In Voorheesville: Two new restaurants on the menu
VOORHEESVILLE – The rejection of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit and the adoption of a one-of-a-kind plan has set Voorheesville on the path to revitalizing its Main Street.
At its April 13 meeting, the Voorheesville Planning Commission heard not one, but two presentations from area entrepreneurs looking to open restaurants in the village – one a craft brewery and a restaurant while the other remains to be determined.
Charles Rosenstein told the planning committee that he had been a lawyer for 31 years, but was looking for a new career, “and my passion has always been good beer.”
The proposed location of the Northern Barrel Brewery is 10 North Main St., occupying half of Building Six.
The 10-year Guilderland resident said he lived just a mile from the Voorheesville Public Library, but that he and his wife “almost considered themselves residents of the village.”
Rosenstein told The Enterprise, “So we’re looking somewhere between, hopefully, six and eight. [craft] beers on tap… ”he said. “We’re probably looking at the four to six barrel system.”
One barrel is equivalent to about 117 liters, or about 247 pints of beer.
Northern Barrel will offer IPAs, carriers, lagers and pods.
As for the fare, “I love going to a place that has good beer and good burgers,” Rosenstein said, so artisan burgers are expected on the menu, as are wings and baked pizzas. wood.
Rosenstein, who has the hobby of hopping in his car and driving for hours in any direction to find great food and beer, said one of his favorites is the Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery in Brattleboro, Vermont. “Great food, great beer, the atmosphere they created, just a great atmosphere,” he said of Whetstone. “And that’s what we hope too … to bring to the village.”
Rosenstein also hopes to make Northern Barrel Brewery a family business, with his two daughters and their spouses working at the brewery, he said. “I hope that if it is successful [and] for generations, our grandson could come and work there one day.
In addition to the 2,500 square foot brasserie and restaurant, Rosenstein plans to ask the planning board to approve a 375 square foot outdoor patio.
And Rosenstein would love to take advantage of the outdoor space by having a cornhole league, and “we also hope to be good neighbors,” he said, hosting barbecues and fundraisers, noting that a major benefit of its brewery is its location: the start – or end, depending on your perspective, of Albany County’s Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
Rosenstein said at the planning committee meeting that he “wanted to explore the possibility” of opening a craft brewery and restaurant for some time.
“One of the things I want to do is fill the void that was created with the closure of Smitty,” he said on April 13. (Rosenstein could be back before the planning committee with more details on his proposed project at its next meeting on May 11)
Smitty’s, or Smith’s Tavern, on Maple Avenue, closed in May 2017 after its owner sold the building to Stewart’s Shops for $ 750,000. The company intended to build a convenience store and gas station on the site, but the village adopted a comprehensive plan in June 2018 that included stipulations that the Vly Creek floodplain would not allow gas stations, and that Stewart’s “standardized architecture” would not be accepted.
Also in June 2018, the company announced that it would put the building on the market for $ 850,000.
But then, in September 2019, Stewart’s announced that, for the first time in the company’s history, it was suing a municipality over what it claimed was a “targeted effort to prevent it” from building a new workshop on his Maple Avenue property. In November last year, the judge in charge of the case dismissed the complaint.
42 Main Street South
The loss of Stewart could end up being a potential victory for Ed Mitzen, who graduated in 1985 from Clayton A. Bouton High School.
Mitzen, owner of a 450-person healthcare marketing business based in Saratoga, and his wife are the owners of Bread Basket Bakery in Saratoga Springs, a store whose proceeds go directly to charity.
He told members of the planning committee at their April 13 meeting that he had agreed with Stewart’s Shops for 42 South Main St., and that he had similar plans for the property, but no details on the type of restaurant that would enter.
Mitzen said he had a 60-day clause with Stewart that allowed him to gauge the village’s willingness to work with him to put something on the site “because if it became a battle with parking or some other issue , you might see that I don’t know, I have the ability to withdraw from the purchase price, ”he said, which would be a sizeable investment in itself, $ 350,000.
In early 2016, citing space constraints, Stewart made the decision to eventually close his Voorheesville store, which he did in January 2019.
Mitzen said he tried to buy 42 South Main St. a year ago, but Stewart put too many restrictions on the building, in part because the company was “still trying to figure out” the location of the building. ‘old Smitty. He said he “couldn’t even sell pizza, you couldn’t sell coffee. So at that point, I sort of pulled away. But then when they realized they weren’t going to be downtown, the only restriction was I can’t make it a convenience store.
The major change between last year and this year was that Stewart lost his lawsuit against the village.
Mitzen told commission members that he wanted to help breathe new life into “downtown” Voorheesville, but the whole business was still “very preliminary” and he didn’t even have ” ready-to-use architectural drawings ”.
Mitzen told The Enterprise to follow up with him in a month when asked for an interview. “I still have a long way to go before I can announce anything,” he said via email.
At the April 13 meeting, Mitzen said parking would be an issue.
President Georgia Gray, who is resigning from her post, said the village undertook a comprehensive planning process a few years ago and updated its zoning laws. “And we’re extremely interested in developing a downtown Voorheesville that’s conducive to business, so to speak,” said Gray. “So we’re definitely willing to work with, you know, whatever you have in our [code]. “
Planning committee member Chuck Dollard said, “People want a place to meet,” and the first thing that comes up when he talks to people is coffee.
Dollard didn’t think parking would be as much of a problem as Mitzen.
But Mitzen believed that some sort of off-street parking should be made available. The site itself is “really small,” he said. “Through the eyes of a 10-year-old, he looked a lot bigger.”
Speaking about parking issues, planning committee member Steve Reilly said Old Songs Inc, which is located in an old church not far from the Stewart building, was able to work with other businesses on Main Street to find solutions.
Village administrator Jack Stevens, the council liaison to the commission, pointed out that there were empty seats at Village Hall, while village attorney Richard Reilly said the complete plan had been written with built-in flexibility regarding parking. And Mitzen was also recommended to contact Jon Phillips, who closed his hardware store in November last year and whose property now has unused parking spaces.