Editor’s note: 06/28/16: We spoke with Lucky Strike and they do not currently have shuffleboard, although they are not ruling it out for the future, so we have removed that from this piece.
Editor’s note: 02/02/17: Rascals in Crossgates Mall is now closed.
It’s been a busy year for restaurants in the Albany area! Several eateries have opened just in the past few months, with more to come in the near future. We’ve rounded up the openings right here so you’ll know where to go next time you feel like dining somewhere new.
Sunhee’s Farm and Kitchen
Sunhee’s Farm and Kitchen, located in Troy, opened on April 29th in conjunction with Troy Night Out. The restaurant is owned by Jinah Kim, a South Korean native who has spent most of her life in the Capital Region. The restaurant draws inspiration from Korean-American history, a positive food culture, and community engagement.
“For me, Troy is. . .community-oriented and a friendly space and town, so I felt that what I wanted to do [here] would be perfect,” Kim told the Troy Record.
The downtown eatery is focused on Korean culture and healthy living based on locally grown food – Kim sources ingredients from area farmers whenever possible. The menu includes fun Korean dishes like kimchi fried rice, aged soybean stew, and spicy pork.
Mess Hall opened in Averill Park on May 2nd and caters specifically to veterans. Owner Shaun Hardy is a Navy veteran who has been running a catering company for eight years. He opened this military-style cafeteria to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner options – but they specialize in take home, family-style meals.
Hardy learned to cook while on a Navy destroyer; he also went to culinary school after his time of service. He and his wife opened up Mess Hall not just to own a restaurant, but to say thank you to vets. Their children along with Hardy’s father, stepfather, and mother are all involved in the business.
“I’m so happy that this dream came true and that he could do it with his family,” Hardy’s father Jim Hardy told News 10ABC.
Not a vet? No worries. You’re more than welcome to come and meet one or more, and have a chance to thank them for their service.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ice cream fans were saddened last December when the iconic Ben & Jerry’s on Lark Street closed because of an issue with the building. However, the popular ice cream shop reopened in its new, nearby location on Madison Avenue on May 21st. Ben & Jerry’s has been in Albany for 30 years.
“Being able to stay in the neighborhood was huge,” owner Richard Wilson told the Albany Business Review. “Not just from the business angle of being close to our old location but for me personally, I live near Lark Street and have had a connection to Lark since I was a kid.”
To the joy of many, the former space of Justin’s in Albany has been replaced by Savoy Taproom. Justin’s was at one time one of the most popular restaurants in Albany, but had reportedly declined over the years until closing in January. Now, the hot spot is hopping once again as of May 31st.
Savoy Taproom specializes in beautifully handcrafted classic cocktails and beverages. Owners Jason Pierce and Daniel Atkins are offering affordable upscale dining with their multicultural menu.
Warehouse Grill & BBQ
Taking over the former Wolf Road Diner, the Warehouse Grill & BBQ opened on June 1st. Mitch Ware, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, lived in Georgia for 20 years where he trained in barbecue restaurants to learn the art of slow cooking over smoke.
Warehouse is not just a barbecue place, though, but has a diverse selection. Patrons can expect items like pulled chicken flatbread, tacos, and shrimp and grits, along with a wide selection of craft beers and spirits.
Tipsy Moose opened in Latham on June 6th, where the Lager House used to be. Menu items include burgers, quesadillas, sandwiches, and pizzas, along with an extensive selection of beers.
Guests also have quite a few options with the macaroni and cheese. Choose from about half a dozen “signature mac and cheese” options like barbecue pulled pork or chili mac and cheese, or you can create your own plate – “build your own mac and cheese” by picking two of several topping options such as smoked bacon, grilled chicken, or broccoli.
Lucky Strike opened on June 10th in Crossgates Mall, and it promises to offer a truly unique dining and gaming experience. The new restaurant features bowling lanes, arcade games, and old school games like ping pong.
Musical performers are also a huge element of the entertainment experience Lucky Strike is offering. A 3,000 square foot platform in the rec room can be transformed into a stage for local bands and DJs. Additionally, there is a 900-person capacity club room for live touring acts and club dance nights.
Food options include a gastropub called Community, and a more casual dining option, TBD, which stands for tacos, burgers, and dogs.
Rascals is opening this Friday, July 1st in Crossgates Mall. This upscale steakhouse has salmon, swordfish, chicken, lamb, gnocchi, and more in addition to a wide variety of steak options – Chef Nicholas Armstrong has developed a diverse menu featuring farm-to-table foods.
On opening day, the restaurant is having a DJ from 9pm to 12pm, with country line dancing the following day from 100.9 The Cat’s DJ Kevin Richards.
Even more restaurants are coming! Here’s what we can expect to see in the upcoming months:
- Socha Management opening a steak and seafood restaurant in July in Glenville
- Johnny Rockets opening in mid-July at the Times Union Center
- A fourth Smashburger in the area opening on July 20th in Clifton Park
- Beff’s PWB opening on August 1st in Latham
- Crunch Wrap Grill opening this summer in Albany
- Junior’s Bar and Grill opening in the fall in North Greenbush