New City Squire to open Saturday

Saturday's debut to feature St. Paddy's Day specials
New signs are installed on the City Squire on Keyes Avenue in Schenectady in February.
New signs are installed on the City Squire on Keyes Avenue in Schenectady in February.

SCHENECTADY — The new City Squire Ale House at 1018 Keyes Ave. in the Upper Union Street business district will open Saturday.

The new business replaces a longtime neighborhood tavern known as the City Squire, which was demolished.

The City Squire Ale House will open at 11 a.m. Saturday, serving a special St. Patrick’s Day menu featuring a traditional corned beef dinner and Irish breakfast — a sandwich of corned beef, a fried egg, caramelized onions and melted Swiss cheese, according to an announcement by the owners.

Starting Sunday, the restaurant will offer its regular menu of light items, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entrees. The City Squire also has a full liquor license, with 24 beer taps, wine and cocktails.

“We’re excited to bring the neighborhood pub back to the neighborhood,” said Shane Mahar, COO of The Lecce Group of Niskayuna, which has developed the tavern along with restauranteurs John and Katrina Isopo. “It was a landmark on the Upper Union Street corridor for decades, and we’re happy to bring it back.”

The old City Squire, which was once a neighborhood fixture, closed in 2005. It was demolished last year to make way for the new restaurant and bar. The Lecce Group built the new restaurant after purchasing the property last year, but Mahar said the $1.5 million project is a partnership between Lecce and the Isopos.

Construction was not without controversy. The owner of a neighboring business, Bagels from Brooklyn, blamed a loss of a parking spaces during the restaurant’s construction for the closure of his business after just three months of operations.

Mahar said the original goal was to be open last November or December, but rain last June and July slowed the site preparation and the entire construction timetable.

“We were looking at a target opening, and decided ‘Let’s see if we can do St. Patrick’s,'” Mahar said.

The two-story restaurant has a 35-seat patio on the first floor and nearly 60 seats on a second-floor balcony overlooking Keyes Avenue. In total, the restaurant will seat nearly 300 during months when outdoor dining is available. The second floor is for overflow dining, private parties and for special events.

The tavern so far has hired 25 people and is looking to hire more, Mahar said.

The Isopos also own and operate three other restaurants: Mario’s in Niskayuna; Prima Pizza in Schenectady; and Anna’s Wood Fired Pizza Co. in Colonie.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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