The Village Tavern was originally built in 1890 by Walter Decker and served as the local gathering spot "for the consumption of alcoholic beverages". The convenient location at the “four corners” of Rhinebeck’s commercial district made the Tavern a success. A regular customer of the Tavern was Col. Jacob Ruppert, owner of the New York Yankees from 1915-1939. In 1941, Wally Foster bought the Tavern and christened it Foster’s Coach House. Mr. Foster was the driving force behind the revival of horse shows at the Dutchess County Fair and amassed a large collection of horse-related and racing memorabilia. Extensive remodeling during the 1950’s provided the blueprint for the existing interior. The horse country theme employed by Wally Foster is marked by stalls, a tack room, racing prints and iconography, and a coach originally owned by Levi P. Morton, Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison as well as Governor of New York in the late 1800’s. Today the coach can be seen in the front dining room.
Foster’s Coach House was purchased in 1965 by Bob and Karen Kirwood. Bob and Karen shaped Foster’s through their own determination and good nature, and made the landmark a household name throughout the Hudson Valley. Bob created the core menu for Foster’s that is still mostly intact today. Further, he operated the Fairgrounds Restaurant at the Dutchess County Fair. Bob sadly passed away in 2009.
In 2016, Foster's was purchased by the Bender Family, with deep ties to Foster's Coach House, and the family has gone to great pains to restore Foster's to its roots, with the booths reinstalled, all the original artworks back in place and Foster's original menu bringing back great memories and good times for all.