Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Star of 'Alice' sitcom planning Columbia Country restaurant

The former Yorkshire Farms restaurant
Although the Arlo Guthrie song says "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant," that won't be true of a Columbia County restaurant actress Alice Lavin is planning to open -- because it won't have her name on it.

Bakunas and Lavin
Lavin, who played the title role in the television series "Alice" in 1976-85 -- a sitcom set in the fictitious Mel's Diner where Alice worked as a waitress -- and her husband Steve Bakunas plan to renovate the former Yorkshire Farms Restaurant and Tavern property, located at 484 Route 23 in Claverack, after closing on the property next month.

After extensive renovations, they will reopen it as -- no, not Alice's -- Joe's Roadhouse Lounge. They had given some thought to using "Alice" in the name, but switched directions when it was thought that might have some legal complications.

The building currently is home to an antique shop and has not operated as a restaurant for several years after a 30-year run. 

Lavin and Bakunas also own a home in Chatham, about 15 miles north of Claverack. The Hudson Register-Star has a good interview with them about their project, available online.

Lavin (foreground) with the staff of Mel's Diner.

• 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

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