Welcome to Smith's

Cohoes officials hope someone will take over Smith's, which was opened in 1937 by Democratic bigwig Michael Smith. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)
Cohoes officials hope someone will take over Smith's, which was opened in 1937 by Democratic bigwig Michael Smith. (John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)

Smith’s restaurant in Cohoes celebrates its second anniversary,
Mardi Gras this weekend......


It has been two years since Smith’s Restaurant re-opened under new management and its new owner is celebrating with festivities this weekend and a new menu, which will debut soon.

The anniversary activities start today at happy hour and will continue throughout the weekend, said Joe Hostig, a Waterford developer who grew up in Cohoes and purchased the historic eatery in the fall of 2008.

The Rusty Old Guys two-man band, which played at the anniversary party last year and has become an annual music tradition at the restaurant, will play from 9 p.m. to midnight tonight.

“They’re a crowd favorite,” said Hostig.

Along with music, there will be bar specials and food specials. A voodoo-esque peel-and-eat shrimp dish will be served as part of the Mardi Gras merriment in downtown today. Several businesses in the Remsen Street area, including Harmony House Marketplace and BeauKnits, are staying open for the second annual Fat Tuesday celebration, said Diane Conroy-LaCivita, with the Harmony House.

In a couple of weeks, Hostig explained, a new menu will be unveiled at what has been a hub of the Spindle City since 1973.

“I’m excited. We are putting together something very nice with a lot of enhancements,” he said noting that old favorites and restaurant staples will remain on the new list of creative and tasteful food options. “It has new styles and flavors.”

Other future plans include to reach out to new city residents in the higher-end apartment facilities and show them what downtown, especially Smith’s, has to offer.

There are 20 employees at the restaurant and Hostig said future expansion of employees was a good possibility.

“When I purchased Smith’s, I did not know what would happen in a struggling economic time and that after two years I would head into year three full steam ahead. I am optimistic with expanding and enhancing our venue. The focus of year three is on growth.”

The history of the 171 Remsen St. structure began when it was built in 1873. It originally served as a silent movie theatre and a pool hall. Then, around the turn of the 20th century, it was converted into a tavern.

In 1937, Michael “Big Mike” Smith, a former Cohoes Democratic leader, purchased the establishment and it became the unofficial Democratic headquarters in the city.

A further testament to the restaurant’s affiliation with politics, the 50-foot bar in the restaurant, estimated to be worth around $100,000, was brought from Tammany Hall in New York City which was home to the New York City Democratic Party. The African mahogany bar, inlaid with walnut wood, was once believed to be the largest bar north of New York City.

 Friday, March 4, 2011- By Danielle Sanzone dsanzone@troyrecord.com - The Record

© 2011 troyrecord.com, a Journal Register Property 

Dining Room Hours:
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Mon - Thurs
11:30 AM - 9:00 PM

11:30 AM
10:00 PM

4:00 PM - 10:00 PM






Smith's of Cohoes
171 Remsen Street
Cohoes, NY 12047

(518) 237-9809