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Daisy Baker's -- R.I.P. in Troy at age 40

A view of the dining area from the bar.
A view of the dining area from the bar.

Those of us who enjoyed frequent visits to the wonderful Daisy Baker's restaurant in downtown Troy will have to be satisfied with our memories. Managing Partner Jared Horton issued a prepared statement Monday announcing the death of the enterprise that has been closed since December after pipes in an unoccupied office above the restaurant broke and flooded the venue.

Since then, the building that had been owned by failed entrepreneur Sandy Horowitz was foreclosed on by SEFCU credit. In May, the credit union , sold the three-story brownstone to Bonacio Construction in May. Horton said a new lease could not be reached with Bonacio.

“My business partner and I have been unable to reach an agreement with the building’s new owner, Bonacio Construction. There were some restrictions in the proposed lease that we felt would not be sustainable for our business over the long term," Bonacio said in his statement. "While Bonacio proposed helping us with the kitchen repairs, the rent increase combined with restrictions to our hours of operation were too much to overcome. The Bonacio team tried their best to help us reopen, but we simply could not offer them the type of establishment that they are looking for.

“I know better than anyone what this business is capable of, and it would not be prudent of me to put this business, my partner, and our employees in a position where I had doubts of the long term success. I thank all of our loyal patrons, for their continued support, and our employees, for all of the hard work that gave us over the years. I also thank our insurance agent, company, and adjuster, for their help through this difficult time.

“Ultimately, it was the lack of action by building ownership/management at the time of the December 19, 2013, flood that put us in this position, not the current building ownership. It’s a shame that Daisy’s won’t be open for its 40 year anniversary this year. Daisy Baker’s opened in 1974 and we had a quite a celebration planned.”

In addition to frequently dining there for fun, I reviewed Daisy Baker's several times over the years, the last time while enjoying the handiwork of chef Bryan Cusack. The food virtually always lived up to the history and decor of the restaurant, located at the rear of a stately 19th-century Victorian brownstone at 33 Second Street, across from the Troy Music Hall.

As I wrote the last time I published a review, "It has felt to those of us of a certain age like stepping back a generation or two to a more genteel time. And even the busy bar, separated from the dining space by a head-high wooden partition, doesn't take the edge off the mood. The dark wood trim, small tables and wooden bench seats and wooden chairs, the narrow plank floors, all add to the feel. The sheer height of the room and the old organ pipes high on the back wall are testament to its eclectic history -- fundamentalist church space, YWCA, Christian Science Reading Room and restaurant."

And now, who knows. Perhaps another restaurant will move in, perhaps the space will be converted since downtown luxury apartments are all the rage. And, since Horton owns the name "Daisy Baker's," perhaps he'll revive it in another location. But, that all is supposition. The one thing that is fact is that Troy has lost one of its best restaurant spaces and that cannot be duplicated.

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