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Local Business 2011

by LaStellaProductions on March 30, 2011 · 4 comments

Buenau's Opticians

Buenau’s Opticians, Inc.

Jeff Buenau, Chelsea Murphy, Linda Greaves-Miller, Rosalynn Vikara and Michael Buenau

228 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-7012, buenaus.com

If you’re in the market for eyewear of any kind, I would like you to consider Buenau’s Opticians of Delmar. Buenau’s opticians have been serving the Capital District since 1915. Buenau’s is now in its fourth generation: Mike Buenau and his son Jeff are the skilled experts you can take comfort will provide you with the most sophisticated technology available for all your eye care needs.

Mike Buenau is one of the area’s premier contact-lens fitters, specializing in hard-to-fit patients; he boasts over 39 years of experience in doing so. And for the past 16 years his son, Jeff has been an optician and fits contact lenses. Linda Greaves Miller joined the practice two years ago, and also is an expert in contact lens fitting and eyeglasses.

If you would like to be rid of your reading glasses, Buenau’s has the latest in high-definition multifocal contact lenses. It will amaze you how comfortable and precise they are at all distances.

Advances in technology have made it possible for many people to wear contact lenses, even if you were told you were never a viable candidate in the past.Take a look at our Facebook page to see our office and staff and products. Buenau’s of course has the latest in fashion eyeglass frames and even has the Smart Mirror, a computer camera that allows you to visualize your appearance in frame selections. Eyeglasses can be made lighter and thinner than ever before. Your eye examination can be provided by their staff of top optometrists or you can bring in a prescription from you own eye care professional. Buenau’s takes a variety of insurance plans, including CDPHP, MVP and now EyeMed. Call their professional and courteous staff today for an appointment, or visit their website. You won’t be disappointed.

The Counties Of Ireland

Robin McDonough

77 THIRD ST., TROY, 687-0054, THECOUNTIESOFIRELAND.COM

Our store opened in historic downtown Troy on June 5, 2000. We purchased the Cooper Shoe building and reopened our new space in June 2005. In March of 2008, we launched a complete shopping website . . . the next phase of our business. With all of the positive changes made, we have remained true to our idea of bringing hand-made crafts of Ireland to our customers.  We offer beautiful merchandise that is manufactured and imported from Ireland. We not only wanted to cater to our Irish patrons, but all nationalities. That is why we are considered “not your typical Irish shop!”  We are always adding new product lines to our store. There are many manufacturers that are not only exclusive to us, but have had their U.S. debut here. Last year, we were the first to stock Bunbury Boards and Diem Pottery. This year, we are the first U.S. outlet to stock Buttons & Co. Jewelry and The Handmade Soap Company. Button & Co. Jewelry is created by designer Elaine Sarah and manufactured in Kilkenny. This one of a kind charm bracelet is inspired from her mother’s old button tin. The buttons reminded her of when she was little. She would watch her mother sewing and laying out patterns as she would play with the buttons and pick out the ones she wanted for her dresses. As she outgrew them, her mother would cut the buttons off and store them in the tin for later. These types of small craft companies are what makes our store special and unique.  Eleven years later, The Counties of Ireland still invites you to experience a little bit of Ireland!

Elissa Halloran

Elissa Halloran Designs

229 Lark Street, Albany, 432-7090, ehdesigns.com

Hey everybody! Thanks for helping me celebrate ten years on Lark Street this month. My big jewelry sale brought in lots of faithful customers. It was nice to see you. If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next year.

Coming up for 1st Friday, I have the LaFleur sisters’ unique handmade pottery. Then in May my featured artist is Kathy Klompas of Ragged Edge Studio. She has made some beautiful monoprint silk scarves, which would be a perfect spring gift for your mother.  Remember, Mother’s Day is May 8th.

June’s featured artist is Patty Kennedy, who’s making some colorful mixed media wall pieces that just might have a sense of humor. My August artist is Pat Keelen, another talented local potter. She makes great sake sets and tea pots.

I’ve fought the winter blues by experimenting with new designs. Check out my earring collection, which has lots of bold styles. I’ve been making new necklaces with garnet, gold stone, and jasper. My skeleton guy collection, made from wire, stone and bone, has been breeding, and now there’s a whole village for you to choose from. If you haven’t seen them yet, they’re worth a look. Stop in and say hi, and thanks again for all your support during the last decade.

Aspire Nail Studio

Aspire Nail Studio

Alesha Buchholz and Stephanie Deyette

26 Fuller Road, Albany, 269-3175

Aspire Nail Studio was established in 2010 by Alesha Buchholz with love and passion for the nail industry. Alesha has 13 years experience, including eight years as a booth renter and one year as a salon owner. In addition to Alesha’s expertise as a Nail Artist, she has now added two additional nail specialists and a make-up artist to the studio staff. Alesha has been formally trained and certified through Odyssey Nail Systems, has competed on a national level and had the privilege of learning from top nail technicians around the world, acquiring the most advanced techniques and knowledge in her field. Alesha decided to go on her own as a business owner because she believes in striving for the next level and obtaining all her goals, in addition to being a role model for all young aspiring nail technicians. What sets Aspire Nail Studio apart is the belief in quality not quantity. You will walk into Aspire Nail Studio a new face and walk out not only as a pleased client, but a friend. We look forward to seeing you in the future. If you’re interested in becoming a client and friend, bring this ad in for 25 percent off any service.

Casa Visco

Casa Visco

819 Kings Road, Schenectady, 377-8814, casavisco.com

Casa Visco was started by Joseph and Carmella Viscusi back in 1945. Originally a wholesale grocery selling staples to Mom & Pop corner stores, they gave out bottles of Carm’s sauce as gifts over the holidays.  People asked for more . . . and more they made. Two of their grandchildren now make and sell the sauce all over the country; cousins Adine & Michael have plans to go nationwide.

Casa Visco has grown substantially over the last few years, selling to distributors not only in New England but Florida, Chicago, Texas and Missouri.  Our strategy has always been to make a super-premium product and sell it at a value-based price.  We make it very closely to the way you would make sauce at home. We take the time to cook the sauce slowly, in small batches to let the natural flavors come through.  We never add salt or sugar, starches or preservatives.  We use fresh garlic and onion, sautéed in olive oil.  “Never dried or dehydrated,” says Michael Viscusi, production manager and co-owner.

“As an Italian mother, I take great pride in what I make for my family and equall

Barbers Farm

Barber’s Farm

Sixth-Generation Co-owner, Jacob Hooper and Todd Bartholomew, Production Manager

3621 State Route 30, Middleburgh, 827-5454, barbersfarm.com

You may love our vegetables, but unless you’ve seen our farm you’ve only had half the treat! Come visit our home stand on Route 30 in Middleburgh and explore the exquisite Schoharie Valley, full of history, scenic vistas, fun and some of the richest farmland in the world. The Barber Family has worked this land since before the Civil War. Today, members of the fifth and sixth generations direct operations on the farm, bringing new energy and ideas to the production of sustainable, healthy and high quality flowers, fruits and vegetables. Most recently, Barber’s Farm has initiated a high tunnel system, which relies solely on solar heat to produce fresh, no-spray salad greens and root crops for sale on weekends at our home stand and farmers’ markets throughout the winter. Beginning last year, Barbers Farm now harvests some of our most popular summer vegetables (sweet corn, tomatoes, red peppers, and broccoli) and flash freezes them at peak flavor making them available to customers throughout the winter months. Starting April 28, our greenhouses will be open every day through June, featuring over 1,500 spectacular hanging baskets, perennials, flowering bedding plants and a wide selection of vegetable and herb plants. Look for our Market Trucks this summer on weekday afternoons at McKown Road (next to Passonno Paints) in Guilderland and at Verstandig’s Florist (across from the public library) in Delmar, at the Colonie Crossings Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and at the Schenectady Green Market on Sundays. Check our web site for details.

Forgotten Freshness

Forgotten Freshness

Frank D’Aloia, owner

144 River Road, Mechanicville, 664-1003, forgottenfreshness.com

Xbox 360. Playstation 3. Nintendo Wii. You can walk into any game store in a mall and get those games, but what ever happened to the classics? They’re here, at Forgotten Freshness Classic Gaming! Amassing the widest selection of vintage goodies from all eras of gaming, we’ve got what you’re looking for: Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Genesis, Jaguar, Game Boy, Atari, N64, Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, and the list goes on and on. To compliment our inventory of childhood memories, we carry a selection of games from this generation such as DS, PSP, 360, and Wii.

I’m Frank D’Aloia, and I locally own and operate Forgotten Freshness. Vintage gaming is my favorite, and as a collector I always wished there was a store that catered to my hobby—so I opened one! Starting out as a small corner of a gift shop, FF soon exploded into it’s own being and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a customer leave happy with a big bag of nostalgia. I’m here for gamers, and have boundless knowledge I’d love to share with you to help you re-discover your favorite experience. I also take great care of my products making sure the games are refurbished and working. No more blowing into cartridges! We’re bringing back awesome, one cartridge at a time!

y importantly, what I make for yours,” says Adine Viscusi, third-generation family co-owner.  Sitting down to a healthy home cooked meal is integral to who I am as a person, she says. “When I feel that Casa Visco can be a part of that family meal, it makes me very happy.”

Look for new items from Casa Visco in local stores: new gluten-free, allergen-free pizza and pasta sauces, California Garlic Lover’s Pizza Sauce, authentic Neapolitan-style pizza margarita, and Casa KIDS!

Hey everybody! Thanks for helping me celebrate ten years on Lark Street this month. My big jewelry sale brought in lots of faithful customers. It was nice to see you. If you missed it, put it on your calendar for next year.

Coming up for 1st Friday, I have the LaFleur sisters’ unique handmade pottery. Then in May my featured artist is Kathy Klompas of Ragged Edge Studio. She has made some beautiful monoprint silk scarves, which would be a perfect spring gift for your mother.  Remember, Mother’s Day is May 8th.

June’s featured artist is Patty Kennedy, who’s making some colorful mixed media wall pieces that just might have a sense of humor. My August artist is Pat Keelen, another talented local potter. She makes great sake sets and tea pots.

I’ve fought the winter blues by experimenting with new designs. Check out my earring collection, which has lots of bold styles. I’ve been making new necklaces with garnet, gold stone, and jasper. My skeleton guy collection, made from wire, stone and bone, has been breeding, and now there’s a whole village for you to choose from. If you haven’t seen them yet, they’re worth a look. Stop in and say hi, and thanks again for all your support during the last decade.

Deja Vu

DeJa Vu

Deja Vu staff and owner Ray Chiras

145 WOLF ROAD, SHOPPERS PARK, ALBANY, 459-6495

You may say DeJa Vu was born from a stage almost 41 years ago. Created, owned and fathered by Ray Chiras in 1970, his “baby” announcement came from the mouth of Mark Farner, lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad. DeJa Vu’s grand opening echoed throughout the Palace Theatre in Albany that night. The store flourished from its humble beginnings, featuring handcrafted fringed leather vests, chokers, wristbands and apple caps. Grand Funk were wearing these leather goods, creations handcrafted by Chiras. The concert seemed almost secondary at the time. The store, Deja Vu, was the star.

On our 41st anniversary, peace and freedom of expression are still the message we live by.

The store tastefully carries adult leisure items, tobacco supplies, “hippie gear,” clothing for young and old of all walks of life, body jewelry, candles, incense and much more to promote spirituality, tranquility, aphrodisia and relaxation. Of course, don’t forget the Grateful Dead memorabilia.

The times may have changed, but our enticing selection, discretion, and loyalty to our customers endure. You’re guaranteed a pleasurable experience at our one-stop shop. You may even have a strange feeling . . . like you’ve been here before. Thank you for making our 41 years of business such a success. Help us celebrate by buying a DeJa Vu T-shirt and receive 10 percent off your entire purchase. Come in again wearing the T-shirt until 1/1/2012 and receive an additional 10 percent off your entire purchase every time!

Center For Natural Wellness

The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage

3 Cerone Commercial Drive Albany, NY 12205, 518-489-4026, cnwsmt.com

The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy was created to provide a place for students of all ages to come and learn, to share their gifts, to gain knowledge, and to take their experience and expertise into their communities to help others become healthier and stronger. Through a comprehensive program of study that carefully balances the art and science of therapeutic massage, our massage program strives to enrich the lives of its students. Our program provides students with the opportunity to grow and to examine their relationships with themselves and others in a supportive environment. This balancing of body, mind and spirit naturally allows health and wellness to arise. Our highly trained faculty is deeply committed to creating a safe, nurturing and intimate learning community that honors the diversity and unique gifts that each student possesses. The process of becoming a massage therapist is a life changing experience that allows individuals to bring their hearts more openly into their work. We offer our massage program in 3 formats: our 9 month Full-Time Program (M-Th, 9am-4:30pm), our 14 month Part-Time Morning Program (M-F 9am-12:30pm and 1 Saturday per month), and our 21month Part-Time Evening Program (M-W 6pm-9:30pm and 1-2 Saturdays per month). All of our programs start year-round. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify so apply today!

Apply online at: www.CNWSMT.com or call 518-489-4026 for more information. We also offer a student massage clinic where you can experience the many health benefits of a therapeutic massage. Call 489-4068 to make an appointment for a massage in our student clinic. The Center for Natural Wellness also carries a full line of massage-related products.

Tri City Rentals

Tri City Rentals

Kelly Weaver, Julie Massry Knox and Anthony Paganucci

255 WASHINGTON AVE. EXT., ALBANY, 862-6600, TRICITYRENTALS.COM

For more than 40 years, Tri City Rentals has built a reputation for unsurpassed quality, outstanding value and personal service while owning and managing the area’s premier apartment communities. Attention to detail is the first thing you’ll notice as you enter any of our apartment communities. It starts with the landscaping—beautifully cropped lawns with flower beds and shrubs bordering immaculate walkways which lead you to your new apartment home. There’s a neighborhood feeling you’ll get the moment you meet members of our staff. They will assist you in finding the right apartment. Locally we have 23 of the finest communities offering diverse locations, price ranges, styles and amenities including furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, so we’re sure there is one suited to your needs and lifestyle.

Cafe Vero

Caffé Vero

Ryan Miller (owner) and Zack Manning

260 Lark St., Albany, 185 Canada St., Lake George, 668-5800, caffeverocoffee.com

The art of making true espresso takes patience, passion for detail, and an appreciation for fine coffee. Caffé Vero, “True Coffee,” hasn’t taken the challenge lightly. We began our journey in the spring of 2006 after visiting the coffee capital of America, Seattle. There we met David Schomer (owner of Espresso Vivace), who is widely renowned as the North American espresso expert. With the desire to bring the best coffee we could back to upstate New York, we befriended and trained under David. He taught us that if we are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to make fine espresso, the world will beat a path to our door. We began the next step of our journey in 2009, after importing a custom roaster from Portugal. Since that day we have constantly been improving our product with the goal of achieving the best, both in the art of roasting and the art of espresso extraction. After five years in Lake George, we opened our second café (next to Bombers) on Lark Street in downtown Albany. Coffee being our main focus, we felt that Albany had the potential to support a gourmet coffee shop that put coffee first and everything else second. After 10 months of extensive renovation, Caffé Vero Albany opened on Nov. 3, 2010. The city has given us a warm reception and we promise to continue our pursuit for the perfect cup of coffee. Bring this ad into Caffé Vero and receive 50 percent off any great specialty coffee.

Groff Networks

Groff NetWorks, LLC

Lauren Groff, CEO of Groff Networks

11 State St., Troy, 320-8906, groffnetworks.com

He started back in 2005 as a one-man band fixing computers in his living room. Today, Lauren Groff has made Groff NetWorks one of the leading IT service providers in the Capital Region. As a comprehensive outsource IT department dedicated to the success of small to medium sized business, we offer the services of a full-time IT department at an affordable price.

Larger companies have what is called an information technology, or IT department, that is all in-house. They do everything supporting the computer and the server. They make the infrastructure, network, and all things computer-wise, happen and work. They bring new technologies and strategy. Those are the kinds of things we bring to the small business, but in an outsource way.

We don’t just wait for things to break; we offer a comprehensive solution that focuses on what makes the most business sense for our clients. We build our whole system around trying to get the end result of maximized efficiency for our clients, with the least amount of risk, as well as making everything run better.

We are the ultimate peace of mind IT solution. We do everything we can to optimize the productivity and efficiency of the businesses we serve, giving those businesses the freedom to do what they do best.

El Mariachi

El Mariachi

Owners Marco Bermejo, Patty Bermejo-Bhola, Freddie Bhola

144 Washington Ave., Albany 465-2568; 289 Hamilton St., Albany, 432-7580, elmariachirestaurant.com

We began our family business in the Capital Region 13 years ago. My parents come from Puebla, a beautiful colonial city where the traditional cuisine and outstanding specialties include mole poblano, pipian (a pumpkin seed sauce) and gorditas poblanas. Other favorite dishes include pollo al chipotle, tacos al carbon and cochinita pibil, which has also been selected as “Dish of the Year” (Times Union).

I come (Patty Bermejo) from a family of five brothers who have all been in the restaurant business for nearly 25 years. With the strong family tradition that our parents taught us, we managed to start up an authentic Mexican restaurant in the Capital Region. We now have two locations in the downtown Albany. At El Mariachi II we put into practice one of my brother’s expertise in Spanish cuisine, adding the Paella dishes and other traditional seafood dishes from southern Spain.

Here at El Mariachi, our menu typifies the foods from our hometown and other Mexican states. Our recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, starting with our great-grandmothers. Our tequila selection (over 80 choices, 100 percent agave!), house-made Sangria, and special house-flavor margaritas are among our customers favorites. I thank all of our loyal customers for voting us No. 1 for more than 10 years in a row (Metroland’s Best Of the Capital District Reader’s Poll, and Best Mexican 2008, as well as Best Outdoor Dining in 2010!), and my family who stand together to keep the business growing.

Ultraviolet Cafe

Ultraviolet Café

Ultraviolet Café staff

290 Delaware Ave., Albany, 434-0333

Located right next to the Spectrum 8 Theatres, this neighborhood café has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. It¹s a great place to meet friends before or after a movie. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the colorful café is accented by changing art exhibits featuring the work of local artists.

Drinks include certified fair trade coffee, a large selection of organic whole-leaf tea, a full range of espresso drinks, smoothies and organic hot cocoa. Our selection of food includes daily grilled Panini sandwiches, wraps, soups, quiche, and an assortment of fresh baked goods and pastries.

Free Wi-Fi. Open Mon-Friday 8 AM -10 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM- 10 PM.

Pastime Legends

Pastime Legends

Joseph Pirro and Emily Petrequin

292 Lark St., Albany, 512-5353; 37 Mohawk Ave, Scotia, 374-4050

Pastime Legends started in a little flea market spot in 2007, and the love of retro games has grown it into what it is today. Our first store in Scotia will be open for two years this summer, and we opened our second store in downtown Albany six months ago.

We carry video games for literally every game console ever made, so whether you want to re-discover some classic Atari games, zone out to some Mario Kart 64, or pick up one of this Tuesday’s newest releases, you’re probably in luck! You’ll feel the nostalgia rush through your veins when you walk into one of our stores.  Gamers can get together here to reminisce or try something out from our countless library of old-school cartridges.

People are more than willing to skip that trip to the bigger chain stores because of our trade policies and the vast diversity of trade-ins we accept.  Some Super Nintendo games might be worth enough to get you the latest Call of Duty!  We pay as much as 80% of retail for in-demand games, and as a result our inventory changes daily.

We have hosted tournaments at our Scotia store, Proctor’s Theater, the UAG Art Gallery and Hackett Middle School, and have plans in the works for community events in the near future.  Kids and adults alike can compete for prizes, but most importantly it’s always a fun time!

Brown's Brewing Company

Brown’s Brewing Company

417 River St., Troy, 273-BEER(2337), brownsbrewing.com

Brown’s Brewing Company has been a fixture on Troy’s waterfront ever since owners Garry and Kelly Brown renovated an abandoned 19th century River Street warehouse back in 1993. Brown’s brews their Dependable Ales & Lagers right on site everyday and their Taproom restaurant is noted for a dining menu that matches the quality of its beer menu. With more than a dozen beers on tap at any one time, first time visitors and regulars alike can find a delightful range of styles from traditional Pale Ale and Oatmeal Stout to specialty favorites like Cherry Raspberry Ale and Barrel Aged Whiskey Porter.

Voted Best Brew Pub by Metroland readers four years in a row, Brown’s Taproom is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The brewpub’s outdoor deck (pictured) overlooks the Hudson River and is one of the great locations in the Capital Region for outdoor dining. Private or corporate events, parties and receptions from 40 to 400 people can easily be accommodated in Brown’s Trojan Room or its newly renovated Revolution Hall.

Brown’s is committed to the local environment and community, too. A portion of the sales from their Tomhannock Pilsner are donated to the Rensselaer Land Trust, which protects Rensselaer County watersheds including Troy’s Tomhannock Reservoir. Owner Garry Brown and Director of Brewing Peter Martin have also been farming hops in Hoosick Falls as an added measure of self-sustainability. Brown’s Brewing Company is a proud member of Capital District Local First and many of their beers can be found in beverage centers and grocery stores as well as bars and restaurants throughout the Capital Region. Support your local brewery!

Russel Parker

Russell Parker Tax Accounting Firm

Kevin McNamara, Grey Smith, Sandra Wallace, Russell Parker (owner), Allison Patton, Sheldon Goddard (consultant), David Abrukin, Daniel Marabi

272 Lark St. and 681 Western Ave., Albany, 482-5623, rparker13@nycap.rr.com

After 32 years of experience as a highly qualified IRS agent, Russell Parker retired from employment in 2002 and established his privately owned business at 681 Western Ave. Today, he works out of two locations: the Western Avenue address, and on Lark Street  where he proudly watched the golden letters of the Russell Parker Tax Accounting Firm sign go up in February 2010.

Russell read an article printed in USA Today on March 18, 2010, which stated that the average cost for federal and state preparations were $129 without itemized deductions, and $229 with itemized deductions. The Russell Parker Tax Accounting Firm will prepare these same tax returns for a flat fee of $85 without any additional hidden costs or fees.

For eight years, Russell Parker was a coordinator for an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and for the last 11 years he has provided free tax counseling and tax returns preparation for the Albany Damien Center, which is a community center for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in the Capital Region.

The firm also offers valuable experience to college students by providing an informal internship. The above picture includes current and past UAlbany students who have participated in this internship.

Aunt Katies Attic

Aunt Katie’s Attic

7052 Amsterdam Road, Scotia, 887-3026, auntkatiesattic.com

Metroland Readers voted us Best Antiques in the 2011 Readers’ Poll. To find out why, we went to the source. We asked our customers. Here’s what they had to say.

Estelle: “Each area looks like a room that might have been in Grandma’s house.” (Seems they dig our groovy displays.)

Erin: “It’s the only shop I always go to when I visit upstate!” (They come from near and far!)

Newbie Jodi: “Everyone is always so helpful and cheerful!” Guess that’s because we really love what we do!)

Deb S: “My kids love the shop cats and the lollipops!” (Hey, you’ve got to keep those future shoppers happy too!)

Crystal: “Walking through the door is like therapy, I smile all the way through the shop.” (We love to make you smile!)

Sweet Sally: “Katie has things I didn’t even know I needed or wanted. I always take home a bagful of memories at very reasonable prices!”(Let me reiterate, we love to make you smile!)

Aunt Katie’s offers a unique mix of vintage to antique. We specialize in vintage kitchen and other fun and funky stuff. Check out our Aunt Katie’s Attic (upper case) Facebook page or our freshly updated website for a peek at our treasures or info on our upcoming events, including our Sweet 16 Birthday Bash and annual outdoor flea market. You never know what, or who you’ll find at Aunt Katie’s Attic.

Wine Bar

The Wine Bar and Bistro

Chef/owner Kevin P. Everleth, executive chef Jason T. Baker

200 LARK ST., ALBANY, 463-2881

Welcome to the Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark. Located on the hippest street in Downtown Albany, this night spot has been transformed into an Old-World-style candlelight-and-brick cellar.

The Wine Bar and Bistro is constantly striving to provide an amazing wine experience. Our Wine Spectator award-winning wine list offers more than 290 wines from around the globe, including more than 70 wines by the glass. Sommeliers Jonathan Stewart and Kerry Baxter are ready to provide expert guidance as you mull through the wine list.

In addition to the ever-changing wine list, executive chef Jason T. Baker offers a remarkably adventurous bistro menu, sure to delight any palate. Three fireplaces create the perfect ambiance during the cold winter months, and three patios take outdoor dining to a new level during the warmer months.

Come enjoy your favorite food and wine under the stars! Voted Best Wine List and Best Wine Bar by the staff and readers of Metroland and given four stars by the Times Union. Open seven days a week from 5 PM until close.

Pinnacle Behavioral Health

Pinnacle Behavioral Health

Family nurse practitioner Deborah Lynn Sweeney and director Laura A. Hunt.

1 Pinnacle Place, Albany, 689-0244, pinnaclebehavioralhealth.com

Pinnacle Behavioral Health—where traditional and complimentary mental health services come together. After more than 20 years providing psychotherapy services and developing mental health treatment programs throughout New York state, Laura Hunt, LACSW, has brought together a group of seasoned colleagues to form Pinnacle Behavior Health. We understand that the process of healing and personal growth can be challenging. At the heart of our philosophy we support your individual needs throughout your progress and growth.

Pinnacle Behavioral Health is a private group of licensed mental health professionals providing medication management and counseling for adolescents and adults. Our staff consists of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, licensed social workers and licensed mental health counselors. The collaboration between our medical staff and clinicians sets Pinnacle Behavioral Health apart from other mental health practices. We seek to ensure optimal patient care through our commitment to creating a caring environment that supports you through your treatment. Our services include psychiatric evaluation, as well as individual, family, and group counseling. Specialized programs include: adolescent medication management; employee assistance services; DWI evaluation; energy treatment; and psychotherapy for depression, mood disorders, and anxiety. Pinnacle Behavioral Health accepts most major insurance plans. Please give us a call with your questions and concerns and ask for Laura Hunt (director), or visit our Web site for further information.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Managers Dave Siewert and Jen Chura

1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012, northernlightslive.com

We are grateful to be able to do what we love best; produce unforgettable live music experiences. Hard work and an overwhelming passion for music drive us to be the premier midsize venue in the Capital Region.  Our home on Route 146 in Clifton Park is 25 minutes north of Albany. Celebrating our two-year anniversary under new management, we plan to continue to be the area’s home of music. Our family here at Northern Lights is devoted to great shows. We are dedicated to providing the best live entertainment to local and regional fans. We are proud to be the 57th largest venue/club in the world (based on ticket sales). Our updated facilities include an all new men’s room, air conditioning system and sound board. We have expanded the draft line selection on our two full bars. Backstage, a new state of the art production office and two new fully furnished dressing rooms are equipped with all the amenities of home on the road. New cameras relay the action on stage to our jumbo projection screen, as well as 4 flat screen televisions. We value presenting a variety of musical genres to fans of all ages. We have been proud to welcome Snoop Dogg, Korn, 30 Seconds to Mars, David Cook and Clutch. This summer we look forward to Volbeat, Taking Back Sunday, Guster and many more. We have immense pride in our area; our work is our passion.

Ginger Man

Ginger Man Wine Bar & Restaurant

Manager Julie Byron

234 Western Ave., Albany, 427-5963, albanygingerman.com

In Vino Veritas! Let me introduce you to the Ginger Man Wine Bar and Restaurant. In May 1983, owners Michael and Patricia Byron took on the challenge of opening the first wine bar in Albany. Although no strangers to the restaurant business, Mike and Pat spent much time, energy, and hard work combining a dynamic wine list along with a small, light-fare menu. Throughout the years, the Ginger Man has catered to legislators, politicians, state workers, wine lovers, and connoisseurs alike. Its vast selection, singularity, and excellent price-range allows a customer to be diverse and offers plenty of room for exploration. We are open for lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner Monday through Saturday. All lunch, dinner, and wine lists change seasonally. Our wine list offers generous selections from around the world with major wine regions referencing a description of each grape variety and vintage. Our cruvinet system adds breadth to the wine list representing the classic traditional wines as well as new and trendy selections. Between our wine list and cruvinet, we serve approximately 75 wines by the glass, and 140 bottles. All menus offer creative, unique sampling flights including appetizers, wine, beer, scotch and small-batch bourbon. Its unique atmosphere provides a warm feeling whether you choose to linger over lunch, dinner or our famous seasonal fruit and cheese boards, charcuterie platter or house-made dessert paired with our wide selection of ports, grappas and liquors. The Ginger Man is the perfect place for the casual wine lover, a business meeting or a special date. We have parking in the rear of the building open for private parties.

Honest Weight Food Coop

Honest Weight Food Co-op, Inc.

Amy Pagana and Maria Dahl

484 Central Ave., Albany, 482-2667, hwfc.com

Honest Weight Food Co-op, Inc. is a cooperatively owned and operated natural foods grocery store that has been serving the public since 1976. Our driving mission is to provide the Capital District with high-quality, affordable foods and to promote healthy, sustainable living.

We pride ourselves on being a venue for local farmers and producers. Stop by any time and discover all the region has to offer. We have the largest bulk foods section in upstate New York, the best cheese selection north of New York City, locally raised, grass-fed meats, an incredible deli and bakery, fresh, local produce, and a wellness section filled with the best vitamins, supplements and body care products you could wish for.

We are proud to be a part of the community and support community endeavors wherever possible. Our outreach program brings our mission into local schools through such activities as our Ready, Set, Grow! program. We also sponsor a monthly film series with WAMC, entitled “Food for Thought,” which focuses on films that highlight food and environmental issues.

We have used the cooperative business model to create a truly viable and responsible business and are in the process of finalizing our plans for a new store at 100 Watervliet Ave. that will allow us to increase our community involvement, as well as increase our local food and product offerings.

Circles

Circles

Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, 482-2554, circles-shop.com

Circles, a women’s clothing store at Stuyvesant Plaza, offers some of the most sought after designers, including Vince, Theory, Diane VonFurstenberg, Nanette Lepore, Milly, Nic and Zoe, Nicole Miller and Carmen Marc Valvo to name a few. Seven for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Joes and J Brand are denim lines that never disappoint. Our Sales Associates are available to act as your personal shoppers, ensuring you find what you need and what looks best on you. They can accessorize your outfit with Brighton and Alexis Bittar jewelry, along with Wolford legwear. When you do find that perfect pair of jeans, prom dress or mother-of-the bride dress, Circles’ “master seamstress,” Susan, will make sure your selection looks as though it was custom made just for you! Susan was trained in New York City and worked for some of the top bridal houses.

Familiar names such as Kooba, Botkier, Frye, Coach, Sam Edelman, Cole Haan, Donald Pliner, Stuart Weitzman, Jack Rogers and, of course, Uggs, make the shoe and handbag department a must stop while visiting circles. Also, you cannot leave without a “beauty-fix”. Our estheticians and cosmetic artists are extensively trained by some of the top New York City artists. Along with the vast talent, what makes CIRCLES cosmetic department so special is that the staff are trained in and sell all of the lines. In other words, rather than be restricted to one line, they are able to put together a skincare/beauty prescription regimen that will work best for you. Oftentimes, this means pulling from several lines to meet your specific needs. We have some of the most luxurious lines . . . Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, NARS, Natura Bisse, Darphin, Mario Badescu and Dr. Hauschka to name a few. Circles is truly is a Touch of Manhattan in Albany!

Greenwich Floor Covering

Greenwich Floor Covering

Sandy Bain (sales) and Jessica Ryan (owner)

1156 State Route 29, Greenwich, 531-4191, greenwichfloorcovering.com

Greenwich Floor Covering, founded by Louis Miles and Jessica Ryan, is a full-service floor-covering store, with a sales staff and installation crew that have been serving the Capital Region for more than 20 years.

At Greenwich Floor Covering, we offer a quality selection of all flooring types—ceramic tile, carpet, hardwood, laminates, vinyl, natural stone, and remnants. We offer top flooring brands like Shaw, Mohawk, Daltile and Mannington . . . but have always strived to carry flooring lines that set us apart from our competitors. We offer a full line of “green” flooring, like Marmoleum, Smart Strand and wool carpets, cork, and oiled hardwoods, and also carry a beautiful selection of ceramic, porcelain and glass tiles from around the world.

Our company does both residential and commercial work, and we warranty all installations. We have all of our own expert installers on payroll, but also offer a full line of installation tools and materials for your next do-it-yourself project. We pride ourselves on excellent one-on-one customer service. Our staff here at Greenwich Floor Covering is very knowledgeable of all flooring types and the proper installation of each. Feel free to call us with questions or even for ideas any time! We enjoy doing custom work and working with you to design the exact layout/pattern you’ve been envisioning. Stop by our showroom, or give us a call for your free in-home estimate . . . and let us help you design the floor of your dreams!

Bangkok Bistro

Bangkok Bistro

Sarah Mackenzie, Lauren Sankowski

268 State St., Schenectady, 374-3048, bangkokbistrony.com

Hungry at 1 AM? Well there’s only one thing to do if you’re in Schenectady. Come to us! The Bangkok Bistro will satisfy your exotic food cravings for lunch, dinner, and late into the night. For five years, “the Bangkok” has been a gastronomical landmark of downtown Schenectady. Come in before a show at Proctors, or a movie at the Bowtie. Enjoy a pad Thai or a curry while you watch TV at the bar or relax in the dining room. Come in on Wednesday to have AJ serve you a beautiful flower on top of your decadent $4 martini. Come on Monday to start your week off with a relaxing dinner and a warm smile from Lauren. Come on Thursday to scarf some sushi and spring rolls, or sip on some “Lillie Lemonade” for just $3. Sing your heart out on karaoke Wednesday or Thursday. Or come Saturday, or for that matter, any other night, and you might just see the thing that really makes the Bangkok such a fun place—half the staff slinging drinks and dishing out drunken noodles, and the rest of us just hanging out, joking with regulars and getting to know new customers. We feel at home in our restaurant, and we want you to also! We welcome everyone with an appetite and aim to have you leave with a full stomach and a smile.

Koto's Japanese

Koto’s Japanese

260 Wolf Road Ext., 869-8888, kotoalbany.com

The Koto is a magnificent, traditional Japanese, stringed instrument that has been used for centuries to create unique and extremely lovely songs, and has enchanted admirers from all over the world. Just like its name, Koto Japanese Restaurant is celebrated for its exceptional and beautiful preparation of traditional Japanese cuisine, elevating the art of Japanese fine dining to a near-musical experience.

Since its inception in 2003, Koto Japanese Restaurant has been renowned for its stunning presentations and fresh sushi. Koto has been voted Best Japanese/Sushi in the 2009 Metroland Readers Poll, Best Japanese Steakhouse in 2008, and Best Japanese Cuisine in 2008 by Capital Region Magazine. Koto offers a delectable and sizable selection of authentic Japanese food, ranging from raw sushi and sashimi to delicious cooked dishes, such as sizzling beef teriyaki and artfully-presented Hibachi grill. Koto uses only the finest ingredients available including organic vegetables, certified Black Angus beef, the best sushi-grade salmon available, and cooking oil with no trans fats, making a meal healthy as well as delicious. We are open for lunch and dinner. Take out is also available. Space is available for business meetings.

Anton's Greek Restaurant

Anton’s Greek Restaurant

Kerry and Michael Anton

577 NEW SCOTLAND AVE., ALBANY, 453-9191, ANTONSGREEKRESTAURANT.COM

The Antons are a close-knit, hard working Greek-American family who operate a small but explosive eatery across from St. Peter’s Hospital. We’re life-long residents of the neighborhood and enjoy living and working in the city of Albany! Anton’s philosophy is to use the freshest ingredients to offer home-made, quality fun-food at a reasonable price. Attention to health and detail is evident in the use of quality meats and locally grown produce and dairy products. Anton’s specializes in authentic Greek gyros, souvlakia, moussaka, pasticcio, spanakopita, Greek salads and spreads, and a variety of Yia Yia’s homemade, mouthwatering Greek pastries.

Other featured items include fresh breakfast sandwiches (served all day), the area’s famous locally made mini hot dogs, sliders (mini burgers), cooked in-house deli sandwiches (turkey, corned beef and eye-of-round roast beef), as well as a variety of vegetarian fare. A must try is the one-of-a-kind EJ breakfast wrap, named after a close friend of ours whose life was cut short. Anton’s offers the area’s only gluten-free pita.

Call Anton’s to cater your next party, office lunch, or other event. We’ll work with you to develop a catering menu to accommodate your needs and budget, including trays of homemade Greek pastries. Check out our mobile food truck cruising the streets in the near future-you won’t want to miss it! Soon we’ll provide our mouthwatering, homemade Greek food at local festivals, events and even your backyard parties! Anton’s would like to thank those who voted for us in the Reader’s Pick poll and our customers who make it possible to survive-we look forward to seeing our regular customers and new faces soon!

Krispin's Automotive Repair

Krispin’s Automotive Repair

Victoria Southwick, Chuck Storms and owher Krispin Vagnini

574 RIVER ST., TROY, 687-0304, KRISPINSAUTO.COM

I opened Krispin’s Automotive Repair in July 2006 at 574 River St. in Troy. I have been working on cars since before I could drive and have always enjoyed automotive repair. After attending the automotive program at Hudson Valley Community College and honing my skills as a technician, I received my first ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification in 1998. With diligence at mastering my craft, I became an ASE master technician in 2002.

In June 2008, a very knowledgeable ASE certified master technician, Chuck Storms, joined my team. I am extremely confident in Chuck’s knowledge and abilities to perform any and all diagnostics and repairs. To keep up with the demands of a growing business, Victoria Southwickjoined my team in April of 2009. As our service writer, Victoria handles customer needs, schedules appointments, writes estimates and is vital to the day to day operations which keep the shop running smoothly. I consider her the “back bone” of my shop.

Krispin’s has been a Napa Autocare Center since 2009. We service and repair all domestic, light truck, Asian and European vehicles. We perform advanced engine diagnostics, emission related repairs and are a certified NYS vehicle inspection station. Not only specializing in these technical repairs, we also perform all light repairs such as brakes, tires, oil changes and all routine maintenance. And beoing a Napa Autocare Center, we are able to offer the peace of mind of a nationwide warranty. Krispin’s Automotive Repair is a small independent shop that keeps customers safety and best interest in mind.

Tierra Coffee Roasters

Tierra Farms Coffee Roasters

1038 MADISON AVE, ALBANY, 621-7299, TIERRACOFFEEROASTERS.COM

Tierra coffee Roasters is a locally owned cafe serving certified organic and fairly traded coffee.  The cafe serves a full menu of healthy foods, including certified organic locally roasted nuts. The cafe features live music four nights a week and open mic night on Mondays. All of our coffee is roasted in small batches at our solar-powered facility in Columbia County, where our parent company, Tierra Farm, roasts and processes the rest of its over 100 certified organic products, including nut butters, dried fruits and chocolates. Located next to the Madison Theatre, Tierra Coffee Roasters is open from 7 AM until 10 PM seven days a week. Come enjoy our outdoor seating starting in May. We look forward to seeing you soon. For more information or inquiries about our live music schedule, call us or look for us on the web.