By Jill Nagy
Seven weeks and one day after a disastrous
fire, Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant
in Ballston Spa opened for business
in rented quarters less than a mile down the
road, at 17 Low Street.
“My goal was to get back to work as soon
as possible. We were very fortunate to find
this location,” said Augie Vitiello, the owner.
The new location, formerly the home of
Manna’s Restaurant, seats the same number
of people as the old one, has a full bar, and
employs the same staff.
“They’ve all come over to the new place,”
he said, with satisfaction. The main difference
between the two sites is that the new
location offers more parking.
Fortunately, Vitiello’s clientele has also followed him down the road. They seem to enjoy the new location, especially the big parking lot, he said. In fact, “we are full for Thanksgiving,” he said, with which he is “very thrilled . . . absolutely happy.”
The original Augie’s was “a complete, total loss,” due to the fire that appears to have been of electrical origin. Although there is no official word yet on the cause, Vitiello is confident that the fire was accidentally caused and there is “absolutely zero inclination to find anything illegal.”
The building was insured but “you are never insured enough,” certainly not enough to cover the cost of rebuilding, particularly to meet current standards. Vitiello said he is “leaning toward” rebuilding at the old location and will decide in a few months. Meanwhile, he is huddling with architects, engineers, local officials, and the insurance agent, to see what is feasible.
“We need a design we are comfortable with,” he said, but he expects the “old location will be the original Augie’s.”
Meanwhile, he is grateful to have a twoyear lease on the new location, “a lot of time to decide what we want to do.” In any case, he has ruled out operating at two different locations.
Augie’s is open every day except Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. They also offer catering and take-out. Menus and further information are available on the restaurant’s website, augiesrestaurant.com. The telephone number is 884-8600.