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Floating restaurateur trying his hand at health fast-food venture

The former Friendly's now in renovations.
The former Friendly's now in renovations.

Kevin Shufelt, who usually confines his restauranting efforts to operating floating seasonal eateries, is trying something different. The owner of The Rusty Anchor in Hudson Shores Park, Watervliet, and formerly owner of the Riverfront Bar & Grill barge in Albany has become a partner in a new restaurant.

Shufelt, who lives in the Glens Falls suburb of Queensbury, and Joe McCrudden of Clifton Park are developing a quick-serve restaurant in a former Friendly's building at 682 Glen Street (Route 9) at Glendale Drive, opposite Price Chopper. It will be called FX3 - Fit Food Fast.

The business plan is to open the new enterprise in early September, serving food the partners say will be the antithesis of typical greasy fast-food. It includes such dishes as five different chicken sandwiches, six types of burgers, wraps, salads, snack wraps and something they're calling the "FX3 Energy Bowl" made with the customer's choice of protein (ground beef, chicken, tofu) and grain (quinoa, brown rice). The beverage choices will include an assortment of smoothies -- strawberries, banana and vanilla yogurt; mango, banana and vanilla yogurt; pineapple. banana and vanilla yogurt; coffee, vanilla yogurt, banana and chocolate syrup, and kale, apple and vanilla yogurt. You can get a look at the potential menu online.

The partners have been friends since childhood in Columbia County. While McCrudden's career path has been in marketing, Shufelt has built a local reputation for pushing the dining envelope. Back in September 1996, supported by a loan from the city development office, Shufelt founded the Riverfront on an converted barge anchored on the Hudson River waterfront.

It was the Capital Region's first floating restaurant. Not a bad idea for a region criminally short on waterside dining despite the prominence of a pair of majestic rivers, the Hudson and the Mohawk, cutting through it. Shufelt operated the Riverfront until 2011, and since 2006 has operated The Rusty Anchor a little north of the city.