A martini is a terrible thing to waste.

The Olde English.


Sep 28, 2010 34 Comments

I had a small little dinner party last night at my house, and frankly, I got hammered.  So… I’m not really in the best shape to write something intelligent.  But I’ll try.

A friend of mine sent me a link from Steve Barnes’ blog Table Hopping, and the title of his blog post is: “Mazzone, Baumgartner competing for Quackenbush House.”

Oh no.

Basically, the Quackenbush House, which is down the street from my house and from Wolff’s Biergarten, is vacant.  I LOVE this building.  I think it’s so charming and I’ve always thought it would make a great little bar.  Mark Graydon, my friend and manager of Wolff’s Biergarten, is English and he suggested an English-style Pub would be perfet in that space.  So we looked at the building, talked to the landlords (Capitalize Albany.  Which I think should be called “Capitalize albany”), and then we submitted a proposal to rent.   We had heard that someone else was interested in the building, but I had no idea it was Angelo Mazzone.


Angelo Mazzone is my idol.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times.  His businesses are so supremely run, and his food is so outstanding, and the people he has working with him are so great, that I would be very surprised if anyone landlord didn’t immediately hand over their keys to him.  I am not quite sure what his concept is for Quackenbush House, but I’m sure it would be a great place.

One good thing is that we both have a vested interest (also the name of the jacket company I want to start.  just kidding.) in North Albany.  So either way, the building will be put to good use.  But frankly, I would be mostly excited for Mark Graydon to open a pub in Quackenbush House.  He’s a great guy and a fantastic manager, and owning his own English Pub would be a dream for him.  It’s actually his idea, and I believe in it/him, and it would be an equal collaboration for him, Jimmy & Demetra Vann (who never get enough credit for their role in Wolff’s) and I.

Frankly, I think we have a 25% chance.  But if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.  If it does happen, we’re calling it The Olde English.

But either way, good news for downtown Albany.

p.s. If you would like to contact Capitalize Albany on our behalf, you can do so HERE.


  • Erica
    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    !! I was honestly just thinking how great an English gastropub would be in Albany. And I can’t think of a better location than Quackenbush House. I’m sure anything that Mazzone does there would be great too, but… English pub please :D Keep us posted, Matt!

  • MMmmmm Beer…
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Matt — u r selling yourself way too short…you and Angelo are BOTH great restaurateurs, but Mark’s and your concept would be much more appropriate. That building is screaming English pub. An upscale lounge in there would be like putting a high end bottle service bar in an old firehouse!! Who would ever do that?? lol….

  • Cindy
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Is there a reason you keep calling him Angela? LOL

  • C
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm


  • Chris
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    This is a really great idea Matt. I thought of this a while back (and thought it really could be a success after seeing what Wolff’s has been able to do), but of course with no funds I didn’t see any way to do it. Having traveled to London before I think this would be really cool idea for downtown. If you are in fact able to get your hands on the Quackenbush House, and make this idea a reality, I would love to help out if needed. I love the atmosphere at Wolff’s, and am sure it would be just as good at The Olde English. Please keep me in mind!

  • Matt
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Wow, that is a typo. The O isn’t even near the A on the typepad, so I have no idea why that happened. Error corrected.

  • DB
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    heres how this plays out:
    1) Mark opens an English bar, just down the street from Wolffs
    2) This sparks a HEATED rivalry between me and mark.
    3) Euro 2012 roles around
    4) Germany beats England 6-0 in Euro 2012.
    5) After a day of getting trashed off Schneider Aventinus, myself and all the other Germans run down Broadway and take over Mark and The Olde English, thus annexing it as “South Wolffs”

  • Brian
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I mentioned this over on Steve’s blog but, although I really like the pub concept, the name (The Olde English) doesnt really fit with the Quackenbush House history (and reminds me of my grandmother’s furniture polish). I thought the suggestion of “Hudson Arms” was quite good given the location and its proximity to the river. While Quackenbush is Dutch, incorporating Hudson into the name would pay homage to the river’s English namesake, whose exploration thereby laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.

  • gs
    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    The English pub idea is simply outstanding. Fish and chips, anyone?

  • G-Dawg
    Sep 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I love the idea, and it would be great to see another stop along the way from “The Pearl Street pub” to McGeary’s to “The old english” to “Wolff’s”, sorry if I missed any others, didn’t mean to. Matt where the hell did Steve get that picture he put in his blog? Hope this works out.

  • Nik
    Sep 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    25%, you’re joking right??? Have you read the comments on Table Hopping?!!?!!? Definitely majority is all for you, as am I! I think its a great idea!! This area needs more bars that serve great beers! Good luck!

  • meierrain
    Sep 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Was really hoping this post would be about bulldogs :(

  • BettysDaughter
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Since I am about Half English (other half Irish, I know very bad combo) I would love to have an English Pub around to learn more about my heritage from the pub point of view.

  • C. Reed
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I agree……….LOVE the concept. LOVE! I worked in the Visitors Center for about 8 years before moving to Florida. Quackenbush Square is SUCH a historic, awesome space. And a British-style pub is perfection!

    But.. the name does not fit the space or the concept…….”The Olde English”? It does remind me of furniture polish. If you have the word “Hudson” in there………it sounds Albany-ish and European-ish and sort of British..

  • Edna
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm


  • Brian
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    How does the name not remind you of awful malt liquor 40.ozs you used to drink in High School?

  • Cheers!
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    What will be the free birthday give-away at The Olde English?!

  • Brad
    Sep 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    @DB – Hilarious.

    Yeah Matt, The votes on Table Hopping at my last count were about 70 – 5 in favor of Ye Olde Englishe Pub. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble beating out Angelo.

    How does one enter into the Miss Oktoberfest competition? My girlfriend is hot AND German! (Her last name is Schneider too!)

  • Alli
    Sep 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I wrote in to the city supporting you.

    Can we do a Shaun of the Dead reenactment night? Thanks in advance. Hahaha!

  • Kait
    Sep 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I agree with Brian. I think of a 40 when I hear Olde English..I, however, still drink them. Even though they are awful. I have found that nights tend to be a bit mor exciting when you start with some malt liquor…

  • Tammy P
    Sep 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    What a great idea and perfect spinoff for Mark. Cheers!

  • The Original Mike
    Sep 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    “upscale cocktail bar and tapas lounge” shoot me in the goddamn face.

  • Julia
    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Good Luck! :)

  • Andy
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Matt – I love your concept, not a fan of Mazzone’s “upscale” tapas lounge idea. I think people can say what they will about your businesses, but there is no denying the passion that you bring to the table. Would love love to see Mark in a proper English pub, but for God’s sake please change the name. Olde English reminds me of furniture wax and malt liquor.

  • Andy
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

    @22 –

  • D-Dub
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I miss Watney’s Cream Stout.

  • Cathy
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:19 am

    It’s too bad that this has become a Matt vs. Angelo thing. There’s no winner in that. You guys are both great at what you do – I just hate reading “I don

  • B J Hart
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Brilliant!!! Its closer than”The Man of Kent” out side of Troy!

  • MiMi
    Sep 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    An English pub all the way. But I do agree that the name is not inspiring. How about the Half Moon Pub for Henry Hudson’s boat? Very Albany.

  • MMmmmm Beer…
    Sep 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Stole this comment from Steve Barnes blog…GREAT idea for a name in case you missed it over there…
    The obvious name for the pub would be The Halve Maen

  • kriskaten
    Sep 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

    they already HAVE a name… why are so many people suggesting other names? if you don’t like it, why don’t you rent the space, open a pub and name it something else.

  • CC
    Sep 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I hope you’re successful in the acquisition. Build it and I’ll be there. My mum is originally from England, and I’m quite familiar with English pub fare, having been there numerous times. I would welcome the opportunity to quaff a few English beers, and hopefully snack on sausage rolls, scotch eggs, pasties, etc, in Albany. It would save me the long drive to Myers of Keswick for such items!

  • Erin L
    Sep 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I just wrote them a note of support for you. I hope they read it. I like your idea far better than Mazzone’s, with all due respect to Angelo, and I feel that you and Mark are onto something here.

  • $cott
    Mar 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Hey Matt, did anything ever come of this?

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