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LaPosta leaving Maestro's after Saratoga track season

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Look for chef John LaPosta to pop up somewhere besides Broadway in Saratoga Springs after the upcoming thoroughbred racing season ends in September. LaPosta, who after years of comparatively short stints at a variety of restaurants in the Capital Region found a home in 2006 as chef/co-owner of Maestro's, has sold his interest in the restaurant to partner Bill Donovan.

LaPosta, who moved the restaurant from its original Broadway location several doors down to the historic Van Dam Hotel building three years ago, will stay on as chef through September, Donovan told the Times Union. The idea is to ensure continuity during the track season, which begins Friday.

“It was time to do something else, to be freed from the responsibility of being in the restaurant every day,” LaPosta told TU blogger Steve Barnes.

Donovan, who also owns Harvey's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, said in a statement Monday: "I do not anticipate any significant changes to the menu or dining experience. I believe a restaurant is like an orchestra, it needs a conductor, a 'Maestro' if you will, to lead its members in
producing a satisfying and pleasurable experience for its patrons. When John LaPosta passes the baton to a new 'Maestro,' I expect our entire staff will continue to orchestrate the best dining experience in Saratoga Springs without missing a beat."

Maestro’s at the Van Dam is located at 353 Broadway. The restaurant was founded in much smaller space at 371 Broadway on July 4, 1987, by chef Joseph DeVivo Jr., who later sold it to LaPost and LaPosta's life- and business-partner, Tina Kruger.

Before purchasing Maestro's, LaPosta's career took some dizzying turns, with him working the kitchens of such now-defunct spots as the Cranberry Bog, Garren's Place, Conservatory Grill, Zeeko's Potters Tavern, the Cambridge Hotel as well as at the long-running (100 years this year) Jack's Oyster House and a brief try at creating his ow local mini-chain of soup-centric venues called the 1929 Soup Kitchens.

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