Hungry race fans returning to the Spa City for the first time since last racing season will have to look for some of their favorite restaurants, such as Limoncello Ristorante and Chianti’s, which have relocated near the south end of Broadway. And anyone looking to sweeten their luck might find it in a cupcake, or so hopes Rachel St. Martin.
St. Martin recently opened Spa City Cupcakes in the lower level of the Downstreet Marketplace on Broadway. For the 140th racing season at Saratoga Race Course, the Clifton Park native will be offering what she is calling “lucky number cupcakes:” cupcakes with chocolate horses and numbers written in icing.
Spa City Cupcakes is one of downtown Saratoga Springs’ newest businesses. But it is far from being the only new addition since the 139th racing season. Other new downtown businesses include Max London’s Mediterranean-style restaurant on Broadway and the Local Tea & Pubhouse on Grand Avenue, which features bar fare and 20 flavors of tea from a New York state tea company.
A Hampton Inn & Suites opened earlier this month on High Rock Avenue. The six-floor, 123-room hotel will feature an upscale Italian restaurant called Bellini’s at High Rock, but it will not open until next year.
Plans for a restaurant in the Courtyard by Marriott on Excelsior Avenue are also in the works. But as with Bellini’s at High Rock, tourists will have to wait until the 141st racing season to eat there. The Courtyard’s 347 Grill — run by former Miami Dolphins football coach Don Shula’s company — is slated to open in November or December.
Another new name in downtown is the Saratoga Hilton, which most recently operated under the Saratoga Hotel moniker. The name change followed Hilton Hotels Corp.’s $26 billion acquisition last year of Saratoga Hotel parent Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. The 242-room hotel last year also underwent a $12 million renovation and has previously operated as the Ramada Renaissance, the Saratoga Sheraton and the Prime Hotel.
Near the intersection of Broadway and Ballston Avenue, Nancy and Giancarlo Balestra are guiding their Italian restaurant through its second racing season opening in the last two years.
In 2006, the couple opened Limoncello on Broadway. But issues over the location prompted the Balestras to relocate to the former Haweli Indian restaurant. The move to Ballston Avenue provided Limoncello’s with a 3,000-square-foot restaurant, about 400 square feet smaller than its old home on Broadway.
However, the Ballston Avenue location also has a larger outdoor garden patio surrounded by evergreen trees and a larger wine cellar, which features over 200 bottles of wine.
Chianti II Ristorante is another business that left Broadway earlier this year, but it did not travel far. The 8-year-old Italian restaurant moved into a new six-story residential and commercial condominium complex on Division Street.
Other new businesses at the condo complex dubbed The Lofts include Frank Adams Jewelers, which also has a jewelry store at Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland, and a women’s boutique named Frivolous.
There is also a new boutique on Broadway, but this one is for dogs. Sara Ellis, a 29-year-old Rockland County native, in March opened Dogdom — the main street’s second canine boutique.
Dogdom features everything from collars and leashes to saddle bags and hydration packs for people who like to take their dogs on hiking trips.
“A lot of people like to travel to Saratoga with their dogs,” said Ellis.