Schenectady's historic Stockade district will soon welcome back an old friend, in a new incarnation. One of the Capital Region's oldest--indeed the nation's oldest--market will reopen under the stewardship of a committed local businessman.
Richard Genest, owner of the Stockade's popular Moon and River Cafe, has rented Arthur's Market. With a keen eye on local tastes, history, and community, he will reopen this landmark this fall with an eye on its past and a look ahead to the needs of local patrons and residents.
Since 2004, Richard has been running the Moon and River. He also operated Arthur's briefly and was the last tenant of owners Arthur and Pete Polachek before they sold the building. Arthur's is indeed America's oldest market, begun in 1795 when it was operated by the Town of Rotterdam as the original farmer's market of Schenectady.
As he continues the operation of the Moon and River Cafe, Richard will turn Arthur's into a unique market, meeting space, and cafe. Among the new Arthur's features:
- Groceries, including basics and featuring local products and produce. A vegetarian line will be offered and bicycle delivery will be available to Stockade residents.
- An intimate cafe with regular music performances (outdoor in the summer).
- Art exhibitions featuring the work of local artists.
- A center for historic tourism that will offer old maps, postcards and art prints of old Schenectady. Walking tours of the Stockade--beginning and ending and Arthur's Historic Coffeehouse--are planned.
- A "Stockade Livingroom," for community events such as a Thanksgiving dinner and other community meetings.
Richard Genest beams with pride at his new endeavor. "Mostly I feel honored to have the privilege to run Arthur's Market again. Let's have fun." And as for the Moon and River Cafe? "We'll just encourage patrons at Arthur's to visit our other wonderful space." Got ideas for this community enterprise? Richard's open to ideas. Call him at 382-1938.