The new Theory about the old Larkin

Larkin Theory exterior

Data to support to the theory.

For the last five years, there's been a string of rumors about what was going into the old Larkin space at 199 Lark Street.

It's going to be a pan-Asian restaurant (whatever that is)! Nope.

A martini bar is going in! No, again.

But now it looks like there's an answer.

John O'Connell, one of four new owners of the old Larkin says they're turning it into a bar called Theory. He says they'll serve drinks and light fare (he also heard the martini bar rumor, but he's not sure how it started). He's also not sure if they're going to bring music back to the place.

The building has been vacant for a while, and O'Connell says they've got a lot of work to do, but they're hoping to open their doors in November.

(Thanks, Matt!)

Find It

199 Lark Street
199 Lark St
Albany, NY 12210


Ahh, when I saw Theory, I thought you meant the clothing store!

What a disappointment.

The Larkin has so much potential. At $500,000 to buy or $5,000 to rent, it seems like you'd have to turn it into a douchebag bar to make any money. Sound to me like Theory belongs down on North Pearl, but I'll keep an open mind as long as experimenting involves drinking liquor.

It's a real shame that music isn't a given there. It was once such a great music space. Now it looks like it's in danger of becoming another gaudy stateworker hangout.

There are a lot of folk concerts in the Capital Region. And the concert attendees are always wealthy 60-something Berkshire residents who drive down and sing "coom by ya" and "we shall overcome" and then return home to their gated communities and million dollar mansions convinced that they are salt-of-the-earth and really making a difference.

I have a feeling that "Theory" will be the same thing. Rich folks, hanging out on Lark Street, drinking over priced wine and convincing themselves that they are bohemian and edgy.

> Rich folks, hanging out on Lark Street, drinking over priced wine
> and convincing themselves that they are bohemian and edgy.

They are here already, at McGuire’s , corner of Lark and State.
You are welcome.

(Pantaloons: click on the squiggly word above to be teleported to another part of teh Interwebs)

The name Theory was clearly the catalyst for the martini bar rumor. What else would a place called Theory be?

Ugh. It basically needs to be gutted. There's a pond in the basement. I wish them luck.

> There's a pond in the basement.

Yes, but it's a martini pool.

I suggest some theme nights during the week; open mike, poetry readings, art shows.. and bands on the weekend. It'll fit in great with the Lark vibe!

I think "water feature" is the phrase.

Sebastian - The least you could do is link to a current representation of Mcguire's. or even . I don't know if our guests truly think of themselves as bohemian or edgy, though...

Pond in the basement? Of a vacent building in Albany?
Oh pshaw! Dump some koi in there and it's trendy!

Please!! have a nice storefront presence and clean windows . I am sick of dirty looking, smudgy windows and an overall rundown look, so common along Lark St. Isn't it amazing what a little elbow grease could do? Has anyone else not ventured into a establishment because they couldn't see through the grease on the windows? Heck, if Amazing Wok turned their greasy windows into a crisp, clean looking tea drinking (tea shop in addition to Chinese food) hot spot (maybe even internet) wouldn't it be a hit? I mean they just got rid of their sushi, they can't be doing that well. Crisan did an excellent job opening a welcoming and modern storefront.
Your comments are welcome...

slilly: oh come on, let's not be too dramatic. I linked to a good article; it is pretty much public knowledge that Mcguire's is both a very pricey and very tastey restaurant. As far as the guests are concerned, I live around the corner and I can indeed hear them sing "coom by ya" from my house. They are generous though, one of them even gave me $5 as I was driving by in my BMW. Thank you, good sir!

A quick google search tells me that "Kumbaya" (also spelled kum ba yah) means "come by here," from the old religious/folk song often heard around campfires in the 1970s.

I blame my favorite radio station (WAMC) for encouraging the Albany Kumbaya Revolution.... as far as Alan Chartock is concerned, it's Pete Seeger and friends all day, every day.

Sebastien, that's not the half of their generosity. When I was walking by the other night, someone leaving there gave me some car keys and said something that included the words "fetch" and "boy". I am now, thanks to this kindness, in the possession of a 2006 Lexus.

Yeah...yet another lame bar on Lark Street! NOT!

I suppose, that with everything going up $ cost-wise, Maybe they want to see if the location, and timing might draw some success.. Then they will invest in modifications as they go along..I think we need a spot right there instead of another pricey restaurant.. Who knows, maybe they'll have some famous kind of food that will catch on.. Dennis..

As was said... "I suggest some theme nights during the week; open mike, poetry readings, art shows.. and bands on the weekend."

We had a place like this: it was called the Larkin.
You loved it very much.

And then it went away.

Ok then Pam, What would you like?
I'm thinking we need a record store.

um... Mike Obrien the owner of the building, or landlord to theory or what ever.. told me it was going to be a martini bar. His words.. "Upscale martini bar, with food" One would think that he was just repeating what the theory guys told him. and he told many people that.... Thats my theory... blame it on mike. anyway just what lark street needs is another bar. (not) hopefully these guys arent going to run buses from Albany or Sienna or St Rose... and hopefully they close at a reasonable hour. Those of us who live in the area knows what happens at closing time at 4 am.

> Those of us who live in the area knows what
> happens at closing time at 4 am.

Yes, here is what happen at 4AM to those of us who live in the area: we *walk* home safely, wave goodbye to our unlucky suburbian friends, wish them luck and appreciate once again the fact that we can enjoy so many great places within 5 blocks.

I second that. If the Lark tavern wasn't around the corner maybe I would actually get around to dusting knickknacks. (or sleep more!) The noise is hardly an issue. If I wanted quiet I would live in boring Guilderland, where, I would then drive everywhere.

Ok, Sebastien, that sure is one way to look at 4 am. closing time, I would add: yelling ones head off, pissing in the gutter and ralphing on the side walk... and then driving off to the suburbs.... oh and also standing outside smoking all night til 4 am. yelling ones head off. and I live here and my bedroom faces the Fuse Box so I know of what I speak first hand.

hrgreen: this is not a bedroom-off, but coincidentally I know what I speak first hand as well since I own a house across the Fu*z*e Box (there you go Pantaloons, you can stalk me :). I bought it years ago exactly for that reason, to be close to the places I love and leave the suburb behind (where I still work). Owning or renting in Center Square looking for quiet doesn't make much sense (even more so on Washington Av.), this is one of the busiest area in Albany. Do you like your neighborhood? If all bars or stores were to desert it, I would guarantee it would decline pretty quickly. BTW I also rent my first floor and the number #1 reason I see throngs of applicants is because they want to be closer to Lark St., in a lively area.

Sorry Sebastien, I'm not interested in stalking you. My current trial for "indecent exposure" is making me think twice about any future stalking. Although, in my defense, Conan O'Brien needed to understand what he is missing.

Im not looking for quiet, Im looking for enlightened and responsible behavior. I love the area, never said I didnt. I love the diversity, and the bars and stores and eateries... And I rent my first floor and my basement.. and I have lived here 20 years and raised my kids right here... so there... Like I said, I like the area, but not too keen on bad behavior.. How many gun shots did you hear when there was a certain bar open on Washington? I heard them all, and now that that place is gone I have not heard of or read any police reports about guns in and around Townsend Park.. That my friend is progress... We should all agree on a safe, fun, and lively city. My vision.. Does not include vomit urine and broken bottles on my stoop and alcohol induce violence in the parking lot next to your house.....

hrgreen: agreed, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I put it between guns and vomit, I'm afraid to say. For now. A voicing (and vomiting) drunk minority is something I accept because I just feel lucky I can afford a house here and do alright. I wish I could educate people but... oh hell, who am I kidding, I wish I could punch the dingbat littering in front of my house, but I just can't get my damn' hands on him!

Pantaloons: damn', I had never been stalked by a guy :) Oh well, next time...

Sebastien, I'm confused, are you suggesting I'm really a dude pretending to be a chick? Well, ok then. I wish my employer thought that.. perhaps they'd give me equal pay.

When I first went to the Larkin (1960) yo u could get a platter of fressh cut, not frozen, onion rings for $.75 and a 10 oz draft beer for $.35. Oh for the good old days.

I wonder why the owner won't sell this building or clean it up, still? Its a shame to see this post from 2008. No wonder the city has a huge problem with vacant buildings- it is mostly a result of bad landlords that just their property rot.

Wish it had the wonderful Italian, continental food of yesteryear, sigh.

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