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Socha Plaza restaurant built with blend of old and new

Socha Plaza restaurant built with blend of old and new

The town of Glenville’s newest restaurant will be a mix of new and old. The Glass Tavern Restaurant
Socha Plaza restaurant built with blend of old and new
The bar at the new Glass Tavern Restaurant at Socha Plaza 115 in Glenville, shown under construction last month, is being built of locally reclaimed materials. (Provided photo)

The town of Glenville’s newest restaurant will be a mix of new and old.

The Glass Tavern Restaurant will open next month on the ground floor of Socha Plaza 115, the newest in the cluster of buildings on Route 50 owned and operated by Socha Management.

The company’s president, Bill Socha, a partner in the restaurant, said Tuesday it will incorporate interior elements including truckloads of bricks from the recently demolished Olender Building in Schenectady, heavy wooden beams from an old barn in Lake Luzerne, and reclaimed wood, tin, slate and glass from the now-defunct farm his immigrant grandparents built in Clifton Park. But there will also be modern glass partitions with LED accents.

“People are going to be surprised when they walk in,” Socha said.

Also Tuesday, Socha Management announced that The Center for Rheumatology would be occupying space on the second floor of Socha Plaza 115.

With the restaurant and the medical office, the mixed-used commercial/residential building completed in 2014 will be 90 percent occupied.

Tilted toward seafood

Socha said the restaurant business is a new field for him. He and his wife were staying at their condo in Punta Gorda, Florida, when word-of-mouth directed them to The Turtle Club. He struck up a relationship with one of the restaurant’s owners, Chris Evans, and the two bought out the other owners of The Turtle Club.

Now operating as SoEva Hospitality Group, the pair turned to Glenville, where the plan had always been to include a restaurant in Socha Plaza 115. Negotiations with local restaurateurs hadn’t worked out, said Socha, who lives upstairs, so he decided to do one himself with Evans, and incorporate what worked well and what he liked at The Turtle Club.

The menu will be tilted somewhat toward seafood, and a raw bar will be set up, but there will be plenty on the menu that doesn’t swim.

“The idea is to have a restaurant that caters to everybody,” Socha said.

For this same reason, there will be four distinctly different dining experiences available: The tavern area; a formal dining room; The Library, a room lined with old books that can be closed off for private events; and an al fresco area facing Route 50, under the overhang formed by the building’s upper floors.

Seafood will be imported from Boston. Meat, where possible, will be raised locally.

“We know people in Charlton, Burnt Hills who have farms,” Socha said.

Lessons learned

Evans said the partners are incorporating lessons learned from The Turtle Club at they prepare to open The Glass Tavern.

The Turtle Club was damaged in Hurricane Charley and remained shut for most of a decade, Evans said — not just because of the damage but because it wasn’t designed for the people it was serving, and hadn’t been reaching them because of that.

So for its reopening in 2014, it had a smaller menu designed for the people who lived and ate in the region. The takeaway, Evans said, was this: “Don’t have an identity crisis; do what you do and do it well.”

For The Glass Tavern, Evans and Socha are bringing up a chef and menu from Florida. They’ll adapt the menu for local tastes, they’ll feature specials with locally or seasonally available ingredients, and they’ll keep the chef up here for six months while they interview people to be the permanent chef.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re certainly sprinkling in some flavors that will appeal to area residents,” Evans said.

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