Four Restauranteurs Give Capital Region Its Sizzle

The house was jam-packed at Albany Center Gallery on Thursday, July 6, for a discussion with four of the region’s most innovative restauranteurs — Vic Christopher (Peck’s Arcade, Lucas Confectionary), Claudia Crisan (Crisan Bakery and Edible Art Gallery), Corey Nelson (Troy Kitchen), and Ric Orlando (New World Bistro Bar) — who gathered in support of photographer Richard Lovrich‘s “Makers 365” exhibit.

The 90-minute discussion offered many thoughts on the advantages of living and working in the Capital Region. “The reasonable cost of living draws creative people to an area,” said Orlando, who paid just $390 a month to live in Soho in his youth. “Nobody’s getting rich when you’re starting out in a kitchen.” Crison added, “Albany has meant opportunity for a lot of people and you can own your own property,” she said, while also being open about the challenges of doing business on Lark Street, including lack of foot traffic and parking. Christopher had a different take on parking in Troy. “Young people don’t drive — they don’t want a car, they think it’s a pain,” and all agreed that Uber and Lyft will be great for their communities and businesses.

The ever-optimistic Nelson have shout-outs to all of his creative friends and collaborators in the audience, and spoke about the joy of offering food to friends and neighbors. “When you sit everyone down at the same time, you realize things ain’t so bad,” said Nelson.

Many thanks to Tony Iadicicco and Anna Wettergreen of Albany Center Gallery, and interviewers Michelle Hines Abram of Albany Chefs’ Wine and Food Fest, and David Alan King of The Alt.

Photos by Jamel Mosely | Mel eMedia

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