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Halloween at the Western: This joint is jumpin’!

Liam and Nathaniel Mendoza, along with pal Max, center, wanted to make sure that Star Wars characters were represented at the party.
TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

November 2, 2016

It’s old, it’s new, and it’s better than ever. Never one to rest on her laurels, Callicoon, NY’s entrepreneur Irene Nickolai is always working. Her newest passion, The Western Supper Club and Inn (, is open for business, and Nickolai wants everyone to know. “I’m not sure people know what’s happening here at The Western,” she told me a week before Halloween, “so I decided an epic Halloween party in the ballroom upstairs was in order.”

Established in 1852, The Western has stood the test of time. It is a landmark in Callicoon, but it needed some TLC, and Nickolai decided she was just the person to tackle the challenge. Little by little, cosmetic changes are taking place, updates are being installed, and many of the original details are once again gleaming by the light of day and shimmering by candlelight as the supper club and bar hum with activity.

Last Saturday night, the bar was packed, dinner guests were raving about the food, and the doors of the ballroom upstairs—recently dubbed “Harmonie Hall”—flew open to welcome ghouls, goblins, fairy princesses and some wildly creative costumed guests to the first annual Halloween Ball at The Western. Nickolai is clearly fond of the old expression “go big or go home,” so it was no surprise to learn that she had a lot in store for the event. Three bands, a face-painting station, specialty cocktails, fire dancing performances, tarot card readings and more caused enough excitement for Halloween revelers to flock to The Western and dance the night away. Julian and Joe Giaimo (with Simon Efrein), NOISEBODY and Mountain Wave got the crowd on its feet, while “invisible” judges conferred during the evening with the MC (yours truly), and some cool prizes were awarded in multiple categories.

Prior to taking the mic and hosting the costume competition, I looked the place up online and found this comment: “Stopped in last night for drinks,” a visitor wrote. “It was like we stepped back in time. What a great place! The atmosphere was relaxed and low key, friendly staff, fantastic menu, and good music,” the review continued ( “We will definitely be back!”

Up next at The Western? The NACL Social (November 12), Dickens on the Delaware (December 10) and “more musical acts, ballroom dancing, great food, special events… and we’re looking forward to developing the venue,” Nickolai said, “for the entire community to enjoy!”