6.30.2011

07/01-07/04 Weekend Insider Roundup

Hello and happy almost holiday weekend,

Here's the second version of our new "Weekend Insider" column. Please comment and leave your feedback; I'd love to know what you think, if there's anything specific you'd like to see in the future, etc. We're really hoping to make this a regular feature and I want it to be something that benefits YOU each and every weekend. Enjoy and have a happy 4th of July weekend! Thanks again.

SKL
PS. Please forgive the choppy editing... I'm still trying to get the hang of this thing they call Final Cut Pro.




FRIDAY, JULY 1.

Get groovy at Beatles Fest
  • Beatles Fest II. Beatles tribute band Across the Pond headlines this 60s-infused night at Derby Park. Sure it’s a bit of a hike to drive the 30 minutes to Hudson Falls, but how often do you get the chance to have your own personal Beatle-mania in your own backyard? The Jonathan Newell Band, Acoustic Pleasure and the Hudson Falls High School string ensemble are scheduled as opening acts and there will be a variety of food and drink vendors. It’s been a hard days night…so get down to HF and start your weekend off right. Derby Park, Coleman Avenue, Village of Hudson Falls. Friday, July 1. 6-10 p.m. (747-5426 ext. 206). $3. Kids 12 and under free.
Dance under the stars for a rooftop jazz concert
  • UpBeat on the Roof Concert Series — Sonny and Perley. Now in its 11th season, UpBeat on the Roof - Skidmore's TANG Museum free rooftop concert series welcomes jazz duo Sonny and Perley to the stage. Sonny and Perley of the New Orleans Jazz program will headline this night of music under the stars with a tribute to jazz legend Louis Armstrong. If you couldn't get enough of Jazz Fest at SPAC last weekend, this is the perfect chance to get your jazz groove back on. Not to mention, it's free and on the roof of the TANG, one of Saratoga's coolest seasonal venues. Tang Museum, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway. Friday, July 1. 7 p.m.  (580-8080 www.tang.skidmore.edu). FREE.
Get glam at the Opera ball
  • Opera Saratoga’s 9th Annual Opera Ball. Dress up in your finest for this fabulous annual opera gala. Celebrate the kick off of Opera Saratoga’s summer season at a night full of glitz, glamour and gowns. The event features an auction, dancing and complimentary appetizers, food and wine by Joseph Carr Winery straight from the Napa Valley in California. Saratoga Hilton, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Friday, July 1. 7 p.m. (584-6018 www.operasaratoga.com). $150—$250.
SATURDAY, JULY 2.

Bring your boys to Dango’s for wings, beer and women.
  • Dango’s Fashion Runway Show. This dude-food hotspot is famous for its sexy bartenders, cheap wings and constant stream of sports that play across multiple big screen TVs. This Saturday, Dango’s is creating a true man paradise with a sporting attire fashion show hosted by Jake Allen. The show will feature sports illustrated wear (aka swimsuits?) along with other athletic-themed clothing. The night also features live entertainment, a band and plenty of drink specials. Dango Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub, 38 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, July 2. Doors at 11 p.m. (587-2022). FREE.
Support local blues band MaryLeigh and the Fauves at the Den
  • MaryLeigh and the Fauves Concert. MaryLeigh and the Fauves are a blues-pop group hailing from our own Saratoga Springs. Opening acts feature local solo artist Kyle Miller, followed by the Boston-based soul rock group the Brothers McCann. With a seductive style driven by MaryLeigh's powerful vocals and The Fauves' energetic guitar riffs, it's no wonder this local group was named runner up in the 2011 Saratoga Battle of the Bands and has also opened for Rusted Root in the past. Check them out this Saturday! Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, July 2. Doors at 9 p.m. (584-8066 www.putnamden.com). $5.
 SUNDAY—MONDAY JULY 3, 4.

Celebrate the stars and stripes all weekend in Saratoga Springs
  • All-American Celebration in Saratoga Springs. A weekend of patriotic festivities kicks off on Saturday morning and runs through Monday. Read on for some of the most anticipated events. For a full list schedule of events and more information visit: www.saratogajuly4th.com. July 2—Monday, July 4.
  • Ghosts of Saratoga Tours. Meet in front of the Saratoga Springs History Exhibit to embark on a spooky “Ghosts of Saratoga” tour, which will feature eerie stories from our town’s folklore and history. The tour also celebrates the opening of the history museum’s new exhibit and will feature complimentary refreshments. Saratoga Springs History Museum, 1 East Congress Street, Saratoga Springs. Sunday, July 3. 12—2 p.m. FREE.
  • Firecracker Road Race. Cheer on your community members as they run four miles through the scenic streets of Saratoga. Monday, July 4. 9 a.m. $25 to register day of race. Free to watch. All-American Parade. Enjoy a patriotic parade down Broadway following the Firecracker Road Race. Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Monday, July 4. 10 a.m. FREE.    
  • All-American BBQ and Dessert Festival. Sample classic USA-themed cuisine at participating local restaurants and the Holiday Inn around town. Think burgers, hot dogs, ice cream… Monday, July 4. 11 a.m.—3 p.m. FREE.
  • Family day & fireworks in Congress Park. Bring the family to Congress Park for a day long celebration featuring live music, entertainment, face painting and much more. The night culminates with a grand fireworks spectacular show at dusk (9:15 p.m.). Happy fourth! Congress Park, Saratoga Springs. Monday, July 4. 12—9:15 p.m. FREE.

6.29.2011

Dango's to host one very manly fashion show this Saturday

SARATOGA SPRINGS


Although this is undoubtedly making it into this weekend's Weekend Insider Roundup (which goes up tomorrow), I felt the need to give it its own special post.

Dango Fitzgerald's Irish Pub, Steakhouse and Sport's Bar arrived on Caroline Street in February and in a few short months it's already made its mark on the Saratoga nightlife scene.

Dango's is best known for their Tuesday 5 cent wing specials, attractive female wait staff and constant stream of sports (think Boston) playing on numerous big screen TV's. With this recipe for success, Dango's is a favorite dining and drinking destination for many - especially the male crowd.

This Saturday, Dango's seems to be thanking their loyal male customers with a sports-themed fashion show featuring models clad in "sports-illustrated" attire (aka bathing suits?).

Personally, I think this is pretty great and I plan on dragging a few girlfriends just to see how it all plays out. There's no cover charge and her, us girls enjoy our buffalo wings and Bud Light beers too! Grab some friends and check out the sports model madness this Saturday starting at 11 p.m. at Dango's on 38 Caroline Street.

SKL

Tushita Heaven opening Friday

SARATOGA SPRINGS Boxes of exquisite imported jewelry, artwork and other goods line the walls of Tushita Heaven, Saratoga's latest arts and wellness boutique located on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street.


The door was open and the giant gold and emerald Buddha statues caught my eye so I strolled in to have a look early Wednesday morning.

"We're not officially open for business until Friday," said owner Dawn Hall. "We're still receiving shipments."

Hall said that the shop's products are coming in from all corner of the globe: India, Nepal, Thailand, China and even some from right here in the US.

After speaking with Dawn again today, I realized I made a tiny error in my first post announcing the arrival of Tushita Heaven Wellness Center.
Turns out the shop won't be offering its wellness and spa services, which include psychic readings, hypnosis and spiritual counseling at least not right away.

"A lot of people have already been asking for the wellness center services," Hall said. "We're not currently offering them since I don't really have a network set up here, but it's a definite possibility if that's what Saratoga wants in the future."

Hall, who recently moved to the area from California, is in the process of settling into life in Saratoga and re-opening her store on Broadway.

The exotic scent of incense and floral candles along with a stunning array of fine art and wooden crafts make this a new retail destination you'll want to explore this weekend.

Tushita Heaven will be open to the public this Friday, July 1.
 www.tushitaheaven.com

SKL 

PS. I also snapped some very amateur photos of Tushita Heaven's window displays... Just to give you a sneak peek of what's inside.

6.28.2011

Hot Yoga Saratoga welcomes sister studio One Yoga Saratoga


One Yoga Saratoga welcomes the public to its upcoming grand opening weekend.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Cindy Lunsford, owner of the popular Hot Yoga Saratoga, recently announced the grand opening of her latest venture One Yoga Saratoga — located adjunct to the hot yoga studio on 75 Woodlawn Avenue in Saratoga Springs. 

One Yoga Saratoga will kick off its grand opening weekend on Friday, July 8 with a variety of complimentary events and classes taking place throughout the weekend until Sunday, July 10. 

“The new studio will offer more traditional yoga classes because we wanted to open the doors to people who are fearful of the heat,” Lunsford said of OYS’ mission. “A lot of the classes are going to be shorter, so we’ll do quicker warm ups to get people’s body heat up and there will be both cold and warm classes, but the hottest the room will ever get is 90 degrees, which is around 20 degrees cooler than the hot studio.”
One Yoga Saratoga will feature traditional yinyasa, yin and ashtanga yoga classes, Pilates and Barre classes as well as sports massage options.

“We are also offering classes geared specifically toward kids, teens and new students with no experience as well as providing options for the more advanced students,” Lunsford said about what makes OYS unique. “No other studio in town offering yin yoga, which is a deep stretching class that is more therapeutic for your joints and ligaments and can be a great option for anyone including our regular hot yoga members.”

The other piece of OYS is that it will house Saratoga’s first yoga and activewear boutique, which will feature select brands that Lunsford said couldn’t be found locally until now. 

“We’re carrying activewear, not just yoga clothing,” Lunsford said. “We’ll feature running shorts, golf skirts and we actually have some nice cocktail dresses as well — it’s really just clothing made from comfortable, stretchy material.”
The boutique will also carry a variety of accessories such as yoga mats, soaps, jewelry, water bottles and more. The estimated average price point for the shop’s activewear and other products is around $50.  

All of the opening weekend events and classes will be free and open to the public in order to give community members of all ages and skill levels the chance to come in, sample a class and meet Lunsford and her staff.

On Friday, July 8, there will be a free kids yoga class beginning at 4 p.m. (ages 5—10), which will be followed by a welcome happy hour with a wine and cheese mixer. Saturday morning there will be a variety of free classes including yin, Pilates and vinyasa for customers to sample some of OYS’ regular course offerings.

Throughout the weekend there will be other open classes as well as a number of fun giveaways and complimentary food and drink specials.

The grand opening ends with a mimosa brunch at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday following the morning’s ashtanga and “Yoga Blast” classes. 

For a complete schedule of events and class visit One Yoga Saratoga’s website: www.oneyogasaratoga.com.

“We’re very excited to announce our grand opening and welcome everyone to come in and try a class or just to see what it’s all about,” Lunsford said.

Regular summer classes will begin on Monday, July 11 following the grand opening weekend. 

SKL

6.27.2011

Established casual-chic clothing line to open first retail location on Broadway next week


 Jude Connally to give Broadway business a test drive; Opening July 4

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jude Zimmerman, founder and designer of Jude Connally clothing, noticed the vacant retail space on the corner of Broadway and Caroline Street on Thursday and leapt at the opening.  

Three days later, Zimmerman signed a three-month lease for the 15,000 square foot storefront at 438 Broadway with landlord and building owner Mark Straus in what she calls Saratoga’s fastest business deal of all time.  

“It’s our first retail store so it’s a test,” Zimmerman said of the Jude Connally shop, which will open next week. “It’s what we’re calling a pop-up shop where we come into a vacant space and stay there through the season and hopefully, if we do well in Saratoga, we may end up staying there permanently.”

Zimmerman, who grew up in Troy, spent her summers at the track in Saratoga and couldn’t be more excited about opening a store on Broadway. 

“What I love about Saratoga is that it’s old — it’s very timeless — but it’s also modern and trendy,” Zimmerman said. “That’s how I describe my clothing — we use classic shapes, but with modern colors and prints and I think that’s the kind of woman I see in Saratoga.”

After working for years in the corporate world as VP of sales and marketing for Liz Claiborne, Zimmerman said her path changed after 9/11 when she decided to open a retail store in Cranford, New Jersey so she could spend more time with her family. 

“I ran the store for four years and realized I wanted something bigger,” Zimmerman said. 

One day, while she was out for a run, Zimmerman had an epiphany. 

“I saw all these beautiful women running and noticed they stay in their running clothes because they’re comfortable,” Zimmerman said. “I realized I could make comfortable clothing that makes women feel good, but also is fashionable and makes them look good too — and that’s how Jude Connally was born.”

Zimmerman decided on calling her new business Jude Connally, her maiden name, as a tribute to her family and because she said it felt like a very American name, which is important as all Jude Connally garments are made here in New York City. The brand launched in March 2010 and within a year, Jude Connally garments were being sold in retail locations in over 25 states.

“We do dresses and tunic tops,” Zimmerman said of the line. “It’s really about comfort, ease and casual. The garments are no iron, no fuss, knit dresses that you can throw in your bag and don’t wrinkle.”

The simplicity and wearability of Jude Connally pieces attract a wide customer base ranging from college-aged students to mothers Zimmerman said. 

“We are all about making women feel good about themselves no matter what and that attracts women of all ages — I’d say between ages 18 all the way through their 50s,” Zimmerman said. 

Zimmerman’s niece will head up the new Saratoga location, but Zimmerman mentioned they would be looking to introduce local staff in the near future. Although Zimmerman herself will stay home in New Jersey with her husband Jack and sons Matt and Jake, she plans to be back and forth throughout the summer to oversee the pop-up store’s opening months. 

“We’re so excited to work with the town in any way we can,” Zimmerman said. “The town has such an amazing reputation and businesses tend to stay there, so we’re hoping we can make it work — I would love to stay there.”

Jude Connally clothing will be open on Broadway by the week of July, 4. 

www.judeconnally.com
SKL

Jude Connally clothing boutique to fill long-empty space on corner of Broadway and Caroline

Jude Connally to open on Broadway



SARATOGA SPRINGS - This "for rent" sign has haunted the window of the vacant retail space on the corner of Broadway and Caroline Street for months. The 438 Broadway location, previously home to Saratoga Guitar, has been empty since the beginning of the year, but on a stroll through town today this sign caught my eye. Looks like this "prime retail space" is finally reopening as Jude Connally, a designer boutique featuring comfy chic dresses and tops. Stay tuned for more and let me know if you've heard any other tips about Jude Connally clothing!

www.judeconnally.com

SKL

6.24.2011

06/24-06/26 Weekend Insider Roundup

Here it is folks: the first installment of a (potentially) regular weekly "Weekend Insider Roundup" column that seeks to answer the question, "What are we going to do this weekend?" From film screenings to drink specials, there's always something going on around Saratoga and I'm here to hopefully help you make the most of the amazing town we live in. 

Please feel free to email me or leave comments with any feedback, suggestions for next week or upcoming events you might want to see featured. It's still a work in progress, but I'm really excited about the possibility of this insider roundup becoming a weekly staple on the blog, on our website and eventually in print.

Enjoy the weekend!

SKL



FRIDAY, JUNE 24.

Free ice cream alert.
  • Walker’s Farm and Battenkill Valley Creamery pass out free ice cream to celebrate dairy month. Free ice cream cones and the chance to pet baby calves? Enough said. Walker’s Farm. 5565 State Route 4, Fort Ann. 12 to 3 p.m. (800-480-5223 www.walkerstore.cc). FREE.
The Saratoga Film Forum presents a special four-day ‘Tour De Film: Four films on two wheels’ event to celebrate the upcoming kickoff of the 98th annual Tour de France bicycle race on Saturday, July 2.
  • Serotta Custom Bicycles Factory TourGet behind the scenes and see how top-quality racing bikes are made on this unique guided tour. 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs. Friday, June 24. 11 a.m. (584-8100 ext. 213 www.serotta.com). Call for reservations. FREE.
  • Catch a Saratoga Film Forum screening of the 2009 documentary film The Cyclocross MeetingCyclocross is an innovative and challenging sport that requires athletes to complete a series of laps on different terrain (steep hills, grass, pavement, etc.). A cyclocross race course is designed with a series of obstacles that require racers to quickly dismount and carry their lightweight bicycles around barriers during a competition. See what it’s all about and hear from expert guest speakers including John Onderdonk, co-promoter of Saratoga Spa Cyclocross Race; Chuck Quackenbush, co-founder of NYCross.com and Eric Schillinger, director of the NYCross.com cyclocross team. 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Friday, June 24. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:30 screening. (584-FILM www.saratogafilmforum.org). $8-$10 discounts for members.
Drink, dance and jam on the deck at Good Times.
  • The Good Times Lakeview Restaurant’s first annual Deck Jam! Come out for Good Times’ first annual Deck Jam benefit to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. The three-hour event will feature live music by local rock n’ roll group Harmony Rocks along with free beer (yes, FREE beer), food and exciting door prizes. Rumor has it Vince Gallagher of YNN news will make a special guest appearance. The Good Times Lakeview Restaurant. 175 Lake View Road, Ballston Lake. Friday, June 24. 6 to 9 p.m. (399-9976www.goodtimesrestaurant.com). $25 donation.
Get Shaken, not stirred, at Tiznow’s spy-themed party.
  • 007 Secret Agent Rendezvous Party. Dress to impress at Tiznow’s secret agent party. Channel your inner James Bond and come ready to dance the night away with Saratoga SAVOY. Tiznow Restaurant. 84 Henry Street, Saratoga Springs. Friday, June 24. 9:30 to late. (587-5132 www.tiznowrestaurant.com,www.saratogasavoy.com). FREE.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25.

Saratoga Film Forum’s "Tour De Film: Four films on two wheels’’ event continues…
  • 8:00 a.m. Group bike ride sponsored by Serotta Bicycles. Inspired by a weekend of cycling culture? Get out there and give it a go on a group bike ride through Saratoga with expert guides from Serotta Bikes. Includes a BBQ lunch at Serotta’s to refuel after a morning spent working up a sweat on the road. Serotta Custom Bicycle Factory. 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, June 25. Meet at 8 a.m for a 9 a.m. departure. (584-8100 ext. 213 www.serotta.com). Price information available on request. 
  • Watch the 2010 documentary Chasing Legends. Chasing Legends tells the history of the famous Tour de France bike race and examines the passion, dedication and journeys of its athletes. Find out what drives these tough men and women to bike over 2,000 miles across some of the world’s toughest terrain each year. Guest speakers include category 1 racer Beth Miller-Ruiz, category 1 racer and VP of Capital Bicycle Racing Club, Andy Ruiz and Ben Serotta of Serotta Bicycles. 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, June 25. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:30 screening. (584-FILM www.saratogafilmforum.org). $8-$10 discounts for film forum members.
Head to Lake George for the 2011 Lobsterbake
  • Lake George Beer, Wine and Lobsterbake. Kick off summer right at the Boathouse Restaurant for this can’t miss event. Ticket prices are worth every penny and include access to an open bar, a variety of appetizers and a pound and a half of lobster, juicy steaks, a chocolate fountain and live music and entertainment throughout the night. The Boathouse Restaurant. 3210 Lake Shore Drive, Lake George. Saturday, June 25. 5 to 9 p.m. (800-853-1632 www.lakegeorge.com). $99 in advance, $129 at the door.
Taste wine for a cause
  • Wine tasting for Tricia’s Healing FundCome enjoy a deluxe wine tasting with a variety of appetizers and a silent auction to benefit Tricia’s Healing Fund. Tricia Stampfli was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, Satage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer, in March 2011 — All proceeds will go toward Tricia’s medical treatment and recovery. Saratoga Winery. 462 Route 29, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, June 25. 7 to 10 p.m. (584-9463 www.thesaratogawinery.com). $25— $50 discounts for couples and for advance purchase.
Spice things up at a traditional Argentine tango party
  • Saratoga SAVOY Milonga party. On the fourth Saturday of every month, Saratoga SAVOY hosts a Milonga or traditional Argentine tango party. All experience levels are invited to enjoy an exotic night of Argentine tango, salsa and Latin dance. Tickets include a selection of appetizers including fine cheeses, veggies and pastries to keep you grooving and spinning all night long. Saratoga SAVOY Center of Dance. 7 Wells Street, Saratoga Springs. Saturday, June 25. 8 to 11 p.m. (587-5132 www.saratogasavoy.com). $10.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26.

Unwind with a glass of vino at Wheatfield’s Restaurant.
  • Wheatfield’s weekly Sunday “Winedown.” Relax and unwind for a lazy Sunday on the Wheatfield’s patio. Sip on a selection of three wines hand picked by the bartender and enjoy a plate of hors d’oeuvres included in the price. A great chance to pick your server’s brain and become the wine connoisseur you’ve always wanted to be. Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar. 440 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Wheatfield’s Bistro and Wine Bar. Crossing Boulevard, Clifton Park. Sunday, June 26. 2 to 6 p.m. (587-0534 www.wheatfields.com). $7— $10.

Dunkin' Donuts set to host grand opening in Halfmoon on Saturday


Discount Coolattas this Saturday!

HALFMOON — The town of Halfmoon plans to welcome its latest java joint, America’s favorite chain Dunkin’ Donuts with a festive grand opening this Saturday. 

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, at the new Dunkin’ Donuts located at 325 Route 146 in Halfmoon. To celebrate its official opening, the restaurant will be giving away a mountain bike, Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards and a variety of other prizes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Another exciting part of the day is that the restaurant will offer discounted beverages including iced coffees, smoothies and lattes for guests to cool off throughout the day. As an avid coffee drinker I can say without a doubt that this is a great chance to get a deal on a splurge like my favorite Dunkin’ Coffee Coolatta, which today’s high coffee prices generally don’t allow.

The Halfmoon DD is located inside a brand new Sunoco station, which will also offer discounted gasoline during the grand opening. 

The new restaurant is renovated and according to the press release, “features a modern look that provides a fresh, friendly, vibrant and engaging environment for guests.” The Halfmoon Dunkin’ Donuts will be the seventh for the Apres Management Group in the Albany market. 

Following the grand opening, the Dunkin’ Donuts will be open for regular business seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Cheers to my fellow coffee consumers in Halfmoon.

SKL

6.23.2011

Sergio's reopens as Nové Italian Restaurant and launches new website


 Nové Italian Restaurant shifts its focus to a local crowd

WILTON — Two weeks ago, owner Lou Lazzinnaro reopened his iconic Italian restaurant Sergio’s on Route 9 in Wilton as the newly remodeled Nové Italian Restaurant. Today, Thursday, June 23, Nové also unveiled its brand new website (www.novesaratoga.com). 

“We gave the whole place a facelift,” Lazzinnaro said. “We did the whole outside and put in a new roof. We also built a totally new kitchen with new ovens including a brick oven for pizza.” 

In addition to the two-month long period of building renovations, Lazzinnaro and his family have also renovated the business plan and mission of Nové. 

“We wanted to move away from a family style restaurant,” Lazzinaro explained. “We used to get a lot of requests for half portions at Sergio’s when we only offered family meals for two or three people. The new restaurant still has all the same dishes including a few new ones, but we accommodated our customers by offering them in individual portions.” 

In addition to smaller serving sizes, Nové also features several other new highlights including brick oven pizza made from some of the freshest Italian ingredients that Lazzinnaro and his staff pick up from New York City once a week. 

“We’ve always been busy during track season, but we’re trying to focus more on locals now,” Lazzinnaro said. “One way we’re doing that is not raising our prices during track season and we can do that because we pick up products from New York so often.”

The extra effort has been paying off. Lazzinnaro said that even though they haven’t done much advertising, people are raving about the new pizza and the restaurant is processing more take out orders than ever before.
“We’ve been very busy,” Lazzinnaro said. “It’s been going really well.”

www.novesaratoga.com
SKL

6.21.2011

Weekend insider round-up...

Hey everyone,


In addition to my Monday print "In-the-Biz" column, I'm trying something new this week. My co-workers and I are working on a new column idea that would be a sort-of "Weekend insider round-up" column. This Thursday I plan on releasing the final product here on the biz blog and on the Saratogian's website. If all goes according to plan (and I hope it does) the column will help give Saratogians some cool ideas about what's happening around town over the weekend.

If anyone has any tidbits or information about any upcoming weekend openings, drink specials or insider events, please send them my way at slourie@saratogian.com so we can give this column a good test run. I'd appreciate any advice and of course, any feedback after the trial insider column goes up.

Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more!

SKL

A labor of love: Sundaes Best fudge owner featured in national cooking magazine

Fudge owner featured in Where Women Cook magazine

WILTON — Katie Camarro, owner of the Wilton-based hot fudge company Sundaes Best, is featured in a ten-page spread in this month’s issue of Where Women Cook magazine. Camarro was approached by Where Women Cook after an anonymous customer tasted her product and recommended the magazine contact Camarro to tell the story of Sundaes Best fudge.

“I’m not a chef — I’m just a chocolatier with a great recipe so I’m really excited to be included in a cooking magazine like this,” Camarro said about the article.

Camarro founded Sundaes Best ten years ago in Wilton using local ingredients and a top-secret 50-year old family recipe.

“It’s kind of like Coca-Cola — If I told you the recipe, I’d have to kill you,” Camarro said with a laugh.
Sundaes Best began ten years ago in Wilton when Camarro started spreading her passion and sending jars of fudge to friends as holiday gifts. 

“I sold out of my first batch and saw how much people liked it, the business just kind of happened from there,” Camarro said of the company’s humble beginnings. 

Over the past ten years, Camarro has grown Sundaes Best to include seven flavors of hot fudge that are sold in over 450 retail shops and outlets across the country and in the United Kingdom. 

 “It’s a nice way to share a great product,” Camarro added. “I’m a chocolate lover and we’ve had a great time doing it. I think it’s important to carry on the family business and important to spread to love of chocolate to other chocolate lovers.”

Check out the full article about Camarro’s journey with Sundaes Best in Where Women Cook magazine on a newsstand near you! 


You can buy Sundaes Best hot fudge right here in Saratoga at a variety of retail locations including Putnam Market, Crafter's Gallery, Impressions of Saratoga, the National Museum of Racing, Roma Foods and many more.

 For the complete list of where to buy Sundaes Best hot fudge click here

www.sundaesbest.com
SKL

6.20.2011

Bettie's Cakes responds...

The cupcake battle heats up on Twitter

In response to my post on Saturday about Johnny's Gourmet Italian Ice joining with the Cupcake Lab, Bettie had this to tweet:

bettiescakes Jun 18, 6:42pm via Twitter: @SaratogianNews @suzannaklourie hmmm seems like we started another trend....

"bettiescakes Jun 18, 6:45pm via Twitter: @SaratogianNews we have been offering cupcake ice cream for about 4 months already if you'd like to try creative & unique deliciousness"

The jury is still out folks - Who has the best cupcakes, ice cream and cupcake flavored ice cream in town? Tell me (and Bettie) your thoughts on Twitter @suzannaklourie and @SaratogianNews.

SKL


Local restaurants give back


DZ Restaurants does good for the community

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Pasta, pizza and…philanthropy? That’s what DZ Restaurants owner Bill Gathen strives to achieve at his three local eateries: Chianti Il Ristorante and Forno Bistro in Saratoga Springs and Pasta Pane in Clifton Park. 

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the community,” Gathen said. “We receive such incredible support from every aspect of Saratoga and Clifton Park so for as much as our guests give to us, we try to give back to them and this is a way for us to do that.”

Gathen is referring to Chianti’s “Twelve” program, which features a local nonprofit on the twelfth of every month and Pasta Pane’s “Raising Dough” program, which sponsors a local charity on the third Sunday of every month. 

Over the past month, DZ Restaurants raised just over $7,000 for five local charitable organizations including The American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Parsons Child and Family Center Camp to Belong, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation, Saratoga Center for the Family and Friends of Hannah Hughes Fund.

“There is an application process where local charities apply for the programs the year before,” Gathen explained. “It’s a very difficult decision to make because cause is worthy, but there are only twelve months in a year so we interview the candidates and really try to keep it local and grassroots so we can see where the money is going and how it’s helping in our community.”

In May, The Ryan Wersten MIOP Foundation received $1,583 as the featured charity in Chianti’s “Twelve” program and in June, the Saratoga Center for the Family received $1048 from the same program.
After the success of the “Twelve” program at Chianti, Gathen decided to implement a similar effort at his newest venture, Pasta Pane, which opened in February, 2010 in Clifton Park. “Raising Dough” recently raised $1,660 in May for the American Cancer Society and $1,364 in June for the Parsons Child and Family Center. 

In addition to the monthly fundraising programs, Gathen recently held a special “Afternoon of Wine” tasting event at Forno Bistro on June 11. The event pulled in over $600 for the local Friends of Hannah Hughes Fund, which seeks to raise money for eight-year old Hannah Hughes who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“Through partnerships with local organizations and nonprofits we can really pack the house,” Gathen added. “We can create a really great energy and we can help to not only raise awareness for these causes, but also to raise as much money and give back as much as possible.”

SKL
www.dzrestaurants.com

6.18.2011

Johnny's joins the Cupcake Lab in response to local competition

I received this juicy little insider tip this morning  — 

 Watch out Bettie! Johnny's teams up with the Cupcake Lab

In response to recent developments on Broadway, Johnny's Gourmet Italian Ices has combined forces with the Cupcake Lab to bring customers the best in both ice cream and cupcakes.

Two-year winner of the local choice award for best cupcakes and desserts, The Cupcake Lab will offer its signature cupcakes, cookies and pastries at Johnny's on 382 Broadway. 

Rumor has it they are also working on a special cupcake ice cream. Mmm...

SKL

Johnny's Gourmet Italian Ices
The Cupcake Lab

6.17.2011

Meme's Florist gets new owner; Local hotels form green alliance


New owner at Meme’s Florist

CORINTH — Bobbie Tompkins spent fifteen years working as the lead floral designer and manager at Meme’s Florist. 

On June 1, Tompkins made the move from manager to owner when she purchased the business from Kay Moberg. 

Meme’s is one of the area’s leading florists specializing in creating custom arrangements and gift baskets for special occasions and holidays. 

Tompkins specializes in designing wedding arrangements and recently said that with her new ownership she plans to expand Meme’s wedding services. Although Meme’s currently delivers to surrounding towns, Tompkins also announced she will work to strengthen the shop’s relations with its customers in Saratoga, Glens Falls and Lake George.

Meme’s Florist is located at:
116 Maple Street
Corinth, NY 12822
Phone: (518) 654-2111
www.memesflorist.com

The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn recycle with Clean the World

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn in Saratoga Springs recently announced an environmentally friendly initiative with Clean the World, a Florida based social enterprise organization. 

Clean the World is a not-for-profit corporation that seeks to prevent suffering around the world by collecting and recycling soap products discarded by hotels everyday. The organization then distributes these soaps and shampoos to people in need in developing countries to help prevent the diseases and deaths caused by hygiene-related illness.

The local Courtyard and Residence hotels will collect leftover shampoos, conditioners and soaps from their combined 246 rooms to donate to communities in need. The new partnership is expected to save over 2,000 pounds of soap and 1,585 pounds of bottled hygienic products each year, which would be enough to provide almost 200 children with bath and body products each month for a whole year. 

What a great move for Saratoga’s Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inns! 

SKL

6.16.2011

Cole's Woodwind Shop to move to a more 'in-tune' location


Cole's Woodwind Shop to move after six years on Broadway

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After six years spent overlooking the bustle of Broadway from his second floor perch at 360 Broadway, Bill Cole, owner of Cole’s Woodwind Shop, is packing up and moving out. 

“I think I’ve got some gypsy blood in me,” Cole laughed when asked about the move. 

Cole’s Woodwind Shop will reopen at its new digs located on the ground-level floor of 45 Phila Street, just below Caffè Lena, a musical venue famous for being the nation’s longest running  coffee house. Caffè Lena has traditionally housed a music shop in its first-floor retail space so when Cole heard about the opening, he jumped at the chance to take the next step in combining his passion for business with his love of music.

“When I walked past Caffè Lena and saw that space was available I stopped in my tracks,” Cole said. “I’ve always loved that store and I’ve known some of the previous music store owners and I always thought it would be a great fit for my shop.”

Cole has been busy renovating the space, building new wooden benches to maximize his workspace for building instruments and repairing vintage horns. Although the Phila Street shop is only about 100 square feet larger than his current location, Cole explained that the new place will increase the shop’s utility.

“The space is more usable,” Cole said. “There are fewer windows so more workbenches can be placed against the wall.”

Along with the musical allure of Caffè Lena and the convenience of the new workspace, rent prices also played a factor in the move.

“Rent on Broadway is higher than any place else in the city,” Cole said. “I could probably renegotiate the lease, but everything just seemed to line up for the move.”

Cole’s Broadway lease was ending and the lower rent rates combined with his love of the Caffè Lena location sealed the deal for the move. Cole said he plans to start moving everything this Saturday and hopes to be open by SPAC’s Jazz Festival Weekend on June 25. 

“It’s been very exciting,” Cole added. “Every night when I’m painting the place I get to listen to the music since I’m directly under the stage. It’s really cool and I think it’s going to be a great fit.”

www.coleswoodwind.com 

SKL

6.14.2011

The Body Lounge announces its VIP grand opening event

The Body Lounge to make a grand entrance

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Aleah Homer, owner of Dust Cosmetics and The Body Lounge, announced The Body Lounge VIP opening party today. The Body Lounge, located on the lower level of the Saratoga Downstreet Marketplace (454 Broadway) is Saratoga’s newest, cutting edge spa offering up some of the latest trends and treatments in personal care and beauty.

Homer explained that The Body Lounge will seek to bring the latest styles and spa experiences from Hollywood and Manhattan to the Saratoga Springs spa scene. Following this mission, Homer will be hosting a true LA style opening event kicking off at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. The event will run until 11:00 p.m and give VIP visitors the chance to meet and mingle with Homer and the staff and experience the newly renovated interior of the spa.

The grand opening will feature seductive treats like alcohol infused whipped cream shots, rich chocolates, cupcakes and a selection of gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Another highlight of the evening is an organic wine tasting for guests to sample some top-quality vino. Guests can also enter in a raffle for products sponsored by Fiat Feminae Lingerie and Dust Cosmetics.

Music, exclusive promotions and a variety of other entertainment is planned for all VIP guests so get in early and see what The Body Lounge is all about!
 

www.The-BodyLounge.com

SKL

6.10.2011

North Peak Auctions to host grand opening; McGillycuddy's Naturals - a family affair

North Peak Auctions to hold grand opening

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Chris and Sarah Ward might be newcomers to the area, but are old pros in the auction business. The husband-wife team opened Saratoga’s newest auction company, North Peak Auctions in April and recently announced the company’s grand opening will kick off this Saturday, June 18. 

To commence the grand opening, North Peak will hold an antique and clock auction featuring over 500 lots in downtown Saratoga. The event will take place at the Universal Preservation Hall on Washington Street with preview and registration opening at 8:00 a.m. and the sale beginning at 10:00 a.m. 

The auction features the contents of a traditional Lake Erie cottage, which include Stickley and Limbert furniture, fine works of arts and lighting fixtures. The auction will also showcase one owner’s extensive collection of over 300 top-quality antique clocks. 

North Peak Auctions is a premiere auction and consignment company that specializes in fine art, vintage clothing and jewelry, art pottery, antiques and Adirondack furniture. The Wards plan to introduce the benefits of an auction company to the Saratoga community and have invited everyone to attend, bid or simply come learn about the auction process at Saturday’s grand opening.

More information and photos of the auction items can be viewed at the company’s website: www.NorthPeakAuctions.com

McGillycuddy’s Soaps – A family venture

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The McGillycuddy family was making natural soaps long before organic products were considered “in”. Owner Deb McGillycuddy established McGillycuddy’s Naturals back in 2000, but Deb and her daughters Kendal and Keriann have been running their own personal soap biz for as long as the girls can remember.

“My mom started making her own soaps when she had allergic reactions to commercial products,” Kendal McGillycuddy explained. “My sister and I were also sensitive to the mainstream bath and body products and at that time natural products were harder to find and a lot more expensive so we started making our own.”
Today this home venture has blossomed into McGillycuddy’s Naturals, a natural bath and body business that features a line of top-quality spa products including both olive oil and milk soaps, body lotions, fragrances, lip balm, facial products and more. The company even carries a line of men’s products and shaving creams for men who suffer from skin irritation triggered by the artificial chemicals infused in many commercial brands.
“All of my friends were using the fun sparkly Bath and Body Works products, but it always irritated our skin,” Mcgillycuddy explained. “So we started reading books, taking classes and just sort of taught ourselves how to make our own soaps from all natural ingredients.”

Deb and her daughters started out making gift baskets for friends and families and McGillycuddy’s got its first real client when they began to sell soaps to a homeopathic pharmacy fifteen years ago. Ever since making that first sale, McGillycuddy’s Naturals continued to grow and mature into the thriving business it is today. Ten years ago the family left their home outside Philadelphia to return to the Saratoga area where Deb grew up. 

“We purchased a 100-acre horse farm in Dorloo, New York, where the previous owner used to make gazebos,” McGillycuddy said. “It was set up perfectly to run a business and we’ve been making soap there ever since.”

The three women alternate shifts, but make soap every day of the week to keep up with their retail quota and wholesale shipments. Deb currently manages the shop's other location in Sharon Springs while Kendal and her sister take charge of the new Saratoga location. 

"We're really excited to open this location," McGillycuddy said. "It felt right and seemed like the natural progression and next step for the business."

- Word on the street is that the McGillycuddy's bath and body products are top quality and that the family is as sweet as their soaps!

Check them out in the lower level of the Downstreet Marketplace or online at http://www.mcgillycuddysoap.com/.

Enjoy!

SKL



6.09.2011

New restaurant 'The Turf Club Grill' now open at the former Springwater Inn


SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local restaurateur Beverly Reedy and her son Rob teamed up to open the Turf Club Grill, the latest addition to the Saratoga dining scene. The Turf Club opened its doors just three weeks ago at the former location of the Springwater Inn’s bistro at 139 Union Avenue. 

“Rob describes it as ‘casual gourmet’,” Reedy said of the Turf Club’s cuisine. “Everything is made from his or my recipes and everything from the bread to the salad dressings is made in house.”

The handmade Reedy recipes featured on the Turf Club menu will undoubtedly give this new restaurant a competitive edge. Beverly Reedy, formerly the owner of Beverly’s restaurant on Phila Street (now owned by another one of Reedy’s sons), is the face of her own established local food brand. 

Since opening her Phila Street restaurant in 1989, Reedy has published a cookbook and developed Beverly’s Best – a line of specialty condiments. It seems only natural that Reedy’s love for food and passion for cooking was passed to her sons. 

“Rob has been an executive chef on a private island in Belize and opened restaurants in St. Croix so he picked up different flavors along the way” Reedy said of her son and now co-worker Rob Reedy. “I can’t really say the Turf Club menu is traditional American because of Rob’s background it has a lot of other aspects to it.”
The menu features a selection of homemade dishes in the medium price range with the New York strip steak coming in as the most expensive item on the menu at $28. The Turf Club might also be called the ‘Surf and Turf’ club as it boasts a range of fresh seafood, which Reedy explained comes off the boat one day and ends up at their doors either that afternoon or the very next day. 

Another highlight of the latest Reedy venture is the wine list, which was hand selected by the owners and moderately priced. 
 “There are a few more expensive bottles, but the list is not overpriced because we want to see a bottle on every table,” Reedy said with a laugh. 

The menu also includes a ‘lighter side’ selection of salads, burgers and seafood. As of now, the restaurant is only open for dinner and some staple entrees include: a grilled tuna with Yukon gold potatoes, mint crusted lamb chops and a spiced salmon salad on a bed of Arugula with Applewood Smoked Bacon and vine ripened tomatoes. 

“The entire opening happened very fast,” Reedy said. “It’s really exciting. We’ve only been open three weeks, but so far everything has gone very, very well and we’re looking forward to expanding and advertising more in the near future.” 
 

Bettie's Cakes to open a sweet new location on Broadway this month

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Bettie’s Cakes, a retro-inspired ‘cupcakery’ café serving some of Saratoga’s most mouth-watering treats is coming out of the woodwork and moving to a new location on Broadway this June. The cute cupcake café has been serving up scrumptious homemade ice cream and assorted pastries on the lower level of the Saratoga Downstreet Marketplace for over a year.

With construction expected to wrap in a couple of weeks, Betty and her cakes recently announced they will open a new location this month on Broadway in the former location of Maestros Bistro just next to the Adelphi Hotel.

“It’s great that we won’t be hidden down here,” said Bettie's baker Melissa Vohnoutka. “We will be a lot more visible by having a store front directly on Broadway.”

An official opening date has not yet been scheduled pending construction, but Vohnoutka stated once the dates were set Bettie's Cakes would host a grand opening event for its exciting new location. The news came in line with another development in the Bettie's Cakes franchise as the store will open another location tomorrow at Hoffman’s Playground, a family amusement park located in Latham. Bettie's Cakes offers customers a delicious selection of goodies including ice cream, cupcakes, cookies and root beer floats, which they can enjoy as they can step back in time in the delightfully pink polka-dotted 50s inspired café.

6.08.2011

Yana Yoga to host open house


Yana Yoga welcomes the public at upcoming open house
 
MALTA — Nearly eight months after opening, Yana Yoga (formerly Be Strong Yoga) prepares to host its first open house on Saturday June 18 in Malta. After teaching yoga throughout the Ballston Spa and Malta area for over three years, studio owner Amber LaPointe wanted to work out all of the kinks to ensure she could devote her full attention to guests at the upcoming open house. LaPointe noted that she feels confident about her decision to hold off on the opening event for several months. Since opening its doors in October, the studio not only underwent a name change, but also developed its own unique personality and style that separates Yana Yoga from other yoga studios. 

“I wanted to do a grand opening,” LaPointe said. “But it felt silly after I had been open six months and an open house just felt right because it has a come one, come all sort-of feel. Whether you do yoga or don’t do yoga, the open house is for everyone.”

As the sole instructor at Yana Yoga, LaPointe prides herself on developing close relationships with her regular client base – which has doubled since the studio opened last year. 

“I’m not so different than other studios,” LaPointe said of Yana Yoga’s mission. “My niche is that I am the only teacher and it’s more of a personal approach. I like to develop relationships and I like to get to know my customers. I want it to have that sense of home, that sense of community – to be a place where when you walk in it feels comfortable and you can relax feeling like you belong there and are welcome there. That’s the difference.”
To ensure that same reliability and consistency Yana Yoga was built on, LaPointe isn’t currently in the market for a second instructor. But LaPointe isn’t opposed to the idea and added she would consider expanding down the line if the instructor came along. For now, however, LaPointe plans on doing what she does best and showcasing what Yana Yoga is all about at the upcoming open house.

The open house kicks off with one of LaPointe’s energizing yoga classes, each of which lasts for one hour and fifteen minutes. The class will be followed by a free continental brunch from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. for guests to refuel and revitalize before LaPointe conducts a second ‘Beginner Basics’ class from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.  

LaPointe teaches a mixed style of yoga, which she describes as challenging, focused and fun. With her highly individual approach, LaPointe is able to adjust each class based on the needs of her customers and keeps things interesting by regularly mixing up the usual routine. 

Yana Yoga also features an in-house Yoga Gift Shop that sells a variety of yoga clothes and yoga gear along with an array of locally made items include ReKindle Soy Candles, jewelry by Anique, handmade soaps and more. The upcoming open house is free and open to the public.

For more information and a complete class schedule visit: www.yanayoga.net 

SKL

6.07.2011

The Starting Gate Hires New Chef

The Starting Gate Bar and Grill welcomes new head Chef:

For years the Starting Gate Bar & Grill has offered Saratoga locals a tasty selection of top-notch pub-grub and nightly entertainment that keeps customers coming back for more. Keeping with tradition, the restaurant recently welcomed Saratoga Springs resident John 'Jack' Cogan to fill the position of head Chef. As the former owner of The Hub Club on Church Street, Cogan is no stranger to the Saratoga dining and entertainment scene. The Starting Gate welcomes Cogan and expects he will uphold tradition while also bringing new ideas and experience to the table (literal and metaphorical). Welcome Jack!

SKL