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Local favorite back in business

October 31, 2010

by Darren Boysen

A popular night spot on Madison Avenue is back in business. Sadie Klutz  reopened its doors to customers after closing six months ago for renovations. Doors opened Oct. 8 with a new look and sports theme.

“It was time for a face lift, time for change,” said owner Thomas Michel, who said the last renovations were 10 years

Renovations inside Sadie’s on Madison Avenue (Darren Boysen)

ago.  He declined to specify the cost of the renovation but he said, “we sunk a lot of time and money into it.” Michel also owns Trios Pizzeria and Delicatessen, just around the corner from Sadie’s on Ontario Street.

Everything was renovated inside including the bar, sitting area, kitchen, and bathrooms.  Michel noted the original wood flooring was preserved. The bar employs approximately 20 people including, bartenders, bouncers, cooks, and bar backs.  Nine new televisions have been installed on the walls around the bar and sitting area for sports fans.

Although renovations were needed because of the usual wear and tear, Michel said there were other factors that went into the renovations. Coming back from a show at the Times Union Center last year, Michel stopped at Sadie’s with his family to get his kids a bite to eat, but ended up leaving because they felt uncomfortable. He noted growing concerns with an increasing amount of sketchy people that were attending the bar.

Sadie Klutz on Madison Avenue (Darren Boysen)

New rules have been set in place to help ensure a more orderly atmosphere, according to Jess Lustig, Sadie’s manager. They will enforce a strict dress code, including no side-ways baseball caps. One form of identification, and sometimes a secondary form, will sometimes be required to ensure patrons are not using fake licenses. People who were involved in fights at the bar or caused damage before the renovations will no longer be allowed in.

With Sadie’s back open Michel hopes to continue to have the same clientele minus the sketchy people. His customers were not just college students, but “really a mix, that’s what made Sadie’s last so long,” he said. Since opening he explained there was the usual mix of local Pine Hills college students, law school students, young professionals, and even cops.

With the renovations there is a new emphasis on the restaurant end of the business. Since the pool table is gone, an

Sitting area, previous location of the pool table. (Darren Boysen)

additional 38 seats are available for dining.  The menu includes the usual bar food such as chicken wings, nachos, cheeseburgers, reubens, pizza, and salads. A kids menu is available for children under 12.

Michel is confident from the positive reactions he has received so far. Colin Gardner, a University at Albany alumnus and Pine Hills resident, considered himself a regular customer at the old Sadie’s, visiting twice a week.  Although he was disappointed the pool table was gone, he said the new bathroom is one of the best he has seen.

Renovated bathroom (Darren Boysen)

“Appearance-wise it’s a 100 percent turnaround…You get the feeling of just being inside a nice place,” said Pete Mulvey, a University at Albany alumnus who was visiting college friends for the weekend.

Michel hopes that the new renovations attract new customers, and is confident old customers will return. He said he does not do any advertising except on a Facebook page. “Sadie’s is Sadie’s, everyone knows about it.”  As of now they are still awaiting an ATM and a way to accept credit cards, so payment is cash only. -30-

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