Friday, February 5, 2016

Today's ride on the Capital Region Foodie-Go-Round


CLOSING

• The Old Country Buffet chain is on a diet. The brand, owned by Ovation Brands of Greer, SC, on Thursday closed 74 of its "underperforming" restaurants operating under several names, including one at 555 Hubbard Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. And, apparently the folks who took over the company last August didn't feel like giving their employees advance notice. A sign posted on the Old Country front door there said, "To team members at this location, we regret to inform you that this location has been closed permanently. Please see the visiting manager for exit paperwork, along with monies due to you. We do encourage and invite you to reapply at one of the nearby Ovation Brands restaurants. Thank you for your time and for your understanding. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at hr_dpt@foodmps.com. Thank you." Ovation Brands, formerly Buffets Inc., has undergone several bankruptcies in recent years, closing 80 restaurants in 2012. It still operates more than 300 venues under the Old Country, Fire Mountain, and HomeTown Buffet names in 35 states. The Old Country at 2320 Watt Street in Schenectady and the HomeTown Buffets at 994 Hudson River Road in Mechanicviand 3565 Route 20 in Nassau apparently were not affected.

OPENING

• Vince George, former longtime manager of the Indian restaurant Karavalli in Latham, and two partners this week opened Bombay Royale in Northampton, MA. George, Lee restaurateur Pramod Warriar (Bombay), and Vargheese Athimootil are behind the downtown venture, located at 52 Crafts Avenue in One Roundhouse Plaza. Its huge menu offers a wide variety of regional Indian dishes. A buffet meal option is offered weekdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. and weekends from noon to 3 p.m. Phone:  (413) 341-3537.

PASSING 

• Dan Nilsson, chef-owner of the Scandinavian restaurant DA/BA in Hudson, has died, apparently at his own hand. His death on Wednesday was confirmed by a State Police spokesperson. Nillson had appeared on the Food Network competition series "Guy's Grocery Games" in 2014.
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