such as school concerts and prom. The focus on the environmental aspect of “thrifting” by student leaders there has taken the stigma away from wearing used clothing and made it a cool trend for all.  

Basque
basquetapasbar.com/basquetarry.html
61 Main Street, Tarrytown   

Owner Benny Castro grew up in the business of food and hospitality as part of a family entrenched in the Spanish restaurants industry in New York City. Several years ago, he began to recognize the charm of a more personalized dining experience that comes with being a community-based restaurant and turned his attention to the towns up and down the Hudson River. Opening his first location in Piermont in 2018, he has perfected his Spanish Tapas and authentic entrees and earned the prestigious Restaurants from Spain Certification.  

Committed to providing the same high quality menu items and vibrant and stylish dining experience to foodies on the other side of the river, Castro recently opened his second location on Tarrytown’s Main Street. Although still in the soft opening phase to ensure consistency of food and service, Basque Tarrytown is already off to a strong start. Diners have welcomed this new establishment and are excited to have a new flavor profile in town. 

Committed to using the highest quality ingrediencies, the menu features a wide selection of classic and modern tapas from the northern regions of Spain, authentic paellas that are finished in the oven for the perfect combination of crispy and tender rice, along with a beer and wine list almost exclusively from Spain. Focused on personal hospitality and great food, you can expect a warm welcome and a tasty meal that might just inspire you to start planning your next trip to Spain.   

Rivertown General
rivertowngeneral.com
105 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry   

After moving into the Dobbs Ferry community from Brooklyn in early 2020, Holly Pilch took a pause from her career in film and TV and began to focus on being more present for herself, family, and community. In the process she realized that the river towns care deeply about and depend on their small businesses. Not only as a place to get goods but also as a way to knit the community together, focus on what matters locally and elevate a community and all its members.  

Committed to putting purpose before profit, Pilch opened Rivertown General in the heart of Dobbs Ferry. The shop specializes in offering a rotating inventory of gifts, home goods, jewelry, toys, and other items to enhance everyday life. Everything in the shop is durably made, sustainable and ethically sourced from producers in the United States as well as a selection of hyper local artisans.  

This mindful business is reimagining the shopping experience, from stroller friendly wide isles, a craft space for children, artisan exhibitions, lectures, and a comfortable gathering space for adults. The store is curated to ensure everyone is comfortable and community connections can be made. Slowing down the shopping experience also allows shoppers to learn the story behind the products and producers. 

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About the Author: Alisa Dror