Saratoga Springs

Putnam Street building demo planned for Wednesday


Demolition of 68 Putnam St., the fire-damaged former home of Mio Posto Italian restaurant, is to begin Wednesday afternoon, even as the neighboring Hamlet & Ghost cocktail bar at 24 Caroline St. gets set to reopen Thursday.

The one-story building will be the second Spa City structure razed in the wake of a Thanksgiving morning fire, which was sparked by a faulty extension cord in a storage area at the back of the restaurant, fire officials determined.

The demolition will be done from the back of the building, by way of a gaping hole left by last month’s demolition of the historic commercial building at 26 Caroline St., which was heavily damaged by the blaze. The Putnam Street building is owned by Bruce Boswell, who contracted with Schenectady-based Jackson Demolition for the work.

“The front of Mio Posto is so narrow, and it would be very difficult to do it from the street on Putnam Street,” City Code Enforcer Dan Cogan said. “We’ve got this wide-open lot on Caroline where we’ll be able to do it all from behind without disturbing the traffic or anything.”

Crews are back-filling the Caroline Street site with sand to protect the foundation of Hamlet & Ghost, located at 24 Caroline St., Cogan said. That work has been slowed by the cold weather but should be done by Wednesday afternoon, he said. The demolition was delayed several days while crews implemented a drainage plan, which was completed Monday. 

“It’s just a precaution in case we get heavy rains — which are coming — to make sure we aren’t flooding the basements on either side of the empty lot,” Cogan said.

Hamlet & Ghost co-owner and lead bartender Brendan Dillon said Tuesday the bar will reopen at 5 p.m. Thursday, but in a limited capacity. The kitchen, which sustained some structural damage as a result of the demolition of 26 Caroline St., will remain closed, he said. He had no projected date for when the kitchen would reopen.

“[We] found some of the rafters in our kitchen and a wall needed to be rebuilt,” Dillon said. “In the meantime, chef Colin Murphy has created some delicious pairings of cheese and meat, drawing on traditional tavern fare, that customers will enjoy.”

The relatively new establishment has had to close twice over the past year. A burst water pipe in a neighboring apartment in February forced the bar to close for a few weeks, less than a month after it opened.

Mio Posto owner Danny Urschel is seeking a new location for his restaurant. Like Hamlet & Ghost, The Ice House and Sperry’s have been closed since the fire.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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