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What you need to know for 02/22/2017

Ciao for now Mio Posto in Saratoga

Ciao for now Mio Posto in Saratoga

Building to be town down
Ciao for now Mio Posto in Saratoga
Mio Posto, damaged during a fire, will be torn down.
Photographer: Marc Shultz

The demolition of 68 Putnam St., home to the fire-ravaged Mio Piosto Italian restaurant, is set for Wednesday afternoon, while the neighboring Hamlet & Ghost cocktail bar at 24 Caroline St. plans to reopen the next day.

The one-story Putnam Street building will be the second Spa City site razed in the wake of a Thanksgiving morning fire, which was caused 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 by way of the gaping hole left by the razing of the historic commercial building at 26 Caroline St., which was heavily damaged by the blaze last month. The Putnam Street building is owned by Bruce Boswell, who contracted 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, Cogan said. That work has been slowed by the cold weather but should be done by Wednesday afternoon and allow for the demolition to begin, he said. He said the razing 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 will remain closed after sustaining some structural damage as a result of the demolition of 26 Caroline St., 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. “That area is still under repair, so our usual kitchen is closed. 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 in the last year. A burst water pipe in a neighboring apartment last February forced the bar to close for a few weeks less than a month after opening.

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.

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