Cohoes group offers year of free rent to new Smiths operator

A restaurateur is still being sought.

Cohoes group offers year of free rent to new Smiths operator

Every community has a centerpiece; a restaurant or business that residents can rely on. Since the 1930s, many in Cohoes considered Smiths to be a staple.

The restaurant was a regular spot for date night, birthday celebrations, or a quick place to grab a bite to eat.

'We have people still to this day come and push the doors and see if it opens up,' says Daniel Oh, managing partner of Capital Properties NY.

Smiths closed during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has remained shuttered ever since. Oh and Capital Properties NY purchased the building about a year ago, with the goal of finding the right person to re-open a restaurant.

'We think the centerpiece of this place is this beautiful, mahogany bar. Fifty feet long and it has a very, very interesting origin where supposedly it was brought up from Tammany Hall,' says Oh.

The building is full of history. Besides the bar, there's a stone fireplace laid piece by piece almost 100 years ago by an Italian stone mason.

Unfortunately, a year into the quest to find a restaurateur, they haven't found the right person. Oh attributes that to the market, which has made it costly to run a restaurant.

That's why his team is now offering the space rent free for one year, as long as the person has the right vision and honors the building's rich past.

'We are trying to offer as much as we can and this is about as much as we can to make it easy, because we are aware that it is challenging,' says Oh.

Everything in the restaurant remains, including dishes, silverware and old menus. Applicants have until the end of the year to submit their proposals.