Photo by Elizabeth Izzo
The popular Cobble Hill Inn, owned and operated for the past 25 years by the Cashin family of Elizabethtown, has been purchased by the Huttig’s, owners of the Adirondack Auto Dealership here.
ELIZABETHTOWN — An icon of food, celebration and refuge on the western side of Elizabethtown is changing hands.
Longtime automobile sales and service center owners Julie and George Huttig are buying the Cobble Hill Inn.
The Cobble’s homey, warm and pine-paneled dining room and cozy lounge adjoins the Huttig property at Adirondack Auto Service, the second of two dealerships the local family owns at the county seat.
The purchase will be effective the first of 2017, according to Julie Huttig.
But their plan for the Cobble’s future is still in the works.
END OF AN ERA
The couple bought the business from longtime owner and innkeeper, Marion Cashin, who successfully ran the establishment for most of the past 25 years with her late husband, James P. Cashin, who passed on Sept. 7, 2016.
The Cashin children took up letting rooms, cooking and bar-tending several years ago.
No one answered the phone at the Cobble on Dec. 30, about midday. But Joe Cashin announced the end of an era via social media early in the day.
His poignant, clear and tender words drew immediate response from hundreds in this community and others both near and far.
They rang true for all.
“Today marks the end of an era. In 1991, my dad moved his whole family 4 hours north to Elizabethtown to run the bar of his dreams. He was the bartender during the 1970’s and when the opportunity came to own it, he jumped on it,” Cashin wrote.
Over 25 years, the tavern became an unofficial member of our family, he said, hosting birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners and countless other family functions.
“Every member of my family tended that bar, cooked in that kitchen, waited those tables and cleaned those rooms,” Cashin wrote.
“It was a safe haven for the community. You could go in, have a drink and forget about life for a while.”
Many friendships and memories were forged over the years.
Cashin thanked friends, workers, patrons and the new owners, who he said has treated the family with dignity and respect.
“This was my father’s vision and it’s only fitting that in 2016, the year of his passing, that the Cobble passes on as well,” Cashin said. “Thank you, God Bless and continue to support local business!”
Responses to Joe’s heartfelt farewell were swift, humorous and moving.
Laurie Romano remembered driving up here from Long Island in the 1990s and especially shenanigans at the turn of the millennium.
“When we would drive from Long Island up to Etown for weekends during college, we always went to the Cobble,” Romano wrote. “So many great memories there, over the past two decades. My favorite? When on the 1999 into 2000 New Year celebration, you cut the power for just a few seconds to scare the bejeezus out of all the Doomsdayers. Thanks for all the great food and fun with our wonderful friends.”
Mike Drew, of Elizabethtown, fessed up.
“I have to take credit for the New Years Eve stunt,” he said with a laugh.
A cousin from the Bronx, John Cashin, heralded the Cashin’s closeknit family ties and heritage.
“Whatever else you are proud of in your life and there are already many things you should be proud of, always take pride in and act accordingly that you are Jim and Marion’s son and Patrick Cashin’s grandson. Never doubt you and Pat, Matt and Christina come from a blessed, strong and genuinely good heritage and bloodline.
“Have fun tonight and close the Cobble Hill respectfully,” John wrote on Dec. 30, the Cobble’s last night open.
Kari Ratliff put into words likely what most in this community and many others were probably thinking:
“I can’t begin to thank the Cashin family enough for all that they have done for me and my family. We have shared some epic ‘art’ birthday parties there and Cobble hosted our family after the passing of my Mom, Honey and my Dad, Arthur Carpenter. You’ve shared in our laughter and our tears. I love you all for your kindness and caring. I hope 2017 brings you all much happiness and new beginnings!!”
“I will always love this place,” mused Shawn Vass.
“The memories I’ve made will never be forgotten. Elizabethtown will never be the same.
“Look above the window looking out to the back yard you may find a free drink cup I stashed up there over 6 years ago. If it’s still there may someone have a drink on me in memory of my favorite bar ever!”
Aaron Woolf, co-owner of the Deer’s Head Inn, said he enjoyed a signature dish for years:
Bubba Burger on rye toast with a hockey puck onion.
Woolf ran for Congress in 2014 and held his Election Night party at the venerable tavern.
“It was a really big deal to hold that campaign finale there,” Woolf said. “It was like having it in our home as opposed to in some fancy ballroom somewhere.”
Woolf said the closure strikes a powerful emotional chord.
“It feels like a year with a lot of endings,” he said.
‘COBBLE HILL WOBBLE’
Schroon-based musician Mark Piper shared a song written in honor of the Cobble — “Cobble Hill Wobble.”
The Soundcloud file is online: reverbnation.com/MarkPiper/song/17663716-the-cobble-hill-wobble.
“I got the Cobble Hill Wobble, got me in trouble, ‘cos I’m here with you,” it goes.
“I’ll never feel lonesome or feel old ‘cos all my friends are here .. I got the Cobble Wobble, you got me in trouble, in trouble ‘cos I’m here with you. Wobble!”