Footsy Magoo's

footsy magoo's interior

Do those stools swivel? Yes, yes they do.

By Casey Normile

On the corner of 1st Street and State Street in Troy, a chalkboard stands in the street announcing drink specials. To the untrained eye, though, there's no bar to be found.

But behind those corner windows lies Footsy Magoo's, a bar that's more about good atmosphere than a packed, pick-up scene.

Here are a few reasons why it's worth stopping in for a drink...

As stated before: there's no sign
In fact, Footsy Magoo's doesn't advertise. "We might have had one commercial on public access television once," said bartender Britney Gil, "but that's it. We have a kind of speakeasy feel and people like that."

The lack of publicity is quite deliberate. They want Footsy Magoo's to stay as it is: a quiet comfortable bar where most patrons are regulars and new faces heard about the bar from a friend.

Fans of the larger, packed downtown Albany bars, a busy scene, or running into that guy that was eyeing them at that place last weekend will probably not find what they're looking for at Footsy's. And the owners seem to like that way.

It's like a Chucky Cheese for grown-ups
footsy_magoos_skeeball_foosball.jpg

No, you will not see large mechanical furry characters singing about pizza, but they have a jukebox and it's not unusual to see some impromptu dancing. Dartboards are tucked away in the back and there are two separate rooms for skeeball and foosball, a big draw for the bar. For a few quarters, you can set down your drink (or play one handed) and indulge your inner kid.

It's beautiful in that "quirky aunt" kind of a way
footsy_magoos_beer_can_counter.jpg
This counter is made of beer cans -- it took McIntyre 80 hours to complete.

Designed by Troy artist Robilee McIntyre, the interior is the definition of eclectic. It has the classic hardwood floors and wooden ceiling that remind you that this building is more than 200 years old -- the vintage feel is contrasted with golf clubs that hang over the fireplace, bowling pins and dollhouses on the walls, and plastic cowboys and Indians that hide in the couch cushions.

But before you start to feel like you're in a fun house, you notice the dreamy hand painted stars on the wall and the backroom painted in a warm yellow, with branches and mason jar lights that hang above like some kind of southern back porch. Footsy's combines the classic, crazy, and cozy parts of Troy.

footsy magoo's cozy backroom

The bar itself
Even if you don't care about how a bar is built so much as the drinks behind it, this bar is worth a glance. Custom designed by McIntyre and Anthony Pascale, the bar area was carefully constructed to give the bartenders room to move, and comfort and swivel for the customers on the stools. The only problem with the design is that the comfortable swiveling bar stools fill up fast and people tend to stick around for a while. But if you're looking for a place where you can sit down and sigh after a long day and be served by a bartender that remembers your name, Footsy Magoo's is a good spot.

The name
The name Footsy Magoo's tells a story about the main players who started the bar. "Footsy" is the nickname of owner Rose Crisafulli's husband, Joe, a podiatrist. And "Magoo" was the nickname of Anthony Pascale, a bartender, after the nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo.

But Anthony has since gotten Lasik eye surgery. Now you can just call him Tony.

Find It

Footsy Magoo's
17 1st St
Troy, NY 12180

Comments

Def a cool place. Love the fact that the jukebox isnt overly loud

Don't come check it out, Albany. Stay far, far away.

On the same page of what Ike said above, All Over Albany is a fine website. I typically enjoy it and use the information given here on a regular basis (i.e. "Things to do this weekend.") But I do get annoyed when AOA posts something about a place which was little-known or a well-kept secret in the Capital Region. Because then it becomes maddeningly popular, and suddenly the place is 1) no longer fun because the flavor is totally lost once the masses ensue, or worse, 2) the masses ensue to such a degree that the place is legally shut down (read: Barberville Falls, which my family and I had been going to since the 1980s. After AOA published Mr. Barre's admittedly entertaining and lovely photo essay the town put the kabosh on swimming there and the cops now patrol the place).

I understand that there is no law against blogging about said places, and that the editors and writers at AOA have every right to do so. But I can't help but feel, "Aw sh*t. There goes another great place," when things like this are posted. My only request is to keep the way cool secret place reveals to a healthy minimum, be mindful of what you are doing when profiling places like this, and keep on doing what you do.

I am a big fan of Footsy's. But if one thing will keep me away from that place, it is knowing that ike hangs out there.

Footsy's is aight. Very relaxed. And not exactly a hush-hush local secret, everyone in Troy goes there...

Ike, it's the only thing worth driving to in your "city". Be happy we graced you with our presence, considering I've been going there since it opened and see more Albany people than Troy.

Casey, I believe we are family so you need to know your grandmother in Port Schuyler and I are considerably upset that you would ruin this secret for everyone!

@Lily

> But I do get annoyed when AOA posts something about a place
> which was little-known or a well-kept secret in the Capital
> Region. Because then it becomes maddeningly popular,
> and suddenly the place is 1) no longer fun because the flavor is
> totally lost once the masses ensue,

Beside the whole "I don't want to share my stuff" sense of entitlement, I feel the "becoming maddeningly popular" part above is a myth, or at least a hyperbole.

> The Barberville Falls After AOA published Mr. Barre's admittedly entertaining
> and lovely photo essay the town put the kabosh on swimming
> there and the cops now patrol the place

Haha, thanks, but no, that didn't happen. Swimming was already forbidden there and the cops had been patrolling the place. And the 3 people who read my blog are really polite, let me tell you, because one of them is my mom.

> my family and I had been going to since the 1980s. [...] I understand
> that there is no law against blogging [...] But I can't help but feel
> "Aw sh*t. There goes another great place,"

See, this attitude makes me a bit sad inside. Instead of challenging why the place was really closed, you are blaming it on AOA/me. You and your family should absolutely keep going there. If there was no other way to go to the falls but to go through somebody's property, you should absolutely keep going there too and show your disdain for the appropriation and privatization of natural resources like this one.

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