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Red Apple Rest | by Nick Harris1
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Red Apple Rest

The Red Apple Rest was a cafeteria-style restaurant on New York State Route 17, in the Southfields section of Tuxedo, New York. It was a noted way station for people travelling to the hotels of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.

Before the New York State Thruway was built, the travel time from New York City to the Catskill Mountains was often four or five hours, especially during weekends. The Red Apple Rest, located almost halfway, became a major roadside stopping place. The restaurant was opened during May 1931 by Reuben Freed

The Red Apple Rest had much business during the 1940s and 1950s. It was open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and was patronized by so-called "Borscht Belt" comedians and professional athletes as well as families travelling to campgrounds and resorts. The Thruway, which was built beginning 1953, bypassed the restaurant, and vacationing in the Catskill Mountains also became less popular after the 1960s. The restaurant remained very busy until the 1970s, however, and during 1965 served one million customers.

In his book on Jewish comedians in America, The Haunted Smile, author Lawrence J. Epstein said that comedians would stop at the Red Apple Rest late at night and "would go over the acts, describe the audience, and gather gossip about the other comedians and about routines ripe for buying or 'borrowing.'

The Red Apple Rest went through several changes of management. It closed during 2006, and was condemned on January 23, 2007 because of roof damage.[

The restaurant was featured in several movies, including Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry, A Walk on the Moon and Oliver's Story.

 

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Taken on April 10, 2010