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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Mild restaurant irony

The Dumpling House: The seemingly endless road construction on Everett Road between the I-90 exit and Albany-Shaker Road has caused lots of headaches for the local businesses that reside there. In one case - the Dumpling House Chinese restaurant - it seems to have actually driven the restaurant out of business:

"We don't make money anymore," said Kenny Chang, 58, who owns the business with his brother, John Chang. "Business is down quite a bit since the springtime." At that point, the paving project reached the area where Dumpling House is located, just south of Albany Shaker Road. A combination of dust, slowed traffic and gravel -- Chang says a few customers got flat tires -- has kept customers away, he said.

Here's the thing: I've been to the Dumpling House dozens of times in my life. It's one of my in-laws favorite Chinese places. The service is good - the Changs are great - but the place is always empty. It's set to close October 30th, but I have always been amazed that it managed to last. I always figured it as a high-volume take-out joint since I couldn't imagine it did enough eat-in business to survive. That or it was a front for something.

So you can imagine my surprise last night when I went there with my in-laws and the place was absolutely packed. I'd never seen it even half as full. It seems that the construction slowed business, but actually announcing and preparing to go out of business revived the flow of customers. What a coup it would be if they managed to stay open because of the recent surge. I mean, that's why we were there - my in-laws wanted to go "one last time" - and that's why I assume other people were there. I have my doubts, though. I know a lot of people love it, but for me the food there has always been wonderfully mediocre, and it's clearly overpriced. My best guess is that the construction was just the nail in the coffin of what was a slowly sinking business to begin with. I mean, it's not like Beff's is exactly suffering these days. But I could be wrong.

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At 7:01 AM , Anonymous Tara Too said:

Funny you should say something about this. I just went to Beff's on Everett, and it was packed. But, it always is, no matter what day or time. It seems like alot of people meet there and hang out at the bar, where families and people on first dates have dinner. We had take-out and it was great. They serve enough in one order for 3 people. And they are not at all expensive. I love Beff's and am glad they moved from Watervliet Avenue in Albany, that was getting dangerous.    



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