On the drive into Mount Kisco on Route 133, stately turn-of-the-century colonial and Victorian homes give way to rows of low-slung urban buildings, with storefronts advertising everything from immigration lawyers to the Gap. There’s an Ethiopian restaurant (Lalibela) and a burger joint (BGR), an amazing Indian restaurant (Little Kebab Station) and a creperie (Little Crepe Street). Even the New York Times recently took note of Mt. Kisco, saying its downtown restaurant scene is”buzzing,” thanks to the addition of several new restaurants in the last couple years, including a brand new steakhouse called Blackstones. One look around “Kisco,” as some locals call it, and you’ll see that it doesn’t feel like a small Westchester village — it’s more like a tiny New England city.
“When my husband and I were looking to move, we used to come to Mt. Kisco for our date nights and decided that it would be a great place to live,” says Bridget McNamee, a mother of two young children who moved to Mount Kisco in 2007. “There were so many great schools and places to eat. The best part, for me, was that there were sidewalks EVERYWHERE.”
There’s lots of shopping too, which means no long car rides for the essentials. Mt. Kisco is the commercial haven of northern Westchester. There’s a Banana Republic, StrideRite and BabyGap in the village; a Target and TJ Maxx is right outside of town. The indie set can shop artisan-made wares at the Beehive, and there is a small movie theater on Main Street. Most residents grocery shop at the A & P, and the newly renovated Mrs. Green’s. There’s an indoor winter farmer’s market on Saturdays.
Many residents of Mount Kisco appreciate how diverse the population is. “It’s less ‘hoity-toity’ than Chappaqua,” says a mother who moved to Mt. Kisco from the city. Some families live in apartments close to the train station, while others live in sprawling homes tucked along country roads. Captain Merritt’s Hill features some of the most gorgeous century old houses in the area. Mount Kisco Chase, a 10-year-old development, is a community of large homes that seem to sell around the million dollar mark. Still, there are much more affordable homes in the area as well, and you can get more for your money up here than in southern Westchester. As for schools, all of the kids feed into affluent Bedford’s 90 acre Fox Lane campus in middle school. Another perk: You’re a quick drive to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation’s amazing network of hiking trails.
Jodi’s Gym, which offers tumbling and gymnastics for kids ages 9 months to 12 years, is a favorite place to take the kids. Some head to PureJoy Performing Arts Center classes, “where the mommy and me classes are great and the prices are reasonable,” says Bridget. There’s wonderful children’s programs and hiking at Westmoreland Sanctuary, a 640-acre preserve. Many local moms are excited for Kidville to open in the area (it’s Grand Opening is November 2 and 3!), since a few complained that there’s not much to do with kids in the area. Several moms listed Bedford Hills Memorial Park, a few minutes drive from the village, as their favorite place to go as a family.
As far as Mount Kisco has come in recent years, residents say it has a long way to go before it will be the thriving downtown they envisioned when they moved there. The village can be very quiet and two moms complained that it lacks “personality.” A large downtown space that used to house Borders Books sits empty, and some shopfronts appear a bit rundown.