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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, June 12, 2008
Chariot rides into sunset, Public House opens
By Saranac Hale Spencer
GUILDERLAND Their children have now scattered across the country and the Shinases are bidding goodbye to Guilderland and the restaurant they spent 34 years building.
Mike Shinas will still cook for his wife, Penelope, but they’ve left The Chariot, their Greek restaurant on Western Avenue, in the hands of Brenda and Gary Evans. The Evans, who are both originally from Brooklyn but met in Stafford (Genesee County), are serving pub fare and hoping to build the banquet end of the business.
“We’ve had a good response,” they said on Tuesday, during a party they hosted for the departing Shinases. The full bar now offers 42 beers, including six on tap, and they’re happy to accommodate customer requests, the couple said.
Brenda Evans’s parents ran a country inn in Stafford, where the pair learned the ropes. They saw that the rural Guilderland eatery was for sale four months ago and have been running Evans Public House for the last month.
“It’s not for everybody,” said Brenda Evans of working with her spouse, as she threw a good-hearted glance to her husband.
“It was a dream,” said Mike Shinas, who has worked in restaurants his whole life, of running The Chariot, which his wife found when it was run down and without plumbing almost 40 years ago.
Both born in Greece, Mike Shinas arrived in America at age 13 and was later drafted into the Army and sent to Germany. It was there that he met Penelope, who was visiting a friend. “The rest is history,” he said. The pair were wed in Greece before coming to settle in Albany, where they raised three children. Now that the children have grown and moved on, the Shinases are leaving for Florida.
“We’re going to miss you guys,” said one farewell partygoer in a booming voice as he came through the door on Tuesday. “You made us feel at home,” he told Mike Shinas, who, with his wife, greeted everyone with a hug.