After moving to the Hudson valley in the early 1960's, Dick Smith, a Culinary alumnus class of '59, worked at several local restaurants before taking the position as Executive Chef at The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck. About this time Dick and his wife Maureen, bought R's Luncheonette on Spackenkill Road in Poughkeepsie and later renamed it Side Street Restaurant.
By 1979, after a long successful run at Side Street, the family moved adjacent to the Edison Motor Inn on Manchester Road in Poughkeepsie. Dick Smith's Side Street was a much larger restaurant boasting a 115 seat dining room and 3 banquet rooms holding a combined 300 guests.
After getting a taste of the restaurant business when they were young, the Smith's children were by then fully involved in running the business. Eldest son and 1986 Culinary Institute of America graduate Tony, was head chef at Dick Smith's, Dick and Maureen's son Mark bartender, daughter Christina bartender and waitress, son Jeffrey dining room host and banquets, daughter Karen pantry and waiting tables.
After 8 years at Dick Smith's Side Street, the Motor Inn was closing down and it was time to move on.