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For sale: Iconic Saratoga restaurant

Owners put Siro’s on the market

Thursday, December 5, 2013
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The owners of Siro's Restaurant, shown in this photo from 2010, are suing the city of Saratoga Springs over an ordinance enacted earlier this year that restricts traffic in the area around the restaurant.
The owners of Siro's Restaurant, shown in this photo from 2010, are suing the city of Saratoga Springs over an ordinance enacted earlier this year that restricts traffic in the area around the restaurant.

— Siro’s Restaurant, the iconic upscale dining establishment next to Saratoga Race Course, has been put up for sale.

The 75-year-old bar and eatery — which is only open in the summer, and is famous for its quality, elegance, and post-track celebrity sightings — was recently listed with Roohan Realty of Saratoga Springs with an asking price of $1.85 million.

“It is kind of a part of history, and we have had interest already,” said Amy Sutton, the listing agent.

Siro’s, at 168 Lincoln Ave. next to a track entrance, has been owned since 2010 by a partnership called Racing Restaurants of America, of Lake Success, which includes actors Kevin Connolly and Kevin Dillon of the HBO cable television series “Entourage,” and jockey John Velazquez.

In 2012, the same owners opened Siro’s Manhattan, trying to bring the same equine-themed elegance to New York City, with legendary New York Yankees’ closer Mariano Riviera among the investors. That restaurant, however, closed in March.

Racing Restaurants of America also operates Siro’s Trattoria at The Lodge, an upscale restaurant on Nelson Avenue on the grounds of Saratoga Gaming and Raceway. It is not part of the Siro’s sale, Sutton said.

“They are just exploring their opportunities,” Sutton said. “It’s a very renowned restaurant, part of the whole track experience in Saratoga Springs.”

A city permit allows the restaurant to be open only 90 days per year. Its focus is almost exclusively on operating during the six-week track season from late July through Labor Day, though it has also been open for a party on Kentucky Derby day in May each year.

Sutton said there’s no danger the restaurant won’t be open under either the current or new ownership for the 2014 thoroughbred meet.

“Whether it sells or not, it will be open next summer,” Sutton said. “It’s not unusual for people in the restaurant business to explore their opportunities.”

The 5,900-square-foot building sits on a 0.4-acre site and has indoor and indoor bars and seating, as well as a stage for live music in its courtyard.

Most of the year, the surrounding area is residential and quiet, though crowds thronging the track dominate the neighborhood in the summer. In the past, noise from live music at Siro’s has drawn complaints from neighbors, but in 2011 an acoustic wall was installed to reduce noise levels in the surrounding area.

The restaurant first opened in 1938 and has always been geared to the well-heeled looking for classic dining after a day in the clubhouse. The origin of the restaurant’s name dates back to 1945, when Jimmy Siro, maitre d’ at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, purchased the eatery that was then known as The Maranese Restaurant.

“A Saratoga institution, the original Siro’s has been a staple on the upstate social circuit since it opened,” the restaurant says on its website.

 
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