A martini is a terrible thing to waste.

Sneaky Pete’s Nightclub in the Warehouse District?


Sep 22, 2011 49 Comments

So, I feel like I should probably address all the hullabaloo swirling around re: Sneaky Pete’s possible relocation into North Albany’s Warehouse District.

I have to admit, I don’t love the idea.  And that’s not only because my house is literally right across the street from the proposed location. (ugh and I hate house music).

Yes, I understand why Sneaky Pete’s (Sneaky Pete?) wants to open a club down here .  Heck, we did it years ago and called it “Noche”.  (Although I look back at Noche with great memories and I think it was an excellent addition to the neighborhood at the time.)

However, as I read the comments on the TU blogs, they seem to be getting pretty “racy” (not quite sure why I put quotes around that), so I am going to try to be careful about how I say this…

it’s not a black thing, a white thing, a drug thing, or a thug thing… it’s a neighborhood thing.   Chris at the Barrel Salloon, presumably Mike from Stout, (presumably the owners of Thatcher Street Pub) and I (as one of the owners of Wolff’s Biergarten) want to see this part of Albany flourish.  I live down here, I have multiple businesses in this area, and, probably more than anyone, I have a truly vested interest in the Warehouse District.

I really really really want to see North Albany continue to become something amazing.  But for this to happen, The City of Albany needs to step up and make a choice.

Do we turn this Warehouse District into something really special, with modern lofts, condos and apartments, with small, quality restaurants and bars that cater to people of all ages?  Where people can take their friends from out of town to show off with pride a unique, and beautiful part of our City?  Do we encourage people to move down into North Albany and invest in old buildings and turn this area into something truly great?


do we allow a giant nightclub to move in here.  In which case, NO ONE will want to live in this neighborhood.  Parking will be even worse.  Noise will get crazy.   Trouble will without a doubt follow (sorry, but you know it’s true).  And our patrons who go to the existing restaurants in North Albany might not want to deal with all the craziness that surrounds the big nightclubs like Sneaky Pete’s.

I don’t know Sneaky Pete (although I’ve been to his club dozens of times and had a great time).  I don’t know who the owner is.  I don’t’ doubt that they will run a quality nightclub.  (and if you’re reading this, Pete, might I suggest one of the old buildings further down by the river?  No other neighbors who are open at night, TONS of parking, be as loud as you want, etc.)

But if Sneaky Pete’s goes into the Warehouse District, I feel it will significantly and negatively affect what is slowly becoming a truly great neighborhood.



  • Mojo
    Sep 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Oh hail NO!! Sneaky Pete’s just doesn’t fit into the warehouse district. And Matt, you can say you had a good time there, but that place attracts trouble regularly. Even with their strict dresscode, it’s a place for thugs. Just ask APD. I remember Fat Joe and his posse almost started a riot in the place and that was like 7 years ago. It’s a free country, but Sneaky Pete should know that the Wolffs/Stout/Saloon crowd is not into the club scene. Lame idea.

  • Melanie Madden
    Sep 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Matt, well said. Many have argued the same thing about downtown Schenectady. How can you expect businesses to flourish without hitting all the main necessities? In other words, housing, in this case condos and apartments, restaurants, nightlife and retail should all be part of a successful revitalization plan. On that note, why not bring back Noche, or something like it? I still hear people talk about how much they loved it! It would be a great complement to the very atmosphere you describe in your blog.

  • scott
    Sep 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    But a hundred or so collage kids pounding liters at Wolff’s is okay.

  • lynn b
    Sep 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    oh gawd, NOOOOO!

  • DB
    Sep 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I have been waiting for someone to buiild some condos in the warehouse district so I can move there…(im looking at you, building just north of wolffs) but if there is a nightclub right next door with 18 year olds passed out on the street curb I will pass.

  • Mel
    Sep 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Matt, I think A LOT of people agree with you. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb! A phrase I never understood but seems to fit in this scenario

    And I agree with Melanie – Bring back Noche!!

  • Sara
    Sep 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    What a terrible idea. There has to be a way to protest this.

  • YT
    Sep 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I like house music, I dislike Sneaky Pete’s.

  • John
    Sep 23, 2011 at 6:10 am

    @Scott, what’s wrong with collage kids? I think 100 or so people cutting pictures and gluing them to construction paper sounds like fun.
    Oh, and a night club down there would mean I would never go down there again. It would totally change the vibe.

  • Matt
    Sep 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’m all for renovating the warehouse district and making it a place for small restaurants, decent bars for us old folks to have a beer, and small shops. I’m not sure a Sneaky Pete’s fits the mold down there.
    I’m also all for expanding that idea to the riverfront. I know that takes a ton of money but the city would flourish and make their money back in time. Sort of like what Baltimore did to their harbor. Restaurants, Quincy Market type shops, an aquarium, etc. It could work.

  • Jeff
    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

    North Alb doesnt need a nightclub. There’s enough of them on Pearl Street.

  • JG
    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

    The only way Gerry Jennings would be interested in revitalizing downtown is if you put in some tanning salons.

  • Adam
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Terrible idea…..got to be a way to keep them out!

  • Just Wondering
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Matt B.- How do you feel about the reputation and the clientele at the Thatcher Street Pub?

  • elf
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

    how is Sneaky Pete’s still in biz? No need to relocate down to the Warehouse dis, stay where you are & keep your trouble there.

  • OboxMic
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Interseting; not sure if you’re getting old. I do tend to agree with you though. Pearl st. sucks- I would never take anyone there to show them a good time (I am 34 years old however). There is too much of a “holy sh*t” anythong can happen vibe. Though I’ve only been down to the WH district a half dozen times, it is a place where I would bring guests for an njoyable night out.
    Regarding living in the warehouse districyI don’t think that dream will ever be fulfilled-until/unless you get direct access to the waterfront.

  • Done with the Club Scene
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Matt, I totally agree with you! I’m a 32 year old women who is done with the club scene and I have really been enjoying that atmospher in the warehouse disctrict because it isn’t like Pearl Street at all. I LOVE the way things are now and YES, Sneaky Pete’s is a bad idea. I’ve been there, don’t love it. PLEASE STAY OUT OF THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT!

  • chris
    Sep 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

    @ John…you beat me to it!

    @ Scott. I have to agree with John in a way. I know 100 kids on 1 collage is a lot, but I think it can be done. I mean, when it comes to collages, my motto has always been the more kids the better!

  • Matt
    Sep 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    @ Just Wondering… I have lived next door to Thatcher Street Pub for 4 years at this point, and I have nothing but great things to say about them.
    They are very respectful of the neighborhood and are always there for me anytime I need to something. I haven’t experienced one single issue from any of their patrons whether it be coming or leaving the bar. I love Thatcher Street Pub.

  • DB
    Sep 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

    and Thatcher Street Pub has quickdraw!

  • Kevin
    Sep 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    From a capitalist ‘We Own The Night,’ perspective, I can see why Sneaky Peter wants in on the action. From a realistic, urban renewal perspective, it makes little sense. One would hope there is some sort of zoning enforcement down there that would thwart these attempts…

  • Kevin
    Sep 23, 2011 at 11:46 am

    P.S. – Do we really want peeps fist-pumping and shouting ‘I’m at the Hudson River Shore, B*tch,’??

  • andrew from keep albany boring
    Sep 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    there’s enough fucking clubs.

  • Jillian
    Sep 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    The only people who go to Sneaky Pete’s are 19 year old hussies and creepy 40 year old men looking for a 19 year old to take home. The last time I went there I was 18 and it was horrendous!! Stay out of the warehouse district and leave us and our pints in peace.

  • SLB
    Sep 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I agree with you Matt! When I heard about Sneaky’s building in that area I was really disappointed. I was excited to be able to get away from the Pearl Street scene and have a good, laid back time rather than bumping club music. On the other hand.. For the first time 2 weeks ago I went to Stout on a Friday night and was really disappointed in the club-like atmosphere including rap music from a dj that was going on.

  • Ashley
    Sep 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Putting Sneaky’s in the warehouse district would be like bringing a prostitute to a classy dinner party. The equation doesn’t fit! No, Creme Brulee can never be jello!

  • DL
    Sep 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    The idea of a large scale nightclub regardless of the clientele it might attract is a terrible idea and not fair to those who have made the initial investment to change the area into what it has become. A club of this size changes the entire feel of the neighborhood and will impact negatively its future growth potential.

    It might be time to form some kind of warehouse entertainment district association, get involved politically to protect your investment and help the neighborhood achieve the vision you articulate. I have no idea what the Mayor thinks of this kind of development (this is a man who thinks building a convention center in Albany is a good idea) but I bet the majority of the public would be against it. I can not imagine that the Albany and Watervilet police departments would suppor it either. Albany Memorial might be in favor – they could use the business.

    I – 787 did not kill the waterfront development potential here so your vision could work.

  • lealorali
    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    @John -hahahahhah good one, “collage”…..don’t you love when someone tries to be a smartass and completely fails?!

  • maggiemay
    Sep 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Sneaky’s was the best place to go…in the late 70′s. When it was in Latham.
    I feel your pain Matt.

  • Edna
    Sep 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @29,Right! The creepy lounge couches,light up dance floor,dancing to Tavares.What memories.Lets keep them memories.I vote “no” to Sneakys in the Warehouse district too.

  • Fixer
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

    You should fight this all the way. I worked in the area when sneaky pete’s was on central, we went there on a regular basis for fight’s ,stabbing/slashing, car accidents (in the lot), and the occasional shooting. The regular patrons are thugs and pretend thugs that respect nothing, and the bad part is, when they closed it push everyone down to Pearl St., now we go to Pearl St. for fight’s ,stabbing/slashing, car accidents, and the occasional shooting. This isn’t a good clientele to bring to any area. Let Sneaky Pete’s rest in peace. And as a so called “safety record”……………….

  • Kt
    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:17 am


    That bar is nothing but trouble. Albany is finally on the right path to have an area where you can drink and relax without worrying about a fight breaking out.

    The warehouse district is awesome and sneaky pete’s will attract the wrong crowd.

    Where can I go to vote this down????

    Sep 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Besides Dominic Karl, is anyone else currently looking at that location…or any other properties nearby, for development?

    I agree with you, Matt, saying the area is slowly turning into something great…but my question is, just how slow is it? I mean, look at how long it took someone else to open a place after Noche. By discouraging the Sneaky Pete’s relocation down there, will that ultimately discourage other investors from looking at the area because they might feel like if they aren’t in the ‘inner-circle’ of downtown business owners, they might not get a fair shot?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Sneaky Pete’s is all wrong for the Warehouse District, but on the other hand…who’s to say what’s right?

    Albany needs a nightclub, not many will dispute that…but the location of such a venue is the real sticking point…personally, I’d like to see a nightclub/bar/lounge in the space that Jeepers (Crossgates Commons) use to occupy, but hey…that’s just my opinion.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

    ‘North Alb doesnt need a nightclub. There’s enough of them on Pearl Street.’ – Actually, there are NO nightclubs on Pearl Street or anywhere else in the city of Albany.

  • SpringFever
    Sep 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Late response… But I agree Matt. The last thing the WD needs is a Sneaky Pete’s. 18+ Dance Club would be a downgrade when trying to make this area a little more classy… I love going to this area now for the easy going vibe and. I really hope the city isn’t dumb enought to let this happen….

    I would love to see a Jazz Club here, or a Gallery of some sort…

  • Erik
    Sep 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Sneakys would ruin the atmosphere in the warehouse district. As has been noted, the place attracted thugs, fights were common, often among young women, and it was a sleazy place. If you want to attract people back to downtown Albany to dine out, have a drink, and circulate, you dont want a raucous night club with an out of control younger crowd setting the atmosphere.

  • John Murphy
    Sep 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Wht sck d fr Dmnc. H lvz t wst hs Dddys mn n grbg H shld hv styd wth th lm bsnss, lss ng ngs t gt nt trbl

  • Thatcher St Pub
    Sep 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Matt I agree with you on this issue and hopefully we will have a positive outcome. I love the way the neighborhood is.Some customers have also expressed how they like to come down here to all 4 bars for the variety and a good time.They have said that the area is laid back no drama atmosphere we all have down here and no parking issues. And thanks for the nice comments about our pub I appreciate that.


  • RealWorld
    Sep 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Matt, you and the other business owners down there need to foil the APD police reports and calls for service for Sneaky Pete’s for the last few years. There has been shootings, stabbings, assaults, sexual assaults, robbery, weapons, vandalism, larceny…. crimes of every kind. Sneaky Pete’s attracts gang bangers, drug dealer and thugs from all over the capital district. It would be a shame to let that ruin what you’ve got started down there. Be smart, protect your investment.

  • Don
    Sep 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Matt, how can you decide what is good for north Albany? What if years ago, everyone said they didn’t want you to open your businesses where you have?

    I personally don’t think we need another freakin burrito joint in Troy but you don’t see me (or anyone else) whining that it doesn’t belong and should be placed elsewhere.

    Let’s be honest, you don’t want the club (or ensuing thug gangstas) to come to the area because it’s so close to your 1/2 million dollar apartment. Your precious routine will be upset and your property value will plummet.

    You don’t own the warehouse district. Please stop parading around as if you do.

  • Ski
    Sep 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Well said, Matt. But what can we do?

  • Matt
    Sep 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    @ Ski… you can show up on Oct. 12 at City Hall and speak against the idea.

  • mike
    Sep 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    it’s not a black thing, a white thing, a drug thing, or a thug thing… it’s a neighborhood thing.
    it’s not a gay thing, or a lifestyle thing, or a human rights thing … it’s an AIDS thing

    Sep 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    ‘Let’s be honest, you don’t want the club (or ensuing thug gangstas) to come to the area because it’s so close to your 1/2 million dollar apartment. Your precious routine will be upset and your property value will plummet.’ – Sounds like a good enough reason to me. haha

  • Micheline
    Sep 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Sneaky Petes on Central closed because of violent weapons fights. they did have a large staff of security and bouncers but the space was too large and there were too many young people hanging out there to maintain a controlled environment. I don’t believe (I say this as a developer)_ that you can have both residential and SNEAKY’s in the same neighborhood without bringing down the value. In addition, this sort of venue caters to the 18 and over crowd and you don’t want the added hassle in the all ready established venues that you’ve worked so hard to build up (ie Biergarten, etc).

  • justwannadance
    Sep 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    As someone that grew up in the area, went to a local college, and now works in the area, I can honestly say that NO ONE I know has been to sneaky pete’s in the past 10 years. I do not support Sneaky Pete’s in the warehouse district or otherwise. BUT I do so very much wish that Albany had a dance club for responsible, young professionals that straight men weren’t intimidated by…

  • ms.yum yum
    Sep 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Just say “NO!” to Pete’s Sneaky idea.

  • A.
    Oct 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The Warehouse District is really turning into something great. To the powers that be, PLEASE do not ruin it by allowing a cesspool like Sneaky Pete’s. It will completely ruin the vibe of the area, as well as bring drugs and violence.

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