By Christine Graf
Longtime Saratoga Springs resident Darin Palmetto will be opening The Spa Café on Broadway at 480 Broadway in downtown Saratoga’ Springs.
The business will be in the Collamer Building in a space that the Hungry Spot occupied for more than two decades. Palmetto has signed a five-year lease for the property.
“The Hungry Spot is no longer there, and we took over the spot in the building,” said Palmetto. “We have nothing to do with The Hungry Spot, and people tend to get that a little bit confused.”
“The place needs a complete overhaul and renovation, and we are replacing all of the equipment, redoing the interior, and basically gutting it and starting over from scratch,” he said. “We are bringing everything up to code, and we are doing everything the way they want us to do it to make it safe.”
He did not provide an estimated opening date for the café, but said he is working to get it open as soon as possible. He is in the process of obtaining permits that will allow for a hood to be installed with remaining plumbing work to be completed.
Palmetto has extensive industry experience and has cooked at local restaurants including Wheatfields, Bruno’s, and Panza’s. He began his career by working in his family’s Saratoga business.
“My family had a produce business in town for about 80 years, Palmetto Fruit Co. on Phila Street. I did that until I was about 25 and then went to culinary school and got my degree and starting cooking. This is basically what I’ve done my whole life,” said Palmetto. “I’m not really a desk person.”
The Spa Café on Broadway will serve breakfast and lunch and will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their menu will include coffee, muffins, bagels, fruit salad, yogurt, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and soup.
“It will be the same type of food that The Hungry Spot was doing because it was a big niche that it filled. People could come into their building (the Collamer Building) and get breakfast and lunch and not have to leave the building. It’s a huge, huge plus,” said Palmetto. “And most of City Hall, including the police station, were customers of The Hungry Spot. I know a lot of those people from being in the business for 35 years.”
The space that the café will be occupying is just 480 square feet. For that reason, it is intended for takeout only.
“You walk in, look at the menu, grab what you need to grab, and you are on your way. We are also working on some new concepts with how we will ring people out to make it quick and efficient so that if you have a 30-minute lunch break, you don’t have to wait 22 minutes and waste your lunch break. Our main goal is to get people out quickly and efficiently.”
Palmetto also plans to offer catering and delivery but that won’t happen right away. For now, he’s focused on getting his doors open and welcoming customers.