Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Albany's Old Chicago Closes

Old Chicago Pizza and Pasta, famous for offering "110 Brews", has closed its only New York State Location. The owner of this particular location had previously filed for bankruptcy protection, so this move can't come as a complete shock to anybody who has been paying attention.

Old Chicago opened on Wolf Road in Colonie (which is Albany as far as we're concerned) amidst much fanfare in the fall of 2007. We visited on more than one occasion and were generally pleased. In the chain restaurant wasteland that is the Wolf Road corridor, at least you could get a decent bite to eat and wash it down with something other than a Smithwicks or the current Sam Adams seasonal.

The problem -- as far as attracting the infinitesimal segment of the population that into this sort of thing -- is that they didn't do much in the way of rotating taps and getting something new and interesting on a regular basis. I get that they are a chain and are (uhh, were) operating under some corporate constraints, but in a town in which a place like Mahar's has thrived for years, there might just be at least a bit of a demand for a beer selection that sets you apart from all those national chain joints surrounding you. The latest offering from Redhook ain't exactly gonna get it done. Or maybe people around here are just as happy to eat at Appleby's and the Olive Garden and enjoy a Bud Light bucket special when they are lucky enough to come across one. Maybe it has nothing to do with local tastes or beer selection and the dude simply took on too much debt in getting the place up and running. Could be that pesky economy we keep hearing about. Whatever the cause of your demise we're sad to see you go, Old Chicago.

4 comments:

Al said...

Ron @ Hop Talk will be feeling vindicated. He didn't like it one bit.

The VP said...

Bud Light buckets? Sign me up!

Bojangles said...

Al, I can't really argue too vehemently with Ron there. I'd been a handful of times and always left vaguely disappointed - especially in the beer section. Still, it would be nice to see a slightly beer-centric chain restaurant succeed in this market or supermarkets do well as they move to offer more craft beer selection. It's good for everybody. If Al is anything like me, he misses the Old Dublin Inn in Clifton Park at least a little, though.

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