10.29.2014

Work Hard, Stay Humble New restaurant pays homage to the past, while looking toward the future


TROY>> On Friday, October 31 at 4:30 PM, a new restaurant called The Shop (135 4th St.) will open its doors officially. Instead of the typical ribbon cutting, owner Kevin Blodgett will use a circular saw to cut a wooden plank, a move that he said better represents the space, which for over 90 years had been known as Trojan Hardware.

A graduate of RPI, Blodgett purchased the building in 2005. “I saw the potential for serious growth and development,” he said. “It’s on a corner and it’s arguably one of the busiest intersections in downtown.” The corner structure, affectionately dubbed “The Compound” by Blodgett and his partner Nada Rifai, also houses Rare Form Brewing Company and Collar Works gallery.

“Work Hard, Stay Humble” is The Shop’s official motto, another nod to the building’s past. The inside design also reflects the hardware motif, with most of the fixtures and materials coming from the building itself as well as from Blodgett’s salvaging and collecting efforts over the past 10 years.

The Shop is geared to a mixed demographic with a few commonalities: those who appreciate quality cuisine, specialty cocktails, craft beer, and an understanding of urban living. “The difference of an urban business and a suburban shopping center is that in suburbia they are serving large quantities of low quality food at a cheap price. Our focus is on small plates at a reasonable price with an emphasis on quality not quantity,” said Blodgett. An early version of the menu includes a Scotch egg, poutine, roast pork grilled cheese, and a specialty hot dog menu.

Rifai added, “It’s about food, cocktails, and beer. Simple but sexy, meaningful without being pretentious.” The Tommy Gun, a whiskey based cocktail with Cointreau, ginger, apricot jam, and lemon juice has been extremely well received among both men and women, she added.

While The Shop is in a city center, there are three municipal parking lots in close proximity with free parking on nights and weekends. During the soft opening of the last week, both Blodgett and Rifai said that they had many people wander in, drawn by the lights and relaxed atmosphere.

Blodgett describes the success of the past week simply: “It’s who we are. This is an establishment for adults. It’s a casual environment with good food, spirits and craft beer.”

The Shop is open daily at 4 PMMonday through Wednesday The Shop closes at midnight, on Thursday and Friday they close at 1 AM, and on Sunday, they close at 10 PM.
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