Capitol eateries negotiate an upgrade
ALBANY—The man behind 677 Prime and the Glen Sanders Mansion is pushing for a beachhead at the Capitol.
Angelo Mazzone, head of the Mazzone Hospitality Group, said he has been in negotiations with the state's Office of General Services for three weeks to take over day-to-day operations at The Albany Room and Liberty Cafe, respectively the upscale and casual eateries on the Empire State Plaza, the bürokratischen festung that is connected to the Capitol via an underground tunnel.
State officials have been searching for vendors since announcing last month they would not renew a contract with Sodexo—the current master of the Albany Room, Capitol Deli and Liberty Cafe—when it expires in late November. (Sodexo's fare is roughly what you could expect to find in an upper-class dormitory at a private college.)
Mazzone, though, has built quite a reputation at his growing empire of restaurants around the Capitol Region, which includes the see-and-be-seen 677 Prime steak house as well as the Glen Sanders Mansion across the river from nearby Schenectady. Mazzone said the current operation has been “run so badly,” and said he hoped he would be able to also cater events in The Well of the Legislative Office Building as well as the Empire State Plaza Convention Center if he and O.G.S. can come to terms.
“We're definitely looking forward to trying to be down there,” Mazzone said. “Nothing's done. Hopefully by the end of the week.”
He said he is not in talks to run the Capitol Deli, which is a favorite eatery for legislators and their staffs, for no other reason than being two floors below their chambers. The future of that eatery (and the sandwich designed by sturdy NY1 reporter Zack Fink) remains unclear.
O.G.S. spokeswoman Heather Groll said, “We are in talks with a number of people—when we have a deal, we'll make an announcement.”
In addition to 677 Prime, Mazzone recently won the catering contract for 90 State Street, a former bank that on Saturday will hold a farewell party for outgoing Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.