Another longtime city bar being revived
Recycling popular old bars apparently is becoming a thing in these parts.
I've been reporting on the eventual reopening of Bradley's Tavern in Troy under new ownership. Now, we're learning that the former Union Inn in Schenectady will get new life under a local restaurant owner.
The $100,000 purchase of the building at 517 Union Street to Phil Ruggiero, owner of Nico’s Pizzeria on State Street, was authorized Monday night by the Schenectady City Council. Ruggiero plans to renovate and reopen it under the same name, according to a story in The Gazette.
Owner Joyce Fordham closed the Union Inn in 2014 after sustaining flood damage, allegedly due to a drainage problem caused by an adjacent building. That matter is in the courts.
“I remember going to the Union Inn 20 years ago. I noticed it had been run-down for a while,” Ruggiero told The Gazette. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring it back to what it was. I think it’s a great location with a lot of potential.”
He said he expects renovations to take up to five months and is hoping for a mid-2017 opening. The Union Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places, so any renovation work will need to comply with rules for such structures. The building dates to the 1860s. Fordham ran it for eight years, but it has been known by that name for decades, and has been a bar for more than a century.
In the case of the Troy resurrection, Bradley's Tavern closed at the end of summer, and Gary Bradley recently sold the 28 4th Street building to Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine. They plan to reopen it, but at last report were not sure they could retain the name for various legal reasons. I'd kind of like seeing it carry the name that it operated under for about 40 years before becoming Bradley's -- Dempsey's Bar & Grill. That's a name that smacks of Troy's heritage.
Posted by William M. Dowd at 10:00 AM