Aperitivo Bistro abruptly closes in Schenectady

Inability to renew the restaurant's lease led to the closure, owner says
A line forms outside Aperitivo Bistro during the Schenectady 2016 Soup Stroll
A line forms outside Aperitivo Bistro during the Schenectady 2016 Soup Stroll

Aperitivo Bistro, an Italian tapas restaurant located in the heart of downtown Schenectady, has permanently shut its doors, according to a social media post on the restaurant’s Facebook page Sunday.

The restaurant’s owners announced the sudden closure of the Mazzone Hospitality-owned bistro on Sunday after its final night in business on Saturday. 

“There were many attempts to keep this restaurant going and have it remain the wonderful establishment and staple it has been in the community for over 10 years. We are broken hearted to say this decision was unexpected and beyond our control,” said Aperitivo’s onwers in a statement posted to its Facebook page. The post also commended the restaurant’s staff.

Mazzone’s Chief Operating Officer Matt Mazzone confirmed on Sunday that the restaurant had closed. Its lease with the landlord ends in April, Mazzone said, and while the company thought everything was on track to renew the lease, negotiations ultimately fell apart, he said.

At that point, he said, the company discussed what the best possible way forward was, and decided that the best way to go out was to go out on top.

“We tried to figure out what the best direction was. We tried really hard to keep the brand going and the business continuing on. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find a path to have that happen,” Mazzone said.

Mazzone said there are is always an opportunity to make another go at the restaurant, but right now, due to the large number of enterprises Mazzone Hospitality is involved with, there are no immediate plans to revive Aperitivo in a new space.

Opened in 2007, the restaurant had a bar area and main dining room, as well as a private event room for up to 100 guests. 

The restaurant’s last day of business was Saturday. Many commenters on Facebook expressed dismay at the news, with some even saying they had dined there as recently as Saturday night. None of the staff, they said, had made any mention of the restaurant’s impending closure.

Mazzone said the staff wanted to go out on a good note, which is why they didn’t dwell on the impending closure, or bring it up during the business’s last night. He added that while the abrupt closure has been a very difficult situation for the company and staff to deal with, the outpouring of public support has brought the situation from sad, to bittersweet.

“It was abrupt, and we just tried to handle it the best we could. The outpouring has been amazing, from customers to staff and people who loved the restaurant. We cherish them. The great thing is, we’re the place they come when they want to enjoy themselves. We’re thrilled that we had that opportunity,” he said.

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The restaurant’s menu ranged from small plates to contemporary American comfort food. Other selections included specialty pizzas and home made pasta dishes. 

Updates regarding gift cards, events and reservations for the restaurant will follow, according to Aperitivo’s social media statement.

Paul Sciocchetti, who owns the building that housed Aperitivo, confirmed that the lease was ending and that he had new tenants lined up for the space. The new occupants have signed a 10-year-lease to run a new restaurant. Sciocchetti declined to disclose the name of the new tenants, adding that an announcement will likely take place on Monday.

“They’ve got a great concept. I think it’s going to be great for downtown,” he said.

Sciocchetti added that Aperitivo leaving the buliding was “nothing personal,” noting that he had been working with the Mazzones for many years. 

“I went with the best deal in front of me,” he said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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