The Cobble Stone is easy to miss if one if racing down Anderson Hill Road, late for a class at SUNY Purchase or a meeting at Morgan Stanley, but for those who pause to take a busy moment out of their day to recuperate with a hot lunch and a cold beer, it provides not only comfort, but a sense of local history.
The sign on the outside of the building reads, “The Cobble Stone, Est. 1933.” However, the history starts a bit earlier than that. The building was built in 1917 by Joe Sala, the great-grandfather of the current owners. The stones that make up the walls of the bar area were taken from the grounds of Purchase College, which at the time was farmland. Many will notice that upon entering the Cobble Stone, they lose cell phone service – this is because the stone walls are up to twenty-two inches thick. Not exactly the place to go if you are waiting for a phone call, but just the place to go in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
The reason that the sign states that the bar opened in 1933 as opposed to 1917 is because the business became official on December 5, 1933 – Repeal Day, the day Prohibition ended. Before then, the Cobble Stone was a speakeasy. Don, whose grandfather owned the Hilltop, a bar that was located just up the street from the Cobble Stone, said: “The Hilltop and the Cobble Stone were both speakeasies. The Harrison cops would drink in both of them, and when they got a tip that the Feds were going to do a raid, they told Joe and my Grandad and they went and locked up all the liquor.” Behind the bar is a trap door in the floor and a ladder leading down to the basement, left over from Prohibition days. Today the bartenders use it as a quick way to get to the basement and bring up ice, liquor and beer. It could also function as a quick getaway in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
The next time you have a break from class at SUNY Purchase or Manhattanville College, are out for Happy Hour after a long day at one of the many businesses in the area or are escaping a zombie outbreak, take a trip to the Cobble Stone for a sip of history.