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What you need to know for 01/18/2017

Wolff's Biergarten coming to Schenectady

Wolff's Biergarten coming to Schenectady

Wolff’s Biergarten is coming to Schenectady, owner Matt Baumgartner announced Friday.

Wolff’s Biergarten is coming to Schenectady, owner Matt Baumgartner announced Friday.

Baumgartner made the announcement on his Twitter account, @BurritoBoy, just after he signed the deal to bring the restaurant to the city.

The new restaurant is to be on Erie Boulevard. It most likely will open in fall 2015, Baumgartner tweeted.

The location will be the second Biergarten for Baumgartner, after the original on Broadway in Albany.

“I have some big news,” Baumgartner tweeted. “We just signed a deal to open a Biergarten in Schenectady, NY.”

Baumgartner punctuated his announcement tweet with the hashtag “RespectadySchenectady.”

The restaurant bills itself on its website as an authentic German biergarten that specializes in beer, sausage and soccer, though all three are referred to in German. The Albany location is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

The new Biergarten will join Baumgartner’s Bomber’s Burrito Bar on the Schenectady restaurant scene. Bomber’s opened its Electric City location in May 2009.

Baumgartner has strong ties to the city himself as a graduate of Union College.

Baumgartner could not be reached directly Friday evening, but Schenectady Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen narrowed the location to Erie Boulevard between State Street and Interstate 890.

Baumgartner was actively looking at properties in downtown Schenectady over the past couple of months, Gillen said. Metroplex showed him several. The project will use no Metroplex money.

“He’s very, very successful and he wanted to bring the Biergarten brand, which is also very successful, to Schenectady,” Gillen said. “He’s very excited in what’s going on in the community.”

Gillen said the Bombers location was a catalyst in the redevelopment of downtown. He said he hoped the Biergarten will do the same to the Erie Boulevard corridor.

The location is right in the heart of the ongoing Erie Boulevard reconstruction project set to be completed by this summer, Gillen noted.

“Just as we had hoped when Erie Boulevard was renovated, there would be a lot of interest,” Gillen said. “It’s a highly visible corridor with high car counts.”

The $14 million project rebuilt Erie Boulevard from the I-890 interchange to Union Street. The funding came from the state and federal governments, with Schenectady contributing 5 percent of the total cost.

Work is set to resume Monday with the goal being finished by June 13.

When it’s done, the stretch will have new infrastructure under the road, new lights, intersections that meet the boulevard at a better angle, a pedestrian-friendly median and sidewalks.

The busy city entry point will also be more attractive to businesses like the Biergarten, Gillen said.

“It just looks more appealing and that’s the goal,” Gillen said.

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