Topic: Restaurant Need in Newburgh
Restaurant Need in Newburgh
I’m a local to Albany and am looking to open a restaurant within the next year or so and think that Newburgh would be the perfect place to settle down and open up shop. I’ve read a lot of comments from readers in these forums about wanting more businesses to open in the area, but I wanted to ask if the need for a restaurant is there? It’s a modern Italian concept (but close to causal dining, not fine dining with white tablecloths). The concept is local ingredients from farms and gardens, everything fresh and made in-house (nothing frozen or pre-packaged, everything prepared that day).
There seems to be a mix of casual and high-end dining already in place, so I was curious as to the needs/wants of the locals in terms of dining options.
Thanks for any help or insight!
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Thanks for visiting. Yes there is a need for businesses of all types in Newburgh. If you are unfamiliar with the restaurant scene in Newburgh, here’s a quick recap. There is the waterfront (a lot of fine dining and casual restaurants all owned by a few businessmen however, geographically it is cut off from the city) there’s the town (a lot of chain restaurants), there’s Broadway (ethnic food as well as deli’s, diners and some nicer restaurants coming up) and there’s Liberty Street (more so a cafe and bar scene at the moment). A modern Italian concept would be nice in Newburgh. I would probably suggest you look at Broadway and maybe try to be close to lower Broadway or near El Solar. El Solar has brought high quality dining to Broadway. Newburgh is pretty much a fresh canvas. But I’d definitely look at what is being done already. The Liberty Street businesses along with the ones on Broadway have started a nice alliance now promoting the area with Last Saturdays. The Liberty Street/Broadway section is a great corner to target because that is where activity is really heating up. Those businesses get together around once a month as does the Newburgh Professional & Business Association. Any of their meetings would be a great place to talk to other business owners about how a new restaurant could influence Newburgh. People definitely wish there were more options food-wise! Keep us updated if you make it over to Newburgh!
I think it’s a GREAT idea! More and more people in the Broadway/Liberty Street neighborhoods are being drawn to places that are using locally and organically grown items on their menus! I can really see this happening on lower Broadway in the old Firehouse! (75 Broadway). Nice and airy!
If you want any more thoughts, my e-mail is: HumansofNBNY@gmail.com
I recently moved to Newburgh from NYC, and one of things I miss most is the wide and diverse selection of restaurants I had available to me. I would personally love a modern italian concept and assuming the food was good, I’m sure I would patronize the place.
That said, I personally feel like Newburgh needs more cool/cheap spots that more of the community can afford. There are plenty of midrange restaurants on the waterfront for middle age people. There are a few “fancy” spots in the town of Newburgh. Then there are a bunch of hole in the wall spots with great food and not so great ambiance. I personally love Martha, but I’m afraid there aren’t enough vegans in Newburgh yet to keep it afloat.
If you want to look them up on yelp, here are some of the spots I wish we had something similar to in Newburgh. In a few cases, we have them already, but they need to overhaul their marketing, interior design, etc to make the ambiance better.
Los Tacos #1
The Meatball Shop
The Donut Plant
Gaia Italian Cafe
Whatever you decide, good luck!
Thank you all SO MUCH everyone for the amazing comments/feedback. While putting together business plans the thing I’m torn between is whether we go with a restaurant or a sandwich shop with a specialty foods element. Though we initially wanted the restaurant concept, we’ve been toying with the sandwich shop idea a bit and I’m not sure which would fit the area better.
I think the most important things to me is being able to give the community what it’s really looking for, and perhaps a more casual (but trendy) environment is it – regardless of the concept we go with, it will still be all house-made items, local ingredients (the sandwich shop/foods area would stock locally-produced food items) but in a trendier atmosphere than the average mom and pop place.
The main take away I’m getting is: local items/ingredients, affordability, and good ambiance. So I guess my final question is: what excites you more: a sit-down modern Italian place, or a )also sit-down) sandwich shop with a specialty foods pantry area? Think Roberta’s for the Italian, and a place local to me, Putnam Market in Saratoga, for the sandwich idea.
I agree with Cher regarding the locale and with ‘lifeupriver’ regarding the menu.
Here’s a link(s) to one such restaurant and meets your criteria of organic and locally sourced ingredients.
btw the magazine is offered free at ‘better’ food and wine retailers. It’s actually a good read.
Personally I love the sandwich shop with a specialty foods pantry area idea. Someone tried to do this in Newburgh in 2008 and failed. Everyone was crazy excited. They did catering, food to order, and pantry items. However, the reason they failed was because they were too expensive for the area. Even people who you would think had the money to spend there didn’t go. The location was prime, Liberty Street right next to Washington’s HQ. The space has been vacant ever since because the rent the owner wants is quite high. But if you are a negotiator we’d all love to see something come back into that place. The key issue as lifeupriver mentioned is affordability. We’d all love something affordable that is beautifully presented. Martha (newest cafe on the block) has done an amazing job of giving Liberty Street another nice venue.
You can see all about the old space at the links below:
Thanks for the feedback, Cher! Definitely seeing a lot of buzz on here about buying/selling local and being affordable.
What failed in terms of pricing at Moo & Oink? From yours (and others) memory what exactly was overpriced? Or I guess, what’s considered too expensive? In terms of specialty goods they usually are on the pricey side, but maybe they just didn’t sell the type of items the community was looking to buy?
I did a business survey a while back. Maybe some of the info will be helpful?
I only went to Moo & Oink a few times. I think they failed to mix high and low end products. It should’ve been a place that if you forgot to buy a can of beans or wanted cheese or chips and dip you could go there. But I remember one person telling me that his bag of salsa and chips was over $10. They wanted to patronize it but it was too expensive. I think if you spend a full day walking up and down the street, talking to people, you might get a better idea of what people are willing to buy. Set up a table and chair on a corner and ask people what they think.
I also happen to know a vendor who has a lot of Italian packaged products that would like to open up shop. Maybe you should talk to each other…if the pantry idea becomes your plan.
If I read you correctly, your passion is service driven. Affordability is relative. That said, the demographics in Newburgh is predominately poor (2/3), a vast majority of the residents overall work out of the community. However, there’s a huge college community, a small muni. sector crowd and a growing “trendier”, albeit seasonal, weekenders from the metro. Given that, the ‘City has long struggled to simultaneously serve the two demographics without polarizing them. That’s a tough gig. As well, I wouldn’t sweat the “trendy” aspect; Newburgh hums it’s own tune and always has. If anything I’d give a nod to its ‘gritty’ against the grain aspect. Put a ‘real’ Reuben on the menu and a distinct Wrap (locally sourced of course) and you’ll see us on the weekend.
All good ideas. Like lifeupriver’s list!! The majority of poor that are of Hispanic origin (about 47-52% of the local city) will eat at familiar places (i.e. probably not yours). Target demographic will more likely be the college kids, the newer residents who are coming up from the city (artists, new grads, etc) and the locals of surrounding areas looking for a well-curated menu. Market it well, and don’t sell anything too off the wall (i.e. there is not a huge demand for champagne vinegar at the moment-a Moo and Oink fail.). Visit the restaurants in the area, see what they offer, and at what price point things sell, and fill a missing niche. If you plan right, and you sound as if you do, there should be plenty of room for you to grow in Newburgh! p.s. go for the sandwiches and teach healthy to those who haven’t had a chance to try…
Hannah’s advice to visit local restaurants is excellent. You can cultivate a loyal customer base by including affordably priced traditional Italian selections. Over time you will be able to get more inventive. Definitely include Paninis in your menu (yummy!) and I will be sure to be a loyal customer.
The following article on how restaurants can transform communities (kudos to Cher for sharing this article and for a wonderful blog) will hopefully rally Newburgh Restoration readers to support your new venture!