In 1998, Stephen Leven and his business partner, David Elwell, bought a farm in the upstate village of Millerton, N.Y., turning the old carriage house on the property into a roastery for their coffee company, Irving Farm New York. In 2003, the men opened a cafe on the village’s Main Street (their other seven locations are in New York City).
For years, Mr. Leven and Mr. Elwell, both city dwellers, alternated weekends on the farm. In 2014, Mr. Leven built a house nearby, but remained a weekender. And things might have continued that way, if not for Covid-19.
Brooklynites have flocked to Hudson Valley communities, including Millerton, bringing a youthful energy and spawning businesses that cater to their tastes. The Oakhurst Diner, formerly a greasy spoon, serves pho and Beyond Meat burgers. Saperstein’s, a five-and-dime that for decades sold everything from work boots to baby clothes, is now Westerlind, a high-end outdoor apparel and home boutique that opened last May.
Salisbury and Sharon might drive to Millerton to dine out or shop at the weekend farmers’ market, while Millerton locals might head to the Berkshires to take in cultural events at Tanglewood, Mass MoCA or the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.