The owners of Brindisi’s Restaurant & Bar will run a new casual restaurant at the Saratoga Hilton when Chez Sophie closes this fall.
Louis and Andy Brindisi, the father-son duo who run the upscale Italian restaurant in their name on Broadway, will open Union Grille in the Hilton at 534 Broadway.
They plan to keep Brindisi’s open and run both establishments.
The owners of the upscale French restaurant Chez Sophie, Paul Parker and Cheryl Clark, are moving to France to be caretakers at a vineyard.
Union Grille will open in Chez Sophie’s place on Oct. 1 and will feature a casual pub atmosphere with high-quality affordable American food, Andy Brindisi said.
At the request of Saratoga Hilton general manager Ron Day, the restaurant will follow a British trend of so-called “gastropubs” that is spreading to the U.S.
Union Grille will be the city’s first gastropub, Brindisi said, the kind of place that will please diners who want steak, seafood and cocktails as well as people who want a hamburger or macaroni and cheese.
“The contemporary feel is going to be the same,” he said of the current decor.
The new eatery is named after the Grand Union Hotel, which was the center of Broadway’s social scene around the turn of the last century in this resort town.
Brindisi plans to post facts about the Grand Union Hotel at the restaurant and have Saratoga-themed menu items.
He said that when he and his father opened Brindisi’s Restaurant in 2000, they originally considered naming it after the Grand Union. But the elder Brindisi nixed that idea in favor of his family name.
The new restaurant will be open seven days a week for three meals a day plus provide room service for the 242-room hotel.
“The Brindisis have cemented their status in the Saratoga region with local patrons, out-of-town visitors and dignitaries alike over the years, and we look forward to having their newest venture at our hotel,” Day said.
Brindisi said he plans to hire his current Brindisi’s staff at the new restaurant and also keep some of the current Chez Sophie staff.
“I think this is going to be a great opportunity to pair up with the Hilton, especially with the convention center being built,” Brindisi said, referring to the City Center’s planned renovation and addition.
Brindisi is also president of the Downtown Business Association.
Brindisi used to think restaurant owners who owned more than one place were insane, he joked. Soon, he’ll be among them.
“I know it’s going to be crazy, and I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m just really excited for the challenge,” he said.
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