A New Leaf on Beekman; restaurant news

New Leaf joins Beekman Street community

The newest artisans’ haven on the West Side is half gallery, half store. Located at 30 Beekman St., New Leaf Contemporary Art Gallery and Gift Boutique opened Sept. 2 with an aim to give local artists a place to display and sell their wares while they stay in the studio and keep creating.

Owner Jeromy McFarren, a student of the arts and a native of Greenwich, says retailing handmade and local products is important to keep money circulating within the community.

“If you invest in a place, it becomes more sustainable,” McFarren said. “It’s hard for people to make a living as artisans. People need to realize how important it is to have art in the community.”

New Leaf carries designer art, shoes, felt headbands, ceramics, makeup, bags, knitted products, jewelry, pillows and a variety of other unique gift items. The gallery in the back of the shop features paintings, sculpture and mixed-media art with a contemporary pop feel, McFarren said.

Crafters at New Leaf receive a 60 percent share of profits from the sale of their goods, while gallery artists get70 percent. Interested artists may contact McFarren about selling their work at newleafgallery@gmail.com. For more information, call 636-8026.

PHOTO: New Leaf Jeromy McFarren owner holds a ceramic teapot, one of the products in his new shop handmade by a local artisan.

Take-N-Bake eyes multiple new locations

The Take-N-Bake joint, at 327 Milton Ave., Ballston Spa

Economical and eco-friendly, I Love New York Take-N-Bake Pizza opened in Ballston Spa this May with a new twist on takeout: selling raw, made-to-order pizzas ready for customers to pick up, take home and pop in the oven.

“This is the best for this economy because it’s cheap,” said Vera Camaj, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Vinny, and cousins Robert and Anthony Lulgjuraj.

The family will open a second location in the Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna this week, and they anticipate expanding to Saratoga and Clifton Park later on.

“We’re planning a couple more stores by the end of the year,” Camaj said. “We’re hoping it’s going to be Saratoga and Clifton Park.”

By 2010, Camaj said the Take-N-Bake trademark will most likely have more than four shop locations.

The concept “take it and bake it” offers customers a hearty meal that can feed a family for $10 or less. Owners say less waste is created because there are no pizza boxes used, and they give two reasons why it’s cheaper than most pizzerias: First, food is sold raw, so there’s no sales tax; and second, there are no overhead costs associated with equipment, such as cooking ovens or multiple staff members, since it’s a family-run business.

For more information, call 884-0500.

DZ Restaurants expands outside Saratoga

DZ Restaurants, which owns Forno Bistro on Broadway and Chianti II Ristorante on Division Street, announced it will add a third eatery to the list this winter.

Pasta Pane, a rustic Italian bistro, is expected to open in Clifton Park by the end of December or beginning of January, said Nancy Bambara, director of operations for DZ Restaurants.

Pasta Pane will be located in a former Applebee’s space at 18 Park Ave. Further details are expected to be released later this fall.


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