Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

At last, Chipotle plans to test a drive-thru 

•  KFC to debut new Smoky Mountain BBQ Chicken

Dunkin’ Donuts simplifying menus at 700 more locations

Crabfest ads signal new Red Lobster focus

•  Why customers are flocking back to Outback Steakhouse

Starbucks announces largest acquisition in company history
 


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Falafel Den reopening in larger Saratoga Springs venue

A Saratoga Springs falafel shop is set to reopen in larger quarters this weekend.

Falafel Den, owned by Zouhir Lian, has relocated from 6 Phila Street to No.10, which gives him about 400 square feet ofm space compared to the microscopic 100 square feer he has had for the business's first three yeares of operation, And, he will be able to seat people at 15 tablea rather thn just four.

“Hopefully in the future I’m going to have 50,” Lian told local news media on the eve of reopening his business after a four-month hiatus. Falafel Den will again be offering Mediterranean cuisine including gyros, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and, obviously, falafel. Lian also will offer catering services along with eat-in and takeout food.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Phone: 518-886-9192.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Latest Jersey Mike's Subs about to open Latham location

Although no formal opening date has been announced, the fourth Jersey Mike's Subs location in the Capital Region is getting closer to opening.

Exterior signage has been installed at The Shoppes at Latham Circle -- formerly Latham Circle Mall -- and interior work is nearly completed. It is among 62 locations nationwide now being constructed by the chain as part of a major expansion plan.

Currently operating locations in the Capital Region are at 5 Southside Drive in Clifton Park, 380 Feura Bush Road in Glenmont, and in Wilton Plaza on State Route 50 in Saratoga Springs.

Jersey Mike's, which offers online ordering, markets its sandwiches as using locally-produced ingredients as often as possible, and breads baked daily on-premises. The menu is available online.

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Kelsey Grammer joining ranks of NYS craft brewers

Well, why not? Everyone else is.

Kelsey Grammer
Veteran actor Kelsey Grammer is joining the ranks of New York State craft brewers with a farm brewery in a barn near Margaretville, Delaware County.

The star of the TV comedy series "Cheers" and "Frasier," the HBO drama "Boss" and other TV and film vehicles is behind setting up shop on an old farm he used to visit as a child and purchased about 25 years ago. It's called the Faith American Brewing Company, named after his youngest daughter, Faith Evangeline Elisa.

If this news seems familiar, it could be because Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewers Association, posted a photo with Grammer to his social media accounts last year saying Grammer planned to start a brewery near Margaretville, a village on the northern edge of the Catskill Park. However, those posts were quickly removed and the topic went cold until Grammer this week confirmed his venture during an appearance on the TV chat show "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

“It’s very hard because it’s in a watershed," Grammer said, " so you have to do a lot of stuff for water treatment, waste disposal, all that stuff. And, it’s important, so we’re doing that, so it’s taking a little while. We’ve actually started the beer first, which will be released in a little while: Faith American Ale.”

Grammer did not mention any release dates, although he said he conducted a private tasting of the ale last weekend, and no opening date has been announced.

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Openings & Closings & Etc.


• The latest reports on restaurants and food vendor openings, closings and transitions from the Greater Capital Region, as well as occasional entries from the Catskills, Central New York, Southern Vermont and the Berkshires.

OPENINGS

• Taste O Ireland has opened at 195 River Street, a former pet boutique, in downtown Troy. The shop, decked out in traditional Irish green decor, offers a range of imported Irish and British foods such as sausages, pies, pastries, cookies, chips, chocolates, soft drinks, and so forth. The owner is Stacey Weinberger, a native of Northern Ireland. She has posted numerous picture of her products on her Facebook page. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Phone: 518-461-4791.


Shacksbury Cider has opened a tasting room at 11 Main Street  in Vergennes, VT. The company produces old world-style and experimental ciders from heirloom and foraged apples collected throughout the Champlain Valley. "This space is intended as our experimental cidery," co-founder Colin Davis told the publication Seven Days, explaining that the bulk of the company's major releases are produced at a larger facility in Shoreham. The Vergennes location houses Shacksbury's barrel- ging and wild yeast propagation programs, Davis said, and the cidery produces many of its small-batch, wild-fermented ciders there.

CLOSINGS

• A question mark may be appropriate here since there has been no formal announcement, but ... Blue Flower Thai, which opened last winter at 144 Washington Avenue in Albany, appears to have closed. The telephone number has been disconnected, its Facebook page hasn't been updated for five months, and the venue has been dark during normal business hours for a week or more.

• There appears to be a double closing in Saratoga Springs, according to the Times Union. It reports that the Beekman Bar & Eatery, "a six-month-old reincarnation of what for four years was the restaurant 62 Beekman, appears to have closed. The website and Facebook pages are gone, the telephone number has been disconnected, and the building is listed as available for lease. [And] A coffee shop just down the street, Beekman Street Café, which was opened in spring 2016 by the same owners [the the father-and-son team of Dominick and Darren DeVietro], may have closed as well. Its telephone number goes directly to voicemail during normal business and isn’t set up to accept messages, and its website has been taken down, though the Facebook page remains active and lists upcoming events."

• Anyone looking to visit the Burlington, VT-area restaurants Sugarsnap Cafe, in the Technoogy Park in South Burlington, and Sonoma Station in Richmond is out of luck. Both have gone out of business. Abbey Duke said on her company website she closed Sugarsnap to focus fulltime on catering. And, chef/owner Monica Lamay said she closed the 11-year-old Sonoma Station in hopes of getting into another as-yet-unspecified aspect of the industry.

DEVELOPING

• Oneonta, with a downtown that has grown threadbare and underpopulated by residents and businesses over the past few decades, has been announced as the recipient of a $10 million state redevelopment grant to spur revitalization. Among already-announced projects: the refurbishing and reopening of the Autumn Cafe, which closed in January after a 37-year run, with Wayne and Rebecca Carrington of the B Side Ballroom and Supper Club handling the project; the creation of a Food & Beverage Innovation Center on Market Street, which would feature a commercial kitchen, classrooms, and a micro brewery, all functioning as a resource for the numerous organic food producers and craft breweries that have sprung up in the region; the city previously received $4.5 million from the state to help with the land acquisition and construction costs of the project.


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NYS small distillers get on-premises sales equality

Distillers whose operations come under the state's "farm distillery" definition got a boost on Tuesday when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that allows them to sell New York-produced beer, wine, and cider for consumption on-premises. It goes into effect immediately.

"This measure restores parity for New York's burgeoning craft beverage industry and allows for new revenue streams and exposure for the great brewers, distillers, and wine and cider makers all across this great state," Cuomo said in his signing message. "As I've said many times, when New Yorkers buy New York-made products, everybody wins."

Prior to this bill (S.2481/A.2994) becoming law, farm distilleries were limited to selling only New York State-labelled spirits for on-premises consumption. Meanwhile, farm breweries, farm cideries and farm wineries were permitted to sell New York State-labelled beers, wines, spirits and ciders for on-premises consumption.

John Curtin, co-founder and co-owner, the Albany Distilling Company and vice president of the New York State Distillers Guild, said, "We cannot express how much the signage of this bill means to New York's craft distilling industry. For us at Albany Distilling, we've made significant investments in anticipation of the passage of this bill, including a new tasting room and production facility. We can proudly serve our spirits alongside fellow New York-produced beer, wine, and cider by the glass. A tremendous thanks to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making the Empire State the capital of nation's craft beverage industry."
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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'A Taste of Sand Lake' arts fundraiser keeps on growing

"A Taste of Sand Lake," now in its 10th year, has drawn 14 participating food purveyors for the Wednesday, August 26, event that is a major fundraiser for the Sand Lake Center for the Arts.

The event will be held at The Old Daley on Crooked Lake. Tickets, with various price points for individuals, sponsors and groups, are available now online. 

The lineup of sponsors, the most in  the event's history, includes:
  • AJ's Pizzeria
  • Burden Lake Country Club
  • Crossroads American Grille
  • Hannaford Supermarket
  • Kay's Famous Pizza
  • Lakeview Inn on Crystal Lake
  • La Perla Ristorante
  • Old Daley on Crooked Lake
  • Mess Hall
  • Paula's Country Kitchen
  • Sushi House
  • Towne Tavern
  • Westfall Station Cafe
  • Young's Pharmacy and General Store
The Old Daley Inn on Crooked Lake is located at 2339 Route 43 in Averill Park.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Craft brewery in development in Bolton Landing

From The Post-Star

The latest addition to the local beer scene is under construction on Lake George -- at 4933 Lake Shore Drive, where Bolton Landing Brewing Company is aiming for a September opening.

“We don’t have a date yet, but when we do, you know I will shout it from the mountain,” said company president Brendan Murnane, who along with his father, John, is building the seven-barrel brew house and taproom in the building that once housed Makado Sushi and, before that, Son of a Sailor.

“ ... We’ve gutted the inside of the building. It’s not really built for a brewery, but we are going to make it into one,” Brendan Murnane said. “We’re pouring the floor for the brew house, and once we get that in place, we will start working on the taproom.” ...

Murnane, who previously worked for the Westchester County executive’s office, said his family has been in Bolton Landing for nearly 30 years, and he wanted to settle down here. He has hired Shawn Kerr, formerly of 12 Gates Brewing Co. of Williamsville, as his head brewer.
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Pesticide Roundup found in Ben & Jerry's products

From The New York Times
A growing number of foods commonly found in kitchens across America have tested positive for glyphosate, the herbicide that is the main ingredient in the popular consumer pesticide Roundup, which is widely used in agriculture. But, few brands on that list are as startling as the latest: Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont ice cream company known for its family-friendly image and environmental advocacy.

The Organic Consumers Association announced today that it found traces of glyphosate in 10 of 11 samples of the company’s ice creams — although at levels far below the ceiling set by the [federal] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Rob Michalak, global director of social mission at Ben & Jerry’s, said the company was working to ensure that all the ingredients in its supply chain come from sources that do not include genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. None of its plant-based ingredients, for instance, come from a genetically engineered crop like corn or soy, where glyphosate is used in production. The company also is trying to figure out a cost-effective way for the dairy farms that supply its milk to use non-GMO feed.

“We’re working to transition away from GMO, as far away as we can get,” Michalak said. “But then these tests come along, and we need to better understand where the glyphosate they’re finding is coming from. Maybe it’s from something that’s not even in our supply chain, and so we’re missing it.”
Go here for the full story.
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Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

Menu Tracker: New items from Burger 21, others

Arby’s introduces porchetta sandwiches 

McDonald’s sales soar on new products, discounts

Sonic debuts dunked ultimate chicken sandwich

Smoothie King opens 900th location, newest in New York State
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Epicurean Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions. 


• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Taylor brewery creates 'Community Tap' charity push

R.S. Taylor and Sons Brewery Tap Room, recently opened in Saratoga Springs, today announced the launch of its Community Tap Program.

Each month, a local charity or not-for-profit organization will be featured on the Community Tap. The organizations will be chosen from suggestions submitted by R.S. Taylor and Sons' patrons. Every time a pint is pulled from the Community Tap, an extra dollar that has been added to the price will go directly to the organization featured that month.

The Community Tap Program will debut at 4 p.m. next Tuesday, August 1, when the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Inc. is featured. 

 The Community Tap program is designed for ongoing, local charitable giving. Says Kelley Taylor, wife of brewery owner Richard Taylor, "Craft beer drinkers are an enthusiastic group. We wanted to capture some of the passion, generosity and sense of community spirit inherent in today's craft beer crowd and create a fun and easy way for them to support the local causes that matter to them," said Kelley Taylor wife of owner Richard Taylor. " ... Our brewery is very involved in supporting local organizations in our home community of Hebron, over in Washington County, and the Community Tap program is an extension of that at our new tap room in Saratoga Springs."

The new Taylor tap room is located at 26A Congress Street, Congress Plaza, Saratoga Springs.Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday noon to 11 p.m. Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

LeBron James-backed Blaze Pizza is fastest-growing restaurant chain ever

These 5 restaurant chains are taking over America

Chick-fil-A tests family meals, new sides

Pizza Hut launches 'Everyman' campaign

Starbucks introduces new piña colada tea infusion 

McDonald's is releasing a one-day apparel line Wednesday


• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Vermont Cider Classic promising attendees 50+ ciders

Organizers of the Vermont Cider Classic are promising prospective attendees 50 or more ciders plus a souvenir tasting cup to aid in the sampling.

The event, limited to persons 21 or older although an after party featuring live music will be open to younger visitors, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, August 26 at the ArtsRiot venue at 400 Pine Street in Burlington, VT. 

Tickets are offered online at various prices. A food truck will be on the premises.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kinderhook hosting season's 2nd 'Food Truck Village'

The second and final Food Truck Village event of the summer is set for Thursday, August 24, in the Kinderhook Village Square.

The June event was a big hit with locals, and a substantial lineup of trucks is expected for this 5-9 p.m. rain-or-shine celebration of food. Live music will be part of the festivities.

Participants at the June event:
• The Chuck Wagon
• El Danzante
• Lekker
• Hungry Traveler
• Slidin’ Dirty
• Sweet Central Express
• Enjoy-A-Ball
• Charcoal Dole
• Pippy’s Hot Dog Truck
• Chatham Brewing's Main Street Kitchen
• S&S Farm Brewery
The Village Square is located at the intersection of Route 9 and Hudson Street. The event is sponsored by the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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