SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sperry’s Restaurant, which first opened in the city in 1932, reopened Wednesday after being closed since a Thanksgiving morning fire that also shuttered other establishments on Caroline and Putnam streets.
“It's been long enough,” said Seth Berger, general manager, a few hours before the restaurant at 30 1/2 Caroline St. reopened at 5 p.m. “We’ve got to open these doors up — it will be nice to get people back in here.”
A portion of the night’s sales went to the restaurant's 46 employees “for hanging in there with us,” Berger said.
The workers were compensated for the duration of the 10-week closure, “and we didn't lose one person,” he said. “It says a lot about the people we have at the restaurant, and it says a lot about their loyalty to Sperry’s.”
The re-opening comes with some new menu items from chef Brian Bowden, like the Plancha Seared Spanish Octopus and Yellowfin Tuna Poke Bowl appetizers and a Maine Lobster and Ricotta Gnocchi entree, along with old favorites like the Sperry’s Burger and the Filet Mignon.
“We decided to change it up a little bit,” Berger said.
The restaurant sustained smoke and water damage in the fire that started in the back of the Mio Posto Italian restaurant at 68 Putnam St. in the early morning hours of Nov. 24. Fire officials determined the cause was a faulty extension chord.
The repairs to Sperry’s involved addressing roof issues, getting rid of the fire and smoke smell, general cleanup, replacing equipment “and just making it better,” Berger said.
“We did have some damage in the kitchen from the water,” he said.
The one-story structure that housed Mio Posto, as well as a historic commercial building at 26 Caroline St., adjacent to Sperry’s, have been demolished due to damage sustained in the fire.
The Hamlet & Ghost bar and restaurant at 24 Caroline St. reopened Jan. 10 with a limited menu, and the kitchen is being rebuilt. The Ice House at 70 Putnam St. remains closed due to fire-related damage.