A new wine bar has opened in Albany, a Scotia restaurant has reopened after being closed due to a fire, and more – we’ve gathered up the latest news on the restaurant scene in Albany! See where you’ll want to dine next for exquisite wine, a dynamite breakfast sandwich, classic ice cream, or wholesome southern fare.
Vintage House, or simply Vintage as it’s more commonly known, is an elegant and inviting wine bar that opened in Albany in late January. They’re located on Broadway right next to Wolff’s Biergarten, having taken over a space previously occupied by a moving company. The building needed to be completely revamped.
Vintage owners went with an upscale but rustic atmosphere, complete with an indoor courtyard with a fire pit and a room for private events. Their website indicates they offer wines to suit everyone’s taste, ranging from “everyday affordable to once in a lifetime.”
The menu lists a number of large and small plates, along with sandwiches, soups, and salads. Meal sharing is encouraged, with discounts if you get three or five small plates instead of one. A few of the small plate dishes include Meatballs & Gravy, Foie Gras & Barolo, and Short Rib & Pasta.
They emphasize the menu is ever-evolving in order to keep the experience fresh and exciting, so visitors might want to check out the latest offerings before heading to the restaurant.
In addition to spectacular wines and a revolving menu of tempting dishes, what’s really cool about this wine bar opening is that it’s right in the warehouse district of Albany. The warehouse district has been working to transform into a hub for residential, retail, and restaurant activity in order to draw more people to downtown Albany, and Vintage will undoubtedly help with that goal.
Vintage is located at 897 Broadway in Albany. Their hours are 11:30am to midnight (kitchen closes at 10pm) Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30am to 1am (kitchen closes at 11pm) Friday and Saturday.
B-Rads Bistro Express
A beloved bistro has returned to downtown Troy. B-Rads Bistro originally opened in the Collar City in 2012 on Fifth Avenue. That location closed a year ago, although their catering and food truck business continued; they also have a location in Albany.
The B-Rads in Albany is a B-Rads Bistro Express – when owner and chef Brad Stevens decided to reopen the Troy location he opted to make this one an express as well. Now, Troy fans of the bistro can place an order online through their website and then pick it up to go.
“It puts the express in B-rads Bistro Express,” Stevens told The Troy Record.
B-Rads is known for their scrumptious breakfast sandwiches like Green Eggs & Ham (pesto eggs, fried capicola ham, roasted sweet red peppers, and provolone cheese on grilled Italian bread) and Cinco De Mayo (scrambled eggs with salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, jalapeno sausage, and dirty rice in a wrap). They also offer specialty griller sandwiches like a Southwest Cajun Chicken Wrap and a Filet Ramen Griller.
B-Rads is located at 333 Broadway in Troy, at the former site of doughnut shop Nibble, and is open from 7:30am to 2:30pm on weekdays; they’re closed on weekends.
Another popular restaurant that went away for awhile has returned to the community: Dairy Circus in Scotia, an ice cream shop and hamburger restaurant that has been a huge part of the Scotia community for many years.
Dairy Circus perished in a fire in April of 2016. Initially, the owners indicated they wanted to get the place back up and running by that summer. Then, they said they would not rebuilding because the cost was simply too high. Owner Robb Clemons reportedly thought he had enough insurance for the place but he didn’t, and he and his wife Doreen were concerned about the upcoming increase in minimum wage.
However, the community came together to support the Scotia staple and the Clemons family, even creating a GoFundMe page. Finally, Dairy Circus reopened at the end of 2017. Construction had started in March of 2017 and was completed in late October of that year.
In addition to making headlines for the devastating fire, Dairy Circus also achieved some fame when it was included in a scene in the 2012 film The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes.
But celebrities aside, the Scotia community is definitely happy to have one of their favorite restaurants back.
“This has been one of the cornerstones of the Village of Scotia,” Scotia Fire Chief Kenneth Almy told News10 ABC. “Everybody has probably eaten here at one time or another.”
Dairy Circus can be found at 178 Sacandaga Road in Scotia. They’re open 7am to 8pm Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm on Saturday, and are closed on Sunday.
Ya Ya’s House
Ya Ya’s House in Schenectady was driven out of their location on Lafayette Street at the end of 2016. The reason? Reportedly, the landlord declined to offer a new lease when the current one expired because she didn’t like the smell of frying food in the building, which served authentic southern comfort food.
As with Dairy Circus in Scotia, the Schenectady community rallied around Ya Ya’s House, with city officials like Jim Salengo of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp attempting to help owners find a permanent location.
Eventually, the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority received a tip about a possible new location and Ya Ya owners Amanda Thompson and her husband Marc grabbed the opportunity.
Ya Ya’s can now be found is the former home of Hot Spot, which served Jamaican food. Ya Ya’s officially reopened in early February of this year. They’re keeping the menu mostly the same with the addition of some lunch specials.
You can expect delicious fried food like fried chicken and fried fish, all with a touch of southern hospitality.
“It’s like sitting down at your mother’s table,” Leesa Perazzo, Schenectady County Councilwoman, told The Daily Gazette. “It’s made with love, and it clearly has a personal touch.”
Ya Ya’s House is located at 135 Broadway in Schenectady and the hours are 11am to 8pm Monday through Saturday.
Discover your next favorite Albany eatery >>
- All Over Albany: A look around the new Vintage House in Albany
- CBS6 Albany: Scotia restaurant back in business after burning down in 2016
- The Daily Gazette: Scotia’s Dairy Circus open after 2016 fire
- The Daily Gazette: Ya Ya’s Hosue finds new home in Schenectady
- News10 ABC: Owners: We cannot afford to rebuild Dairy Circus
- Times Union: Bite-Sized: Morsels of food news
- Times Union: Owners hope to reopen Dairy Circus in Scotia by July
- Times Union: Sneak Preview: Vintage in Albany
- Times Union: Ya Ya’s House reopening in downtown Schenectady
- Troy Record: B-rads bistro plans Express reopening in Troy