NEW WINDSOR – The Bonura Hospitality Group is selling its flagship wedding catering venue, Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor and the purchaser intents to convert the 70,000-square-foot building on Route 9W into a motion picture production studio. The sale is expected to close in mid-June.
The use will be “just like a Hollywood sound stage,” said Orange County Tourism and Film Director Amanda Dana.
The coronavirus dealt a “crushing blow” to the catering business, said Michael Bonura, who along with his brother, Joseph Jr., are the principals of the business. But, Joseph, Jr. promised “Bonura Hospitality is coming back with a vengeance” this year.
COVID-19 cost caterers in New York State 95 percent of their business. With the sale of Anthony’s the family will offer to transition any weddings and other events planned for that venue after mid-June to one of their other facilities – The Grandview and Shadows on the Hudson, both on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, as well as the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the city’s downtown, as well as West Hills Country Club in the Town of Wallkill.
Those who do not want to relocate to one of the company’s other facilities will receive a full refund.
The Bonuras, whose family started their catering business at Anthony’s Pier 9 in1982, will be moving that event business to the Newburgh waterfront with a large outdoor facility just north of their Blu Pointe Restaurant. The outdoor tent-style model will replicate those that they operate in Wallkill and Poughkeepsie.
Brothers Joseph Jr. and Michael, who have taken over the lead in the business from their father, Joseph, Sr., are also planning a $40 million expansion on three of the 190 acres they own at West Hills with construction of 158 luxury apartments, much like their development adjacent to the Poughkeepsie waterfront.
Because of the pandemic, indoor parties at their facilities were limited to less than 50 people.
As of March 22, indoor venues will be allowed to host 100 people and outdoors, 200.
The brothers said selling Anthony’s Pier 9 is “bittersweet” given that they grew up and learned the business there. “We started washing dishes there,” said Michael.
The brothers expect to ramp up their staff going forward anticipating the hiring of 400 additional people.