SCHENECTADY — Ya Ya’s House Southern Cuisine is on track to begin serving its brand of Southern comfort food in its new location at the beginning of February.
The Schenectady Planning Commission unanimously approved the restaurant for site plan approval Wednesday night. While Amanda Thompson, who owns Ya Ya’s House with her husband, Marc, was excited, so were members of the Planning Commission.
“We are very excited for you,” Planning Commission Chair Mary Moore Wallinger said.
The restaurant, located at 135 Broadway, was formerly home to the Jamaican food restaurant The Hot Spot. The building’s landlord, Utech Products, is located right next door.
Ya Ya’s originally was at 170 Lafayette St., but its lease was revoked by its former landlord. Thompson said the reason she was given was because her landlord didn’t want her frying food there anymore.
Thompson was able to sign the lease to the new location in November while continuing to operate out of the basement of the New Day Christian Empowerment Center, on Chrisler Avenue, where she and her husband are both pastors.
However, several city officials stepped in to try to either keep them in the Lafayette Street location or help them find a new one.
One of those people was Jim Salengo, executive director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. Salengo said Thompson was a good contributor to the community, adding the restaurant had participated in previous events, such as the city’s Wing Walk event and a fundraiser for the Improvement Corp.
Thompson said she was “excited and very pleased” following the vote Wednesday.
“I’m elated everything worked out,” Thompson said.
When the restaurant opens, Thompson said she plans to be open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.