The latest rundown on what is the Capital Region's revolving door in the restaurant universe.
• Albany entrepreneur John DeJohn's Albany restaurant mini-empire is about to shrink by two venues. His DeJohn's Restaurant & Pub and Legends Sports Lounge, located next door to each other on Lark Street, will close after service on Sunday.
DeJohn said the decision is based on several factors, among them a decline in business and what the Times Union says he characterizes as "hostility to the bar business from some factions of Lark Street neighborhood groups." DeJohn complains that he has had to close DeJohn's and Legends at 2 a.m. while other bars, including his own Justin's -- also on Lark -- are allowed to serve until 4 a.m.
Apparently, then, he is blaming the fact that he can't sell alcohol for two hours in the middle of the night at the two ill-fated venues for failing to thrive. Fascinating business plan. Richard Berkley, immediate past president of the Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association, doesn't buy it. He tells the TU, "From the neighborhood’s perspective, asking a tavern to close at its legal closing hours is not hostility, it is simply asking a business to follow the law."
The closures will result in 32 people being laid off. DeJohn says he will continue operating his other ventures in the city, including Justin’s, Legends on Pearl and DeJohn’s Ship’s Pub near Memorial Hospital.
• Nanola is having a soft opening this weekend with a limited menu of food and beverages, but a lot of buzzworthy chat. It is the latest venture for Shane Spillenger, who worked with his father, Ralph, at the Bayou Café and Jillian’s in Albany. The name? A mix of “nanotech” and the abbreviation for New Orleans, LA. In other words, a mix of the Bayou Café's Louisiana menu and the nearby Global Foundries chip-flab plant. The address is 2639 Route 9, Malta, Saratoga County Phone: (518) 871-1194.
• Wolf’s 1-11 Arena Sports Grill at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany is for sale. Owner Mike Diraddo says he wants to concentrate on his original Wolf's 1 11 on Wolf Road in suburban Colonie, not a big surprise since the food-and-games giant chain Dave & Buster's recently opened a venue nearby. The Albany operation has an asking price of $449,000.
• The Shanghai Grill in Loudonville's Newton Plaza is closed. A sign just posted on the door says the move is temporary to allow for renovations, and its telephone voice mail promises a December reopening. The restaurant opened in the spring of 2006 then expanded just six months later.