Halcyon All Day Cafe, Rhinebeck’s newest breakfast and lunch spot, brings a piece of the sunny West Coast to the Hudson Valley. Owner Daniel Bagnall, originally from California, channels the bright and upbeat vibe of his home country’s cafes into his latest restaurant. “The cafes there are all painted white and have cheerful art, good coffee and a great atmosphere,” says Bagnall. “That’s kind of our goal too, just to be somewhere you could settle down and stay if you wanted to.”
A story in the kitchen
This quaint cafe was long under construction for Bagnall, who has worked in professional kitchens for more than 15 years, starting in his teens. “I’ve been cooking forever,” Bagnall says. “Honestly, I just started because I needed a job, because I didn’t have an allowance. I just stayed. Eventually, he moved to New York and worked as a cook at Eleven Madison Park, then as an executive chef at the music-focused cocktail bar and restaurant Public Records.
When the pandemic hit, Bagnall felt tired after being in the industry for so long. “I kind of burned myself out of town, like I think a lot of people did,” he says. He had split his time between the city and his Germantown home for eight years and decided to move to the Hudson Valley town full-time. In August 2020, he opened Sonder, a natural wine bar in Hudson. The facility closed last September, but will be moving to a new location in Rhinebeck in the coming months.
Even when he was busy directing Sonder, Bagnall thought about what he wanted to do next. “I always dream of the next type of business to open. There’s a sandwich shop which I hope will be in the future, and a $1 slice shop which I hope will be in the future, and an Indian restaurant which I hope will be in the future,” he laughs. “But one of the things I’ve always wanted to open is a cafe.” Bagnall pondered the idea for a while and finally decided to open Halcyon in November. A storefront had been for rent for a few months, and he took the plunge. “I kept walking by, thinking ‘no, not the right time, not the right time,'” Bagnall says. “Then one day I was walking around the village and I was like, ‘You know what? I have to call them.
Quality-driven coffee pricing
After securing the space, Bagnall set out to create a casual place that could nurture the hardy local community, any time of the day. “I call it an all-day cafe, which is kind of a lie right now because we’re only open until 3 p.m.,” Bagnall jokes. “It’s a place I envision, long term, where people can stop in the morning for a coffee and drop by on their way home from work to grab a bite to eat for dinner, and whatever.” The menu was developed in collaboration with Chef Clyde Woodstock, who has worked with Bagnell for years, most recently at Sonder. It consists of breakfast and lunch staples including toast topped with ricotta and homemade jam, salads and bowls of rice. “These are all classic café dishes with a slight twist,” says Bagnall.
The boutique’s sandwiches, served on home-baked milk bread, are the stars of the menu. “We jokingly say we accidentally opened a sandwich shop,” says Bagnall. Their most popular dish, a classic bacon egg and cheese, is made with bacon roasted with agave nectar. For a hearty lunch, check out the grilled skirt steak sandwich, which is topped with chimichurri and roasted garlic aioli.
Another option – and Bagnall’s favorite dish – is the Halcyon Rice Bowl, which features jasmine rice tossed with capers, apple cider vinegar and other herbs, served hot and topped with a poached egg. , avocado, sweet potato, marinated carrots and macerated jus. kale. Bagnall tries to source local produce whenever he can, shopping at Tivoli’s Migliorelli Farm and other local farmers’ markets. “We do our best to provide very good ingredients,” says Bagnall.
For those looking for a sweet treat, Halcyon has a cafe bar and a range of pastries made on site. The beans are sourced from Touchy Coffee in Troy, and the baked selections rotate often. Two mainstays are hemp and oatmeal cookies, as well as a salty chocolate chip cookie. “I think every cafe needs its own chocolate chip cookie,” Bagnall says. The food is simple and Bagnall wants that to continue. “Our focus is quality and just making something tasty,” he says.
Creation of a community hub
In addition to light, classic fare, the quaint cafe is filled with plants and artwork, creating what Bagnell describes as a “super airy, cheerful, and fun” environment. Halcyon has just extended its opening hours and will now be open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 3pm. Bagnall hopes to soon be open seven days a week and eventually expand the restaurant’s hours to include dinner service.
Since the restaurant opened in November, Bagnall says the weekends have been busy with Rhinebeck residents and out-of-towners. Their positive reception of the cafe motivates Bagnell to keep making the food he loves. “It’s just a fun little cafe and I think people really enjoy it.”
The Halcyon All Day Cafe is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check their Instagram for updates on future time changes.
Halcyon coffee all day
6384 Mill Street, Rhinebeck