By Christine Graf
When Siro’s opens it doors to racing fans this summer, the iconic Saratoga restaurant will have a new executive chef in its kitchen.
Owners Peter and Jake Spitalny have hired former Jack’s Oyster House chef Elliott Vogel to oversee culinary operations.
The father/son team purchased Siro’s for $1.2 million in 2019. Since that time, they have made significant investments in both interior and exterior renovations. Last year’s improvements included new exterior stamped concrete and updated kitchen equipment.
“Siro’s is an icon in Saratoga and in the horseracing community, and there was so much opportunity with the physical property to make some updates while preserving iconic signs and color scheme,” said Jake Spitalny. “On the business side, we also saw an opportunity to improve things.”
After purchasing Siro’s, the Spitalnys leased the restaurant to Scott Solomon who was arrested in 2021 for falsifying restaurant documents. The Spitalnys were not involved in his illegal activities and now operate Siro’s themselves. They rely on a general manager, Kevin Decker, who is in his 11th year at Siro’s, to oversee daily operations. Well-known maître d’ Michael Stone returns for his 30th year at the front of house. Their staff of 55 includes newcomer Vogel.
“Our new chef, Elliott Vogel, has excellent credentials,” said Spitalny. “He was responsible for reviving Jack’s Oyster House over the past few years. He comes to us with a lot of experience. He’s got some new fresh ideas for our menu while also maintaining some of those staples that people expect to see on our menu.”
Regular customers can expect the inside dining room to look “significantly different.” Changes to the exterior have also been made.
“We do have some new spaces for some high-top tables where you can enjoy the new outdoor food menu options which will include a couple of hot items and a raw bar with oysters and clams,” said Spitalny. “The offerings are wider than last year when we basically just had some pizzas and quick hand-held items. It will be a little more extensive this year, including the raw bar.”
Siro’s will reopen July 14, opening day at the Saratoga Race Course. They will remain open for regular business until the end of racing season on Labor Day. After that, it is possible that they will host special events.
“We don’t have approvals yet, but we will at some point in the future look to remain open after the season and host private events and weddings,” said Spitalny. “It probably wouldn’t be year-round because a big part of that would be outdoor. It will most likely be a couple of months before and a couple of months after track season—spring and fall.”
During racing season, Siro’s will host private functions on dark days at the track—Mondays and Tuesdays. No private functions take place on days the track is open.
Spitalny said he is optimistic that business will be strong at Siro’s for the summer season.
“With our new chef and some of the physical updates that we’ve made, I expect it to be fantastic. That coupled with the fact that track had one of its busiest years last year in terms of attendance. They expect that to grow again this year, so we expect to be extremely busy.”
According to Spitalny, business is booming at the family’s other restaurant, Lake George Beach Club (formerly Shepard’s Cove). They purchased the popular lake front restaurant in 2016.
“Coming out of COVID, the fact that we have so much outdoor seating available helped us to have our strongest year to date. Business is great, and we are already off to a very busy start of the year.”