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Powers Inn and Pub mixes tradition and creativity in Clifton Park

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Powers Inn and Pub mixes tradition and creativity in Clifton Park

The now-local-staple has a rich history
Powers Inn and Pub mixes tradition and creativity in Clifton Park
Clifton Park native Bryah Gifford is the owner of Power's Inn and Pub, on Meyer Road in Clifton Park.
Photographer: KASSIE PARISI/GAZETTE REPORTER

Power's Inn and Pub

Address: 130 Meyer Rd., Clifton Park
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, opens at 11:30 a.m.
Type of food: Irish pub, seafood, modern
Contact information: (518) 406-5561, powersinnandpub.com

Power's Inn and Pub, on Meyer Road in Clifton Park, looks upon first glance of the bar area like it's a typical Irish pub, and has always been that way. But if customers are inclined to dig just a little bit deeper into the building's history, they'll quickly discover the now-local-staple has a rich history.

Clifton Park native Bryah Gifford took over ownership of the 18th-century building in 2011, opening later that same year after extensive renovations to the aging building.

Prior to that though, what now stands as a restaurant played many roles—a home, a commercial furniture store, and a coffee shop among them. The barn also on the property, which Gifford is restoring, once functioned as a blacksmith's base of operations.

Gifford, much like the property he now owns, also has deep roots in Clifton Park. His father, Randy Gifford, started Giffy's Bar-B-Q in 1995, now a catering business that Gifford runs out of the barn near his pub. 

Old and worn hardwood floors and a large wooden bar make the pub and restaurant feel warm and cozy. The rooms that were in the original home have been kept largely intact, creating a slightly sprawling but also contained group of dining spaces that, depending on which room a diner is in, can make their dining experience feel intimate and private.

Keeping the integrity of the building was a monumental effort, but a crucial one for Gifford.

Power's Inn and Pub, on Meyer Road in Clifton ParkPower's Inn and Pub, on Meyer Road in Clifton Park.

"It was extremely vandalized," Gifford said of when he first bought the building. Small details like making sure the floors remained sturdy but slightly off center, as they were in the original home, are what give Power's Inn and Pub its character. He also put an outside back on the pub's outdoor deck.

"The best part about the building is also the worst part about the building," Gifford laughed.

In the years since its opening as Power's Inn and Pub, the restaurant has evolved from serving Irish pub staples to a more eclectic mix of dishes Gifford describes as "upscale comfort food."

Gifford is also working on extensive renovations to the barn on the property, called The Barn at Power's, which will serve as a venue. Gifford is already booking into August for the barn.

Existing as a small business in Clifton Park poses challenges and benefits, Gifford said. One challenge is the massive amount of options as far as restaurants the town boasts due to a growing town center area and the proximity to the Northway.

One built-in advantage though, Gifford said, is the fact that Clifton Park is home to many people who have lived in town for decades, and are largely loyal to town establishments.

"You're either a chain, or you've been here forever," he said.

Power's Inn and Pub on Meyer Road in Clifton ParkPower's Inn and Pub, on Meyer Road in Clifton Park.

The restaurant boasts three specials every day which, often, Gifford said, usually outsell the regular menu items. While the restaurant does offer pub staples like fish and chips, their burgers are also popular, as is an item called the "Vermonter," a turkey sandwich on toasted ciabatta with bacon, apples, cheddar cheese and maple mayonnaise.

"It's comfort food, but there's something new every day," he said. 

Power's Inn and Pub is open Tuesday through Sunday with two different menus: lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the dinner menu starting after that. Fridays and Saturdays are the pub's busiest days, Gifford said.

But even in its busy hours, Gifford, who has retained some of his staff members from since the time he started working in restaurants, often tells them to not focus on turning over tables.

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Instead, he wants to make sure his customers get the full experience of dining out.

"I think it makes a difference when people like they belong," he said. "I want it to be a night out," he said.

"We really want to keep growing," he said. "This is going to outlast me."

 

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