It feels like 2022 has seen way more Capital Region restaurants closing for good than opening up. Supply chain issues and inflation are driving up the cost of food. Staffing shortages and high turnover have made manning any eatery full-time a daunting task. Combine that with a seller’s market for real estate, and many local restaurant owners have chosen to hang up their aprons and sell their businesses.

As storefronts and businesses sit vacant, one property management company is taking a bold stance to entice business into a storied space. After nearly a year on the rental market, the landlords are offering the chance to run a restaurant rent free for a year.

What Will Be The Next Smith's?

The former Smith's Restaurant in Cohoes, NY.
Google Maps

171 Remsen Street has been a hole in downtown Cohoes since January. The space used to be the historic Smith’s Restaurant, built in 1873 and turned into its namesake by politician Michael T. Smith. The 3,600 square feet restaurant’s centerpiece was the 50-foot mahogany bar - originally from NYC’s Tammany Hall.

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When Smith’s management called it quits at the beginning of the year, Capital Companies NY wanted to find an appropriate replacement. It wasn’t easy. The Remsen Street location has had a few interested parties, but they either weren’t ready to commit to a new space or didn’t have enough experience.

Free Rent Lives Rent-Free In My Head

A commercial restaurant kitchen.

Now Capital Companies is partnering with a Cohoes marketing firm to waive the first year’s rent and create a website for the new restaurant. The Albany Business Review reports the value of the rent and development at $42,000.

Capital Companies says the restaurant could be opened in a month. Even through its downtime, the space remains almost completely furnished – down to the flatware. The business still includes the Tammany Hall bar, a casual dining area, and a formal dining room. Capital Companies is accepting applications for the rent-free space through December 31 at

Have a Capital Region news/story tip? Contact Cameron at or here.

Take A Fabulous Look Inside The Former NY Home Of Hollywood Legend Greta Garbo

You can now own your own piece of classic Hollywood history – Greta Garbo’s NYC apartment is now for sale. While she passed away in 1990, the majority of her hand-picked interior is still intact. Looking around the three bedroom, three bath apartment, you can legitimately feel the elegance of 20s and 30s cinema radiating from the pictures.

Now, this luxury comes with a price - $6.25 million – but that number was a half million higher last week, so maybe you could finagle a deal. The apartment is part of The Campanile, a historic co-op built in 1927, and they’re very exclusive. Their HOA fees are $10,940 per month, and they won’t allow financing, so show up with a briefcase full of cash.

Gallery Credit: Cameron Coats

Look Inside Joe Biden's Former Syracuse Home

A lot has happened since the house last sold in 2005 for $68,000. Between the previous occupant becoming Vice-President and then the 46th President over the past 17 years, along with the current housing market, the property is now on the market at a substantial uptick of $334,900.

The house is at 608 and 610 Stinard Avenue, and was originally built in 1925. It’s a two-family duplex with 3,364 square feet of space, plus a two-car garage. The first unit is two bed/two bath. The second unit is roomier with four bedrooms and two baths. The house has lots of original wood paneling, which feels very presidential. Could sleeping here lead to a long and successful political career? It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Photo credit: Eric F Metz II, Independent Realty Group via Zillow.

Gallery Credit: Cameron Coats

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