GLOVERSVILLE — Following the state mandated closures of non-essential businesses for several months due to the coronavirus, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is looking forward to celebrating the grand openings of a pair of new businesses in the county.
Economic Development Specialist Ken Adamczyk reported to the CRG Board of Directors on Friday that the agency is gearing up to celebrate the official grand opening of The Local Five and Dine in Northville next month and of the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. likely in October.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Brian and Susan Correll, owners of the Northville Five and Dime Store, were preparing to open their new restaurant, The Local Five and Dine located next door, in mid-March under the management of part-owner Nicole Sikorski and with a menu curated by chef Evan Luey.
Plans moved forward as the restaurant opened to diners on March 12 through March 15 before it shifted to curbside pickup only on March 16 due to the state ordered shutdown of restaurants. The Local was finally able to resume serving meals to diners at the restaurant on June 12 with social distancing protocols in place and ultimately discontinued takeout options at the end of the month to focus on serving patrons at the restaurant as originally intended.
The Local is now gearing up to celebrate its official grand opening with assistance from the CRG in August. The CRG previously assisted the Five and Dime and The Local with the submission of a $500,000 Main Street Grant through the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal that contributed to renovations at both buildings.
Adamczyk reported that invitations to the celebration went out to state representatives last week, with local officials to be contacted this week. To ensure that new businesses are the focus of grand opening festivities, Adamczyk shared plans for the CRG to begin ordering custom banners for each opening bearing the name and logo of the business to be used during the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
“We’re trying to make things a little bit more about the organization,” said Adamczyk. “It’s they’re grand opening, not ours, so we want to make sure it’s they’re logo, not ours.”
The CRG is also gearing up to celebrate the grand opening of the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. located at 3647 Route 30 in Broadalbin just past the Vail Mills traffic circle.
The new brewery was expected to begin producing craft brews in full five-barrel batches in the spring with year-round and seasonal recipes expected to be enjoyed by patrons at the establishment’s taproom or at local bars and restaurants featuring barrels produced by the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co.
According to Adamczyk, new guidance from the state Liquor Authority announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requiring alcoholic beverages to be served with food has thrown plans for the opening of the new brewery a curveball that the CRG is working to help the business sort out.
The measure from the governor and the state Liquor Authority that took effect July 17 was issued in an attempt at reducing the risk of transmission of the coronavirus at recently reopened bars across the state where patrons were reportedly frequently seen congregating and mingling without masks on while imbibing. Limiting the sale of alcohol to patrons who are also ordering food is meant to ensure that patrons remain seated at tables that are spaced at least six feet apart.
Under state liquor laws, businesses licensed to serve alcohol on-premises, including bars, taverns, taprooms, nightclubs and lounges, were already required to have food available for patrons. Making some basic items such as sandwiches, soups and pre-cooked or frozen items available to patrons upon request was sufficient to meet state law. Snack foods such as chips or pretzels are not considered substantial enough to meet requirements.
The Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. as part of its business model planned to feature a rotating food truck during open taproom hours. The new guidance requiring food to be served with alcohol released by the state Liquor Authority specifies that businesses must provide food to patrons directly, food cannot be delivered from another source at the time an order is placed and patrons should not have to leave the premises to obtain food, meaning that food trucks cannot be used to meet the requirement.
“It’s kind of throwing them a little bit of a hiccup,” said Adamczyk. “We’re trying to figure that all out.”
The CRG previously assisted the brewery in securing financing to support purchasing brewing equipment and the renovation of the previously existing building the business will occupy.
The CRG in September administered a $110,000 loan to the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. through the county loan fund and this year announced the business as the recipient of funding through the Microenterprise Grant Program. CRG and county officials are hoping the business will become part of a series of craft beverage producers that will attract tourists through the promotion of a local beverage tour.
While official opening plans are still being sorted out, Adamczyk noted that the business has already begun brewing and the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. on Instagram last week released the design for a 32-ounce crowler to-go can that will be available when doors open, possibly sometime in August.
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