Saratoga Snippets: Opening the Oklahoma

Saratoga Snippets: Opening the Oklahoma
The Thirsty Owl
Dan De Federicis

December 14 2012

I have to admit I get a fair amount of satisfaction when one of my ideas for Saratoga Springs is validated.  On numerous occasions I have written that NYRA should open the Oklahoma Training Track to the public.  This past April, I entered a post on my Funsaratoga blog where I wrote in part:

When is the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Association, or Convention and Tourism Bureau, or better yet all three, going to encourage NYRA to open the Oklahoma Training Track to the public, at least on the weekends? With minimal effort, you could limit public access to an area near the timer's shed and attract numerous people up here on the weekends from April to November. That's numerous people, and families, who will eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, and, by the way, get all that much more excited to attend the track in the summer which can only help attendance. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

It was good to see that the newly constituted NYRA board has plans to create a viewing area at the Oklahoma Track, which I assume, or at least hope, is a prelude of plans to give the public access.

* Well I think it’s huge news that Fresh Market, the North Carolina based supermarket chain, is opening a Saratoga Springs location. If you have never been to the one down in Latham, off exit 5 of the Northway, you should check it out.  It’s not quite Whole Foods, but does compare to that upscale chain by offering an exciting shopping experience with delicious looking wholesome foods.  Another way it compares to Whole Foods:  It certainly is on the pricey side, but then again you get what you pay for.  I’m glad Fresh Market is going into that section of the city, which, other than perhaps the Saratoga Brewery, is somewhat of a forgotten area.

* South Broadway once was another forgotten area, but it has been getting some attention as of late.  You will note from the pictures that the Thirsty Owl Wine Tasting Room, in the former Kimberly Inn across from the Mobil station, is getting very close to completion.  I peeked inside the building and it looks like there is still some interior work to be done, nonetheless the exterior looks great.  The Thirsty Owl owners should get points for taking careful consideration of the building’s architecture.  The rear addition to the building, on the left of the picture below, is architecturally consistent with the older, front portion of the building.  That took some attention to detail – and certainly some serious coin as well – and Thirsty Owl owner Ted Cupp should be commended for his stewardship to a grand old building that certainly needed some TLC.

Around and about:

* Purdy’s Wine and Spirits, in the Congress Street Plaza, is my favorite Saratoga liquor store.  Good prices, a great selection, and a helpful staff make this place far ahead of its local competition.  Purdy’s will have a special Holiday Wine and spirit tasting this Sunday, December 16 from 5-7pm.  If the wine and spirits don’t get you there, then perhaps the fact that the food is being provided by The Meat House should get you there.

* Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park hosted its first Photography Show and Contest and its opening coincided with its 2012 Annual Meeting on December 11th at the Preserve & Park Office at 80 Scout Road in Gansevoort.  The photographs will be on display until April 1, 2013.

* Sirsy, the talented local musical duo that has achieved national acclaim, is playing at Putnam Den on New Year’s Eve.

* Did you see that The Chocolate Mill, a Glens Falls café and bakery, is opening on Broadway in the former Johnny’s Italian ice cream location?

* Read the latest from DZ Restaurants, including the 12 Days of “Delishmas.”  Hey I don’t make these words up folks I just report them.

* I see Jacob and Anthony’s, the restaurant in the Hampton Inn and Suites, is kicking up the advertising, including front page virtual post-it notes in The Saratogian.  They also had the staff from there, as well as the other restaurants from the Marello Restaurant group, perform in a holiday video available on Youtube.

* I like Maestro’s holiday decorations on their great porch.

* I see there is a small retail or office location for rent in the 5 points building.

OK folks that’s it for now.  Have a great weekend.

Office space available



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