skip to main content skip to footer


A Brief History of The Old Dock: Essex, New York's #1 Waterfront Restaurant

Essex, New York

The historic hamlet of Essex, New York showcases wood and stone structures dating back pre civil war. In 1850, this fast-growing town had a population of 2,351 due to Lake Champlain access to the popular and booming trade route. The quaint town of Essex is a way of life and a destination place due to the historic beauty, Lake Champlain’s vistas — the Adirondack Mountains of New York as well as the Green Mountains of Vermont.

vintage photo of the marina
vintage photo of the marina

Essex, New York

The pier and warehouse were originally built for sloop trade in 1815. Sloops sailed as far as New York City carrying granite for the bridges constructed over the Hudson River and lumber was brought up through the Saint Lawrence River to Montreal. The pier was also used as a port for vessels transporting goods up and down the lake.

Ferry Docking

In the early 1800s, the pier was also a docking place to house the Essex, NY-Charlotte, VT ferry that transported horses, cars, and passengers to and from New York and Vermont. The Lake Champlain Transportation company founded the ferry in 1826 and later relocated it to the present landing dock just north of the Old Dock.

vintage photo of the marina
vintage photo of the coffee house

The Old Dock Coffee House

The warehouse was converted into The Old Dock Coffee House in the 1920s and has been a successful waterfront restaurant and tavern for years. It has not gone without challenges over the years such as damaging weather, recessions, and maintaining the pier. A 25-slip marina surrounds the property and was added for restaurant guests in 1985.

Always A Hotspot

There have been a number of owners over the years, most quite successful. It has been a hot spot for dining, entertainment, and events, just to name a few. We are excited to add weddings to this historical destination venue. Many travel a long way to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Old Dock House on the lake.

vintage photo of the restaurant