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Special Advertising Section

2010 Local Business

Albany All Stars Roller Derby

2010 AASRD team photo

AlbanyAllStars.com, info@AlbanyAllStars.com

Their uniforms may not be pressed khakis and polo shirts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a business. During the last four years the Albany All Stars have expanded from a small group of women skating in the parking lot of Northern Lights to a unit of between 40 and 50 dedicated athletes who have a home at the Washington Avenue Armory, skating on a floor with their logo painted on it.

Roughly every three weeks, the Empire Skate Troopers or the Department of Public Hurts (the All Stars’ two teams) entertain between 1,000 to 1,500 fans. Spectators enjoy a live band, a plethora of food and beverage options, and an intense two hours of roller derby. At each bout there is a raffle with prizes ranging from free pottery lessons to gym memberships. Half of the money made by the raffle is donated to a different local charity each time. They also donate much of their time to volunteer work within the community from running in the Santa Speedo Sprint, to skating in the Pride Parade.

The advancement of the Capital Region’s original roller derby team is due largely to the dedication of the women on the team. The Albany All Stars are not just skaters; they are businesswomen in every sense of the word. So the next time you see these women congratulate them not only for their sense of style and skating ability but for their hard word and dedication to the business that is roller derby.

What does the future hold for the Albany All Stars? Many people may remember roller derby from the past, where the skaters always used a banked track. Although the modern day phenomenon is primarily flat track, the Albany All Stars are currently trying to raise money and find warehouse space for a banked track.

Mary Jane Books

Back row (standing): J.B., Elaina, Matthew, Dan, Jess, Orlando; Second row(kneeling or sitting): Michelle, Tess, Ryan, Ashley; Middle (bookended by dogs): Butters, Heather, Annabelle

215 WESTERN AVE., ALBANY, 465-2238, MARYJANEBOOKS.COM

Since 1998, thousands of college students, as well as members of the local community, have been “getting used” on the corner of Western and Quail. Mary Jane’s mission has always been to provide an affordable alternative to on-campus bookstores. We stock primarily used textbooks for the University at Albany and Hudson Valley Community College; however, the store does cater to the needs of other area colleges and universities through special ordering.

At Mary Jane, we run an “over the counter” operation. This means that students don’t have to rifle through stacks of books in endless aisles—instead, they simply give us a list of the books they need and Mary Jane staff will find the books and bring them back to the counter. If that doesn’t sound easy enough, students have the option to order and pay for their books online at our mega-awesome Web site and skip the lines when they come in to pick their books up. And if you see our big blue Mary Jane “Magic Bus” driving around Albany, feel free to hop on board! It “magically” runs on vegetable oil—a fact the Mary Jane crew absolutely loves and hopes you love as well.

Additionally, Mary Jane has more than just college textbooks. We house tons of fiction and non-fiction titles, foreign language novels and local author publications that visitors can browse through in front of the store. We also carry school supplies, posters and the infamous Mary Jane T-shirts. Stop in anytime to check out the store and from all of us here at Mary Jane, “thank you Capital Region!”

Elissa Halloran Designs

229 LARK ST., ALBANY, 432-7090, EHDESIGNS.COM

I get to play at my store. I collect pieces from old games and turn them into jewelry and decorative objects. I make skeleton guys from dominoes, beads and wire. I roll old dice, polish them with luck, and turn them into necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Monopoly houses and playing pieces, Mah Jong and Rummikub tiles—these are the ingredients for fanciful and fun things to adorn your body and home.

Scrabble tiles are wicked fun. I use them to spell words like super, cool, silly, happy, sexy. Give them to your friends and let the letters speak for you—with a week’s notice I can do custom orders and spell what you want.

I’m obsessed with making jewelry from vintage buttons. They are so pretty and made from such a range of materials—mother of pearl, Bakelite, plastic wood, metal, rhinestones. Besides being easy on the eyes, I like to re-use used materials. Not everything needs to go to the landfill. Like corks, for instance. I make them into horses to run from my imagination to yours.

Think of all of these choices as you get ready for Mother’s Day, which is coming up May 9. Tell Mom thanks for all she’s done for you with something from my store. I’ve been here nine years now, and for the rest of March you can enjoy 9 percent off jewelry and anything made by me.

Upcoming First Friday artists are painter Sean Calhoun in April, and purse maker Petra Jancovicova in May. Drop by and say hello!

Emil J. Nagengast Florist

The staff at Emil J. Nagengast Florist

169 Ontario St., Albany, 434-1124; Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, 489-1745, nagengast.com

Founded in 1910 by our great-grandparents, Emil J. Nagengast Florist has evolved to have the widest selection of fresh flowers in the Capital District. We are one of Teleflora’s Top 100 florists in the nation and have been voted Metroland’s and Capital Region Living’s Best Florist. Susie, Anne, Denise, Marcia, Pamela Nagengast and a host of long-time dedicated associates run the shop today. We have learned one valuable lesson from past generations—the importance of service and developing a relationship with our customers. Our staff of professional designers have a combined 340 years experience in the floral business. We are always on the lookout for new trends and developments in the floral industry. We share our enthusiasm for nature and creativity online on Twitter, Facebook and nagengast.com as well as in our blog. Our original shop on Ontario and Benson streets in Albany and our shop and our Stuyvesant Plaza store offer both the uniqueness and the expertise usually found in large cities, but the individual care for customers and charm that can only be found in a small business. We are excited about designing for all the occasions of your life, whether it is an elegant high-style event or a fun arrangement to remind someone to celebrate every day.

Tri City Rentals

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.

Bombers Burrito Bar

Dave Smassanow, Scott Jones, Dave Stutzman, Jimmy Vann, Sarah Hough, Conor McGuirk and Alicia Hendricks (not shown: owner Matt Baumgartner)

258 Lark St. Albany, 463-9636; 447 State St. ,Schenectady, 374- 3548, bombersburritobar.com

This has been a very exciting year for all of us at Bombers Burrito Bar. We just celebrated our 13th year in business at our Lark Street location, and we will be celebrating our one year anniversary at our Schenectady location on Cinco de Mayo (that’s May 5 for those of you who never took Spanish 101). And, we have FREE BURRITO DAY coming up on 4/20.

If you haven’t been to Bombers Burrito Bar before, this is what it’s like: A casual, lively, fun restaurant/bar with delicious, inexpensive food and drinks. We have delicious margaritas, lots of beer on tap, and even a drink called a Jimbo, which is one-half draft beer and one-half frozen margarita (you’ll love it). Every night of the week at Bombers Burrito Bar, we have something fun going on. Whether it’s Trivia, or Karaoke, or Wing Night (Mondays), you will always find something exciting at Bombers.

A special thank you to all of our customers who keep coming back to Bombers! We are grateful for your business, and it has been super fun feeding you and getting you drunk. We look forward to many more years of it. For more information, please check out our Web site, or stop in for a drink or eight! Cheers!

Artique Co-op

Elizabeth King, Angela Ledtke

Plaza 8 shopping center, 1536 crescent road, clifton park, 724-0750, artiqueshopping.com

Just seven months after opening our doors, Artique co-op would like to thank our customers for a warm welcome to the community. Now featuring over 90 local vendors, Artique provides a storefront opportunity for a variety of small businesses all together under one roof. As many customers will attest, it is a fun and creative place to shop. They love to browse and see what is new while supporting the local economy. With textiles, pottery, jewelry, candles, handbags and florals, Artique hosts the finest creation of this area’s crafters while our “local flavor” grocery area showcases over a dozen of the tastiest farmer’s market vendors. Joined together with a smattering of antiques, vintage and new-to-you finds, Artique is a great day-out activity. In addition, Artique vendors are pleased to share their talents with the community—check out the workshop schedule on our Web site. If you have not stopped in yet, what are you waiting for? Come see what all the buzz is about!

El Mariachi

Owners Marco Bermejo, Patty Bermejo-Bhola, Freddie Bhola

144 Washington Ave., Albany 465-2568; 289 Hamilton St., Albany, 432-7580; Route 9 S. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 581-5901, 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 area and a third location in Saratoga Springs. At El Mariachi II and III 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.

Quintessence

Rebecca Neilson, Melissa Delamora

11 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 434-8186, quintessenceny.com

The UN diner was transported to Albany from New Jersey back in the early 1940s. In 1981, two gentlemen by the names of James Scalzo and Henry Junco purchased the UN Diner and renamed it Quintessence. Scalzo was the heart and soul of the restaurant, and he operated it for 23 years. In 2004, Quintessence closed its doors and lay silent for five years until it was purchased and reopened under new management in August, 2009. Scalzo added the bar to the diner after he purchased it, and that bar is still here today. The ceiling, woodwork, the bar back and the upholstery in the booths are all brand new. The journey from a lonely, silent, abandoned diner to a rejuvenated, vibrant restaurant and nightclub has been a challenging but exciting one. We knew we had a challenging project ahead of us in many ways. We are truly enjoying the challenge of not only providing our customers with a pleasant dining experience, but also building on their memories of the original Quintessence, good food, good people and great times. We are looking intently at the future of this area as the New Scotland Avenue corridor goes through a lot of construction and rehabilitation. We’re on the ground floor of the neighborhood revitalization, and it’s very exciting to witness the growth and change every day. We feel very fortunate to be a part of it all.

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. Not sure what game you’re looking for? Remember a certain level but can’t remember the name? Ask away—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!

St. Croix Tan

Wade Dempsey, Vicent Crisafulli

Sanfords Farms Shopping Plaza, Amsterdam; shoppers world plaza, route 146, Clifton Park; 266 delaware ave., delmar; 2050 western ave., guilderland; and 601 Loudon Road, Latham. 373-1001, stcroixtan.com

Whether or not you have ever visited an indoor tanning salon in the past, you have to experience what St. Croix Tan has to offer! Just walk in the door of a St Croix Tan and you will immediately know you are in for something exceptional. From the immaculate, contemporary salons to the knowledgeable and smiling tanning consultants to the many high quality tanning levels, St. Croix Tan delivers the Capital District’s premiere tanning experience.

Responsible indoor tanning can offer both health and aesthetic benefits; find out about these benefits online at tanningtruth.com.

Look good and feel great after tanning at any of St. Croix Tan’s beautiful, spotless and convenient locations. St. Croix Tan provides exceptional tanning value with member tanning packages allowing you to tan as much as you need for a low monthly price. Our tanning consultants will help you choose a responsible path to achieve your maximum tan potential!

Visit St. Croix Tan today because it’s not a tan unless it’s a St. Croix Tan!

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.

La’zeez Pakistani Indian Cuisine

Qasim Bhatti

35 Central Ave., Albany, 465-0333, eatlazeez.com

La’zeez opened its doors a few months ago, yet owner Qasim Bhatti is a pioneer in the Indian/Pakistani restaurant scene in the Capital District. In 1991 he started the original Shalimar location a few doors down on Central Avenue. He quickly developed a loyal following, attracting customers from all around the area. Outgrowing the original location, he moved Shalimar to 35 Central Ave. After a few years’ break from the restaurant business, he has returned with La’zeez. The menu features the same dishes which have proved so popular over the years, such as chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma, mali kofta and many more. La’zeez puts an emphasis on quality ingredients and fresh home style cooking. There is a full vegetarian menu available, as well as chicken, beef and lamb dishes cooked in a clay oven (tandoor).

Located in the heart of Albany, La’zeez has a large dining room as well as private banquet facilities with seating for up to 80 people. Visit during lunch to experience the buffet featuring over 15 items, or come to enjoy a relaxed dinner with a familiar face. Too tired to leave the house? Lazeez delivers too! A full catering menu is also available upon request.

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.

The Wine Bar and Bistro

Kevin P. Everleth

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 240 wines from around the globe, including more than 70 wines by the glass. Sommelier Jonathan Stewart is ready to provide expert guidance as you mull through the wine list.

In addition to the ever-changing wine, list chef-owner Kevin P. Everleth offers a remarkable bistro menu of classically prepared dishes, 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. Open seven days a week from 5 PM until close.

The Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage

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

Part-time night classes start April 21. Financial Aid Available for those who qualify.

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.

Shalimar Restaurant

Liaquat Ashiq-Khan and Ather Nazir

15 Park Ave., Clifton Park 348-1494

Delaware Plaza, Delmar, 439-4200

Shalimar opened its doors on Jan. 22, 1992. Being the first Pakistani-Indian restaurant in Albany, Shalimar enjoys a strong following. The ownership team has upheld the traditions of affordability, quality, service and cleanliness, and community involvement, which have become synonymous with Shalimar.

Long-term employee relationships built over the years have truly been instrumental in the success of the organization.

For 19 years in a row, the Metroland Reader’s Poll has chosen Shalimar as the “Best Pakistani-Indian Restaurant” and “Best Pakistani-Indian Buffet” in the Capital District.

Buenau’s Opticians

Jeff Buenau, Jennifer Macdowell, 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 in providing 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—and boasts over 37 years of experience in doing so. And for the past 13 years his son, Jeff, has been following in his footsteps.

If you would like to be rid of your reading glasses, Buenau’s has the latest in high-definition multifocal contact lenses. They will amaze you at 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. You can even opt for contact lenses that will change the color of your eyes.

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 Web site. You won’t be disappointed.

Tess’ Lark Tavern

453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779, www.larktavern.com

We would like to thank Metroland readers for voting us “Best Bar” for seven years in a row! Tess has made her mark on the Lark Tavern and the neighborhood. Setting a goal to expand the Lark’s art, music, and food while maintaining the traditions and atmosphere of a friendly neighborhood bar has been no small feat, yet Tess and her staff have managed to make it happen. We have listened to our customers’ suggestions and incorporated their ideas into making this creative restructuring beneficial to everyone. Homemade soups, meals, snacks and desserts are served from 11 AM to 2 AM during the week, and until 3 AM on Friday and Saturday. We have a diverse selection of wine and beer. Check the entertainment section for cabaret, comedy, music, open mic, poetry, fashion shows, and music competitions. We hope you stop by to experience the camaraderie and diversity of people that is known at the Lark Tavern.

BROWN’S BREWING COMPANY

Paul Minbiole (executive chef), Peter Martin (director of brewing operations) and Nick Caswell (general manager)

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

Brown’s Brewing Company has been a fixture on Troy’s rebounding waterfront ever since owners Garry and Kelly Brown renovated an abandoned 150-year-old River Street warehouse back in 1993.

Brown’s craft 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, IPA and Oatmeal Stout to specialty favorites like Cherry Raspberry Ale, Whiskey Porter and Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

Voted Best Brew Pub by Metroland readers three years in a row, Brown’s Taproom is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Private or corporate events, parties and receptions can easily be accommodated on the Taproom’s second floor as well as in the more intimate Trojan Room.

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. In the kitchen, Brown’s uses locally grown produce and products as often as possible. And as a measure of added self-sustainability, Garry Brown and Peter Martin have begun farming some of their own hops for the beer they brew.

Brown’s Brewing Company is a proud member of Capital District Local First and many of their beers can be found in beverage centers, grocery stores as well as bars and restaurants throughout the Capital Region. Support your local brewery!

DeJa Vu

Dan Reedy, Jessie Meuser, Giovanni Batista, Crystal Reedy, Ray Chiras, Angela Primo, Piper, Laila and Jessica Chiras

145 Wolf Road, Shoppers Park, Albany, 459-6495

You may say DeJa Vu was born from a stage 40 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. Farner and Leslie West of Mountain were wearing these leather goods, creations handcrafted by Chiras. The concert seemed almost secondary at the time. The store, Deja Vu, was the star.

The store has traveled throughout the Capital District and afar and on our 40th 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.

Keeping with the times, we are revamping our look. But never fear—our discretion and loyalty to our customers remains the same.

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 40 years of business such a success. Help us celebrate by buying an anniversary T-shirt and receive 10 percent off your entire purchase. Come in again wearing the T-shirt until 4/20/2011 and receive an additional 10 percent off your entire purchase every time!

Bodywork Professionals

Karden Rabin, Jenna Welch & Nick Pavoldi

578 New Loudon Road, Latham, 389-2200 BodyworkProfessionals.com

The Bodywork Professionals:

Karden Rabin-Thai Yoga Massage, Crasio-sacral Therapy

Jenna Welch- Deep Tissue Bodywork, Swedish Massage, Manager

Nick Pavoldi- Rolf Structural Integration Practitioner, Proprietor

Diane Simpson, Michelle Beaulieu, and Kathleen Gates not pictured.

We are lucky people who get to do what we love. Thank you.

El Loco Mexican Cafe

Marcia Tolive (owner) with staff

465 Madison Ave. Albany 436-1855, ellocomexicancafe.com

El Loco has been providing the Capital Region with the finest in healthy Tex-Mex, traditional Mexican and Nuevo Southwestern dishes in a fun and festive atmosphere for the past 26 years! We would like to thank Metroland readers for voting us the “BEST single-location MEXICAN” this year, and for all those years past! Some things that you may not know about El Loco: We opened our doors on the 3rd Larkfest. We serve fair-trade organic shade-grown coffee. We use organic brown rice. We make homemade sangria, pina colada and fruit-flavored margaritas—in fact, all of our food is made from scratch and on-premises. Our blue cornbread is soon to be featured in Bon Appetit Magazine. We can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free people, as well as your basic carnivore. We invented the Bananachanga. Our hidden gem of an outdoor patio is in the back yard. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff continues to dish out the handmade Mexican food and kickass Margaritas that have made El Loco an Albany institution. It’s a balancing act to stay true to your ideals, create positive change and fulfill people’s needs for consistency. Thank you Albany for letting us know that you appreciate what we do for you and our community. Please remember to “Buy and Dine Local”—73 cents of your dollar stays in the community, compared to 43 cents when you shop or dine at a chain.

Krispin’s Automotive Repair

Krispin Vagnini (owner), Victoria Vagnini and Chuck Storms

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 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 Vagnini joined 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.

At Krispin’s Automotive Repair, 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. With the exception of doing body/cosmetic repairs, we are capable of repairing all vehicles. Krispin’s Automotive Repair is a small independent shop that keeps customers safety and best interest in mind.

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 SUNYA students who have participated in this internship.

Aunt Katie’s Attic

Kate Halasz, owner

7052 Amsterdam Road, Route 5, Scotia, 887-3026, auntkatiesattic.com

You like us, you really like us!! Once again Metroland readers picked our one-of-a-kind shop as one of the best in the area , just in time for a party! If you haven’t yet experienced Aunt Katie’s Attic then you’re in for a real treat. Come check out the area’s largest selection of vintage kitchen. We are always busy “cooking” up something new (there is something for everyone!) Get a load of our most recent makeover on Saturday April 10 when we celebrate our 15th birthday. Snack, shop, play. You know you want to . . . Aunt Katie’s Attic . . . always fresh.

Ultraviolet Café

Jessy Montrose, Dorothy Gavin, Sarah Kemph, Daoud Nelson, Eileen Strazza, Dave Geurin, Suji Pickard

290 Delaware Ave, Albany, 434-0333

Located right next to the Spectrum 8 Theatres.

This brightly appointed café has a laid-back, bohemian ambience, and is a great place to meet friends before or after a movie. The café is accented by changing art exhibits featuring the work of talented local artists. We offer certified fair trade coffee and organic whole-leaf teas. We feature a full range of espresso drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, and iced espresso drinks. Cold drinks include fruit smoothies, frappes, tea freezes, egg creams, and freshly brewed Iced Teas. Our selection of food includes grilled panini sandwiches, a variety of soups, and quiche. Assorted pastries and baked goods round out the selection. Free Wi-Fi.

Barber’s Farm

Jacob Hooper, Cindy, Jim and Elias Barber

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

We’re famous for our vegetables, but you should see our farm! Since 1857, six generations of the Barber Family have tended their land in the heart of the scenic Schoharie Valley; easily one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit! The farm, roadstand and greenhouses are located 3 and a half miles south of Middleburgh on Route 30 (45 minutes from the Capital Region).

We have built our reputation on providing our customers the very best in homegrown produce and friendly service. We grow more than 100 different types of vegetables on 180 acres of fertile land, using biological controls and mechanical cultivation to avoid chemical pesticides as much as possible. Soil-building crop rotations and intensive “green manure” techniques help reduce our use of fertilizers, and our investment in minimum tillage equipment also helps build the soil structure and reduce energy consumption.

Our greenhouses are overflowing in May and June when we open with flowering bedding plants, more than 1,300 spectacular hanging baskets, perennials and vegetable plants for your home garden. In June we begin to harvest the first crops from our fields. By mid-summer our home farmstand and Capital Region market trucks are bursting with an abundance of homegrown vegetables, fruits and herbs. In August we open the fields to let you pick your own tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, followed with pick-your-own pumpkins in the fall and a corn maze for fun. You can shop from our Market Trucks in Schenectady, Guilderland, Delmar and Colonie. Check our Web site for details.

Honest Weight Food Co-op

Amy Pagano and Maria Dahl

484 Central Ave., Albany, 482-2667, honestweight.coop

Honest Weight Food Co-op, Inc., founded in 1976, is open to the public seven days a week. A member-owned and -operated organization, Honest Weight Food Co-op is committed to providing the community with affordable, high quality natural foods and products for healthy and ecologically sustainable living.

The store offers a full line of natural and organic brand-name grocery products: over 500 domestic and imported cheeses from rBGH-free dairies, locally raised hormone and antibiotic-free meat, the Capital District’s largest selection of bulk foods, a deli and bakery that prepares fresh healthful meals-to-go every day, and a knowledgeable and friendly Wellness staff offering supplements, vitamins, herbs and body care products.

The co-op is acknowledged as having the area’s widest selection of locally produced food products and the staff is always on the lookout for more. Every day co-op members offer samples of new and exciting products through our in-store demo program and weekly there are bulk foods demos that offer the customer recipes and tips on how to use the over 500 bulk foods that the co-op stocks.

Additionally, the co-op is a gathering place for many facets of the local community. To mention just a few of the myriad activities, members offer classes in Spanish, provide math tutoring, gather at the co-op to have music jams, and meet to share natural parenting advice. Members also offer free services such as knife sharpening and financial planning.

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 T.V. 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.

Counties Of Ireland

Patrick McDonough, Jackie McDonough, Robin McDonough (owner), Danielle Pesta, Isabella Vagnini

77 3rd St., Troy, 687-0054, thecountiesofireland.com

This year we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. Our store opened in historic downtown Troy on June 5, 2000. We purchased the Cooper Shoe store building and reopened as our new space in June 2005 and launched our Web site March 2008. This is a complete shopping Web site that began the next phase of our ever-growing business. With all of the positive changes we have made in the last 10 years, it is our idea to bring something a little different to our customers that still holds true. We not only wanted to cater to our Irish patrons but all nationalities and show people the true crafts of Ireland. That is why we are considered “Not your typical Irish shop.”

We offer beautiful merchandise that is manufactured and imported directly from Ireland—authenticity is very important to us. We are always adding new product lines to our store. There are many manufacturers that are not only exclusive to our shop but a few have had their U.S. debut here. Last year we were the first U.S. retail outlet to stock Bunbury Boards. These are much more than a cutting board—every one is branded with a unique serial number, and by visiting the company’s Web site with this reference number, customers can download their very own Tree Report. This includes a picture of their tree, its location and also the date and reason it came down. This year, we are the first U.S. retail outlet for Diem Pottery. After honing his skills with the Craft Council of Ireland, Thomas Diem struck out on his own with a line of hand made pottery called Zest. This is the type of small craft companies that make our store special and unique. Ten years later, the Counties of Ireland still invites you, no matter what age or nationality, to experience a little bit of Ireland . . . the Ireland that we love!

Aquilonia Cards, Comics & More

Bob Lupe (owner), Landon Pelish

412 Fulton St., Troy, 271-1069, lupir@aol.com, aquiloniacardsandcomics.com

Aquilonia Comics, Cards & More has been a Troy staple for more than 25 years. Our focus continues to be on people who actually read and enjoy comics.

Comic books aren’t just for collecting anymore. First and foremost they’re for reading, and these last 10 years have been the best 10 years for great stories with great art that this medium has seen. All those No. 1 box office hit movies have their origins here with us. Our well-versed and well-read staff would easily be able to recommend some great reading material that you would love.

Besides various events held annually throughout the year (including the upcoming FREE COMIC BOOK DAY on Saturday, May 1st) we also offer Magic The Gathering tournaments every Friday evening at 6:30pm and Sunday afternoon at 12:00pm. Make sure to add us as a friend on Facebook (just search Aquilonia Comics) to keep up to date with all our various events and giveaways.

We can’t turn you into a reader but if you are a reader we can certainly give you something to enjoy. Hope to see you here.

Sistahs Vintage Aprons

Mauri Lewis

Artique, Plaza 8 Shopping Center, 1536 Crescent Road, Clifton Park. Sistahjuno@ymail.com

I began creating unique aprons in 2006 after sewing things since middle school. I am the fourth generation of Southern sewing women.

My aprons are fabric concoctions that delight the senses and call up memories of favorite relatives and good times past. Each one is a statement unto itself with a funky, eclectic blending of patterns, colors and period flavors. Any selection can reflect the style popular in the 1920s, 1930s,1940s,1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Each one has its own special spice.

There really is a bit of American history in every stitch. In my hands a garment, the embodiment of utilitarianism, becomes sexy, flirty and down-right lip smackin’ ( so I’ve been told). The possibilities are endless with a Sistah apron. You are the scintillating hostess entertaining a bevy of friends or that special someone for a private party. Your apron is the perfect accent. My creations also make for excellent and distinctive any occasion gift giving. Superb customer service is a hallmark of Sistahs Vintage Aprons.

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 best possible 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 to accommodate the needs of those with certain dietary restrictions.

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. Look for our mobile food truck 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 made it possible to survive our first year—we look forward to seeing you soon!

Greenwich Floor Covering

Jessica Ryan (owner), Sandy Bain (sales), Louis Miles (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!

Maggies Sports Bar

Tara Mitchell

1186 Western Ave., Albany, 935-2661, maggiessportsbaralbany.com

Maggie Smith has been in the restaurant business since she was 17 years old. Luck was on her side in 1994 when she won a Pick 6 at the track and was able to open her own restaurant. But it takes more than luck and money to make it in the restaurant business.

This is not your average sports bar. We offer a world class menu, a knowledgeable staff, and an owner who is willing to go the extra mile for her customers. Maggie loves this business and really enjoys what she does.

If you’re gathering with friends to watch a game, there’s not a bad seat in the house with our 18 high-definition LCD TVs. You can also enjoy a romantic dinner, family outing, or a business lunch. You can sit at the bar, at a table or at a cozy booth. The menu offers an array of classic pub food, specialty sandwiches and outstanding entrees.

We offer a banquet room that can accommodate up to 100 guests for parties, showers, receptions, rehearsal dinners, and more. We will cater your event and customize the menu to fit your needs and budget. Maggie’s has always been known for its weekly karaoke. Everyone always has a great time.

Furniture Theatre

Bryan Jr., Bill, Dan, Tom, Gina, Bryan, Sarah and Ed

2785 Route 9, Malta, 587-9420, furnituretheatre.com

Brothers Tom and Ed Caro recently celebrated their 24th anniversary of selling furniture in Malta, for 15 years as Furniture Plus, and the last 9 years as Furniture Theatre, on the site they share with the Malta Drive-In Theatre. While the drive-in theatre is celebrating its 61st anniversary, the last 22 years operated by the brothers, Furniture Theatre represents an increasingly rare institution: an independent and locally owned furniture store.

If you aren’t helped by one of the owners, then you will be helped by Gina, Bryan or Sarah. Almost all of the talented sales and delivery staff have been there since the store’s beginning. In-home design consultations are offered. The delivery crew of Dan and Bryan Jr. are often complimented on their service.

Furniture Theatre’s selection reflects the tastes of the local area. People always comment that the showroom floor is unique: more interesting, less generic. There are Adirondack and rustic furniture and accessories throughout the store. Upholstered pieces with bear or moose prints are always popular. They have cottage-style room settings, some of which have collage fabric treatments or removable slipcovers or down-blend seat cushions.

Any sofa can be special-ordered in hundreds of fabrics. Many dining sets and occasional tables can be ordered in many stains and paint treatments. Furniture Theatre has the rest of the house covered with their selection of accent pieces, bedroom sets, casual dining sets, home office, wall decor and mattresses. Tom and Ed invite you to stop in and explore. You won’t be disappointed.

Precision-Volvo Sales & Service

Owners Dave Mooney, Sean Nava

2200 Central Ave., Schenectady, 346-5581 (sales), 382-9005 (service), precisionalbany.com

Expert Volvo repair in Colonie, Schenectady, Niskayuna, Saratoga, and Albany.

Precision Automotive Inc. and Precision Motors Inc. is your one stop solution for Volvo service and previously-owned Volvo sales. We service all years and makes of Volvo automobiles. We also sell previously owned Volvos. Our success is derived from the trust and loyalty of our repeat customers. We measure or performance by the feedback our loyal customers have given us throughout the years. It takes many years to develop a reputation for expertise, quality, and integrity. That’s why we provide our customers with personalized attention and do everything in our power to make the maintenance of your vehicle our top priority. We may not be the least expensive, but we are, and always will be, the best value! We pride ourselves on our ability to repair or service most cars on the same day and we carry a large inventory of OEM quality parts to ensure quick and professional service. All work is done by appointment only.

We are an independent repair shop and sales facility that specializes in servicing Volvo automobiles. We are not, in any way, affiliated with the Volvo Car Corporation. We use the term Volvo solely to describe the nature of our business.


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