Efforts to open new concert venue in Albany

Apr 11, 2013

Credit Google Maps

An attempt by two Albany entrepreneurs to open a new concert venue at 28 Thatcher Street in the city's downtown warehouse district has met stiff opposition.

Chris Pratt and Alessio Depoli had hoped to give the local music scene a shot in the arm by opening up a mid-range music hall, larger than WAMC's Linda but smaller than the Palace Theater.

The partners own several bars along Broadway and North Pearl Street. The plan to open a new venue at 28 Thatcher Street was a simple one.

Chris Pratt says the pair applied for a use variance from the zoning board. Pratt and Depoli met with resistance from other local business owners who expressed concern about noise, parking and holding shows that would attract the 18 to 21 crowd.

Mike Graney, owner of Graney's Bar & Grill on New Scotland Avenue and Stout on Broadway as well as Matt Baumgartner, owner of the nearby Wolfe’s Biergarten, agree such a venue would attract too much traffic.

But any plans are at least temporarily sidelined:  11th ward Councilman Anton Konev, who had supported the initiative, says it was voted down by the Zoning Board, 5-0.

Zoning Board officials tell WAMC that there is an appeals process that could place the final ruling in the hands of the State Supreme Court, if Pratt and Depoli decide to go that route.