For 23 years, the iconic diner car on Broadway housed the famous Miss Albany Diner. Starting Wednesday, Sciortino's will call it home. YNN is the first TV crew to get a sneak peak of the new Italian eatery, which our Megan Cruz says pays homage to the family of one of the owners.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "He was probably the most important man in my life growing up. He was always supportive and there for me, really quiet, a sweet gentleman," said Matt Baumgartner, Sciortino’s co-owner.
This is Matt Baumgartner's grandfather, Frank Sciortino. He passed away a couple weeks ago, just days after his 90th birthday. Pictures of him and the rest of Baumgartner's family can be found all over the walls of what used to be Miss Albany Diner, now, Sciortino's.
Miss Albany closed in February. Baumgartner bought the diner car in the spring. Now that it opens Wednesday, he says he's glad he kept the car true to its prior tenant.
Baumgartner said, "We actually kept it all the same because I really loved the interior of Miss Albany Diner and I think a lot of people did also."
A Cuban restaurant, maybe a wine bar, just some of the ideas tossed around for this place. But in the end, pizza seemed the best fit.
“You know, people who are up drinking late at night, like to have a nice slice of pizza and there's a lot of people that actually work down here that don't have a quick, good food to get at lunch hour,” Baumgartner said.
But why stop at pizza when Baumgartner says great Italian food was right at his fingertips?
“It's a lot of recipes from Utica, which is where I grew up, Utica, New York, and a lot of recipes from my family's recipe books, my mom's and my grandmother's,” Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner already owns several other successful establishments, like Wolff's Biergarten just next door. He says Sciortino's is his way of thanking the people who've helped him get to where he is now.
Baumgartner said, “I just wanted it to be a tribute to them. I loved them very much and I thought it'd be a good idea.”
Sciortino's opens Wednesday for lunch at 11 a.m.