McGrath’s story on 130 Dove Street’s situation [“The Wreck
Next Door,” Oct. 14] offered a reasonable summary of the frustration
of being a homeowner in the city of Albany. Many of us have
bought and invested in property in the city only to see numerous
properties around us decline, due in my mind to absentee landlords,
disrespectful tenants and unresponsive city officials. It’s
the lack of understanding on the city’s part that many of
us view as one of the severest problems. Assistant Corp. Counsel
Terrance Gorman commented, “things always seem worse in your
own backyard than if it was in another part of town.” Well,
what part of “town” does he live in that he does not go home
to at night and listen to the recital of problems by his neighbors?
What neighborhood association meetings does he participate
in where he does not share in the laundry list of lack of
code enforcement? I think if more city employees lived in
the city, police and fire too, that these employees would
feel a much greater sense of “urgency” with these issues.
As an active neighborhood resident and business owner for
more than 20 years, working to make this a more livable city,
I have found this has given me a clear sense of the problems
at hand but have observed a lack of ability on the part of
many city officials to “get it done.”
Chef-owner, Mansion Hill Inn & Restaurant
name is Marianne Zwicklbauer and I am writing to you on behalf
of the Zwicklbauer family. We feel that the review of our
restaurant [“The Best of Times, the Wurst of Times,” Food,
Oct. 7] deserves some explanation.
We are closing the Bavarian Chalet on Jan. 1, permanently,
a decision that we made and let our customers, purveyors and
staff know about on Dec. 31, 2003. At the time we considered
closing immediately, but we have weddings, anniversaries and
birthdays, which are booked a year ahead of time. It was a
very difficult decision, but we decided that it would not
be fair to them or our regular customers of 50 years to close
without considerable notice. Our employees needed to find
jobs, and we were very concerned about their welfare. My parents
have come out of retirement for the last year to work here,
and I commute one hour each way to work.
The weeks before B.A. Nilsson’s visit were the most trying
we have ever had. My grandmother, Erna Zwicklbauer, (the person
who created the Bavarian Chalet), was seriously ill. She was
in and out of the hospital and ended up with at-home hospice
care, with her family members helping to care for her round
the clock. We were all exhausted and trying to run a business
at the same time. She died and her funeral was the week of
your visit, with over 300 people in attendance including many
old employees who loved her.
Our employees are finding other jobs, as they have to pay
rent and feed themselves and their families in January. I
have hired everyone who has filled out an application and
do all I can to keep us staffed. We are thankful for the employees
who have stayed with us through these last months knowing
the job market in the restaurant industry in January has few
We were very busy that Sunday and could not fit Mr. Nilsson
in the main dining area. He chose not to sit in the
lounge area because he had a problem with the TV being on,
and the only other option was to sit him where we did, other
than turning him away entirely.
We were unaware the pork was inferior. Thank you for bringing
it to our attention. It was the first chop out of a new case.
We have since returned the case and ordered a different product
Maggi is a brewed wheat product, as soy sauce is a brewed
soy product, and although high in salt, has no MSG
in it. I have forwarded your description to the Nestle Company.
We agree about the trout and had already decided to remove
it from the menu.
The second visit, I had both servers who were scheduled call
in sick and was unable to replace them with anyone. Our bartender
and our chef helped out.
If Mr. Nilsson knows of an area bakery that offers the authentic
Black Forest cake he craves, please let us know. Our old suppliers
no longer have it available.
Mr. Nilsson made a comment concerning our “bus person,” whom
he called “ a busboy” and mentioned he spoke little English.
The “busboy” is Farag, a grown man who emigrated from Egypt
in 1995. He moved here to give his three daughters equality
and an education they would not have received in their own
country. To accomplish this he works at another restaurant
for breakfast and lunch then comes directly here to work nights.
He is highly educated and taught math in his own country.
We find his comments concerning this very hard- working and
honorable gentleman offensive and arrogant.
It makes us all very sad to see a review like this in our
last three months of a 50-year business. What we would like
is for everyone to understand our struggle and for all of
our regular customers to be able to visit with our family
in the next two months so that we may close our doors with
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