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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 17, 2010

Plans for wine bar and bistro in Altamont await approval

By Jo E. Prout

ALTAMONT — A new wine bar and pizza bistro may move into the heart of the village, in the space currently occupied by the popular Hungerford Market. Bagel lovers need not worry; Hungerford Market would still occupy the building, behind the bistro, and remain open with a new entrance on Maple Avenue, if the project receives board approval and the sale of the building goes through.

“The bistro has a pretty nice layout,” said Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator Donald Cropsey.

Mio Vino Wine Bar and Bistro will offer wine and wood-fired pizza, he said. Plans call for indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks Orsini Park in the center of the village, Cropsey said.

  Mio Vino Wine Bar and Bistro owner Mike Giorgio could get final approval from the village planning board at its meeting June 28. The building is owned by the Perlee family, which rents space to Hungerford Market owner Jean Conklin.

The sale of the building is contingent on village board and state Department of Transportation approval of the project, according to Michael Roman of C2 Design Architecture in Schenectady. The DOT is involved because the property borders State Route 146, or Main Street, Roman said.

Plans call for the outside of the Victorian-era building to be rehabilitated, with the construction of a terrace and installation of new exterior siding, Roman said.

An accessible ramp would also be built in the apartment’s small courtyard space, Cropsey told The Enterprise.

A first-floor apartment adjacent to the current shop would be eliminated and the space incorporated into the bistro, Cropsey said.

Roman said that the building must be made structurally sound enough to support the weight of the specialty oven Giorgio wants.

“There’s a lot going on,” Roman said.

If the project and sale of the building go through, Hungerford Market will be moved to the Maple Avenue side of the building, where a new entrance for the shop would be built, Cropsey said.

“We’re pricing now,” Roman said. A project of this scope could cost about $300,000, he said. The project also needs a contractor and an engineer, he said.

“We hope to start doing demolition in late summer to early fall,” Roman said.

Cropsey said that the building process would then take four or five months.

“Change is always a good thing. It’ll be nice for Hungerford Market to get a face lift,” Conklin, the owner of Hungerford Market, said. “A bistro coming to town is a good thing. The village can always use a new business.”

Conklin said that the public parking area and street parking on Maple Avenue could be positive for her business, even though she is currently facing busier Main Street.

“I’d be a little nervous if I were new, but I’m here and already established,” Conklin said. “I’ve been here four years. I think it’s exciting.”

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