SARATOGA SPRINGS — After owning Crush and Cask Wine and Spirits in Saratoga Springs for 15 years, Patricia Pendergast Novo and her husband, Jeff Novo, sold the business two years ago and decided to try something new.
"We've always wanted to have a small, cozy neighborhood tavern," said Pendergast Novo, who is gearing up to open Taverna Novo next month in the Beekman Street Arts District in Saratoga Springs.
The restaurant, which boasts a large wood-fired oven, will offer a selection of pizzas, salads and entrees such as risotto and fritto misto.
It will also feature more than 60 wines, as Pendergast Novo is a certified specialist of wine with the Society of Wine Educators.
She also sits on the advisory board of Schenectady County Community College's School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism and is an adjunct wine professor at the college.
"I wrote the wine list and it was tough to narrow it down to around 60," Pendergast Novo said. "I'm looking forward to introducing people to different wines from Italy and the U.S."
Novo, who worked at General Electric, said he's anxious to open the restaurant.
"It's something we've wanted to do for years and, after spending time in the retail industry, it's so one-dimensional," he said. "This is something we can put a big influence on and put passion into."
The couple is hoping to debut Taverna Novo, which is at 62 Beekman St., the site of the former Beekman Street Bistro, by March 1.
Once the establishment is open, Pendergast Novo said she's looking forward to making people happy.
"I love hospitality and there's no better feeling I get than when people say they had a fantastic experience," she said.
Pendergast Novo added that she's also looking forward to introducing the community to a variety of wines.
"If I introduce someone to a grape they've never had before and they leave with a big smile on their face, then I'll consider it a success," she said.