Travel

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Outlier Inn recording studio and farm is the Catskills' best-kept secret
Photos: Courtesy of The Outlier Inn
Outdoor Dining

Sometimes you happen upon a place so wonderful you want to keep it secret. After all, if word gets out, your sacred place might never be the same. But good things are meant to be shared, which is why the world deserves to know about The Outlier Inn.

Tucked away in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, The Outlier Inn is a retreat, recording studio, organic farm—and a place to contemplate life choices, all in one. But when owner Joshua Druckman bought the land 14 years ago, he had no idea it would become what it is today.

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The original idea was that musicians would have a place to stay, away from the city, in addition to a place to record. That studio is still going strong, with bands like Yeasayer and the Parquet Courts spending weeks at a time there. When I last spoke to Druckman, he had to put me on hold every so often to attend to Goodbye Picasso, a rock band from NYC.

But over the years, The Outlier Inn has evolved into so much more: a working farm; a haven to escape to, practice yoga or meditate; a boutique; and also a place to cook and learn about local, sustainable food.

“The animals [Angora rabbits, goats and merino sheep], the garden, local and sustainable food: It’s all become part of the fabric of this place and the fabric of my life,” Druckman says.

Each week before guests arrive, Druckman sends an email detailing the vegetables available in the garden. He also sells fresh farm eggs and has been known to make a strawberry rhubarb vinaigrette made with homegrown ingredients.

He hosts food and chef-driven events. This past fall’s cider symposium gathered cider makers from all over the Northeast, who convened to talk shop, discuss the dynamic between big cideries and small ones, and sample each other's goods.

Be they musicians or cider makers, all guests are free to cook at the outdoor kitchen or over the fire pit, and enjoy a meal at the long, wooden table next to the rabbits.

With plenty of room among various accommodations—the main house, a cottage, a refurbished trailer and a geo dome that sleeps a crowd—visitors will likely find themselves cooking alongside strangers.

And that’s not unintentional. Druckman speculates there have been many new friendships made and even business deals struck over the outdoor stove, soon to be accompanied by a pizza oven and Argentine grill.

At the end of the day, “Everyone hangs at the table, and it’s cool.”

And now you’re in on it, too.

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