Jennifer Flynn and Lani Ricozzi, partners in both life and business, opened up The Barking Goose at the beginning of May, and have been honing the business ever since.
The Barking Goose, in Newburgh, is a bookstore, bar, and cafe all in one. Flynn graduated with a degree in English Education and worked at restaurants in college. After working at bigger bookstores like Barnes and Noble she thought, “why not combine the two?”
When the two decided to open up a bookstore and bar they searched all over the Hudson Valley for a location, but fell in love with the building that they now call home. The space has two rooms, one which is the bar and cafe, and one which is the bookstore, which Flynn likes to refer to as the “living room.” Though the rooms are separate, there is a large open door frame to connect the two, so they still feel like the same space.
In the bookstore section Flynn tries to find books that are current best-sellers, new, and relevant to what customers have bought in the past.
The bar area carries more than 40 craft beer and 7 wines. Flynn says she wants to keep what they offer affordable while also ensuring good quality. They also try to carry beers from local breweries, as well as having a table with local authors.
The food offered is all made in house, including the desserts, and Flynn is really enjoying coming up with ideas for foods and adding to the menu.
“This is my first time running my own kitchen,” Flynn said. “We have quite a varied menu, a little something for everybody.”
Desserts change throughout the week but they include homemade cupcakes, cakes, pies, and cookies. Some staple menu items include homemade chili, pulled pork sliders, and giant pretzel with beer cheese. When the place originally opened, salads weren’t a part of the menu but after requests Flynn decided to add it, and they now offer five different kinds of salad.
Though Flynn and Ricozzi seem to have had a hand in everything, and are involved in every aspect of the place, one thing they outsourced for was the decorating. They used local decorators to help put everything together, and even had the bar made from bamboo and eucalyptus.
“They used reclaimed materials on anything they could, like the tables and chairs, they were all recycled or repurposed,” Flynn said.
One theme evident throughout the decorating is a dog theme, which ties in with the name of the store. The Barking Goose refers to their dog, named Goose, who makes a kind of honking noise when he barks. Their son, who is a cartoonist, designed the logo and painted the dog mural on the wall.
Along with being a bookstore, bar, and cafe, Flynn and Ricozzi have local art hung up on the walls, all of which is for sale, and some of which is done by their children.
Flynn and Ricozzi want to keep the bar and bookstore current and very community driven, which is why they host special events weekly as well. Every Thursday night is trivia night, with the prizes varying from the local breweries. Last week they had a yoga event, where the chairs in the “living room” were pushed against the wall to make space. Recently, a medium came to the store to do some readings, and they have three different book clubs going on right now.
Flynn and Ricozzi have a lot on their plate but don’t plan on stopping with the ideas anytime soon. Stop by The Barking Goose for any of the numerous events, or just for a beer and a good read. And don’t forget to ask to see pictures of Goose and his new sister Poochie.
The Barking Goose Bookstore Bar & Café is located at 16 North Plank Road in the Town of Newburgh. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
They are closed Monday.
They can be reached at 674-9808.