• The latest reports from the Greater Capital Region on restaurants and food vendor openings, closings and transitions, as well as occasional entries from Vermont, the Berkshires, and the Catskills.
Birch Bark Eatery, a vegan deli, has opened at 989 Route 9 in Queensbury in the same building as the Knights of Columbus. Owner Tania Sharlow worked in fast food for a decade and a half, but when she became a vegan she channeled that preference into creating an eatery with a menu based on an all-plant philosophy. Sharlow told the Post-Star she had planned to open in May, but was scammed by a
contractor for nearly $5,000 and had to go back to work 80 hours per
week to make up for the loss. At the new spot, she also offers catering services. Her menu is available on Facebook. Phone: 518-741-0010.
Madina Sweets and Restaurant has opened at 295 Central Avenue in Albany, between North Lake Avenue and Quail Street. It serves Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. Its menu has the usual expected offerings but with the addition of more than a dozen sweet preparations, most sold by the pound. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A buffet is served for lunch ($8.99 weekdays, $9.99 weekends) and dinner (Friday and Saturday only, $14.99). Phone: 518-449-9000.
• Darrell Langworthy has graduated from food truck operator to restaurateur in less than a year. His Mark BBQ restaurant opened at 34 Park Street in Essex Junction, VT. That's the same town in which he debuted a food truck of the same name last spring. The Texas-style barbecue operation offers a lineup of meats such as pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, and sausage that has been slow-cooked over pecan and hickory woods. Langworthy, 39, who served in the military for 12 years, is a former chef at the Burlington Country Club and food service worker at GlobalFoundries. His new restaurant is named for his late Texan father-in-law, Mark Ivey. Langworthy expects to begin selling beer and wine later this year. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The food truck will return to service next spring. Phone: 802-495-1480.
Panda Express restaurant on Troy-Schenectady Road near the entrance to the Latham Farms shopping complex has closed. It was the only Capital Region outpost for the 2,000-restaurant chain that is the largest Asian segment chain in the United States,. The venue was opened in May 2015. Its closing now leaves a large, empty, unattractive cube perched along the road. I recently wrote about increasing competition around the nation for the highly-successful chain.
The Perfect Wife Restaurant & Tavern will close after service on Saturday, ending a 23-year run on Depot Street (Routes 11 and 30) in Manchester, VT. Chef-owner Amy Chamberlain
has offered the business for sale for the past year, and it will remain on the market after closing. She closed her downstairs formal dining room and her catering service several months ago to cut down on her workload and allow her to concentrate on her upstairs tavern. However, she cited financial stress and the difficulty of finding enough reliable employees among reasons for the decision to close. Phone: 802-362-2817.
Wolff’s Biergarten in Troy into a lounge/bar called The Berlin, which he describes as "sort of The Pony Barn meets Soho House meets Olde English Pub. Opening
this holiday season!" (The Pony Barn refers to his event space at June Farms in West Sand Lake, The Olde English Pub to his venue in Albany, and Soho House to a Manhattan club.) Baumgartner previously operated Troy Cantina in the upstairs space, but closed it after a year. Wolff's is located at 2 King Street, just steps away from bustling River Street, opposite the Green Island Bridge.