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Pearl Street Pub space.

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The Upper Room, on the next floor up.

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Checking out the changes at the former Jillian's building in downtown Albany

Pearl Street Pub interior

The new Pearl Street Pub space.

We stopped in at the former Jillian's building on Pearl Street in downtown Albany Monday to gawk at the re-animation in progress, including the new event venue upstairs.

Here's where things are at, along with a few pics...

Pearl Street Pub

Business partners Chris Pratt and Alessio Depoli are moving the Pearl Street Pub across Pearl Street to the the street level space in the 36,000-square-foot building 59 N. Pearl. (The building in which they had been leasing space on the other side of the street was shut by the city for code violations last week.) The soft opening for the pub space is this Tuesday. And Pratt said the restaurant will be rolling out a new menu in June. [Table Hopping]

The Upper Room

The new event space upstairs -- called The Upper Room, it has a separate entrance at the front of the building -- had a soft opening this past Saturday. And it will be hosting its first concert this Thursday: the rock band Dreamers.

"It's a national act, so it should be a good test for us," Pratt said Monday.

He said they're currently working with promoters to fill out the calendar for the space, which holds 300-400 people -- there's already a comedy show planned -- and they'll be releasing a schedule for the grand opening on June 9. Already planned are regular Friday and Saturday nights: a 25-and-over dance club on Friday ("very strict dress code" according to Pratt) and EDM on Saturdays. Pratt said they're expecting big crowds this weekend: "I think a lot of people want to come in and check it out."

The plan for the building also includes retail space along Steuben Street and apartments upstairs. Pratt said they already have a letter of intent for one of the retail spaces and are expecting a second soon. he said they're aiming to have the retail space in shape by the end of this year, and the apartments not far behind the retail.

Photos

There are a handful of quick pics above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

Find It

Pearl Street Pub and The Upper Room
59 N. Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12207

Comments

Hmmm... Reminds me of Jillians, but without the video games.

I'm not sure the aesthetic is quite sure what it wants to be...

They must be kidding about apartments right over dancing and live music. Anyone with any hearing who needs to sleep is not going to want to live over that. Pearl St. Pub is no friend to its neighbors, with noise pounding and DJ shouting till 4:00 am, which you can hear from more than a block away. Not to mention the screaming, wasted young adults and honking horns. And now this will go on Friday AND Saturday nights instead of just Saturdays? Will the apartments come with industrial-strength earplugs?

Will they allow black people in? Pearl Street Pub was well known for racial profiling on who they enforce their "Dress Code" on. Was turned away wearing a polo shirt, dress pants, and shows because my shirt wasn't tucked in....

They didn't renovate anything! It's the same booths, same place with a new name! I was there tonight. I would never go back!!

Paul, one of the apartments is 2700 sqft on two floors with six fireplaces. Whether you or I would want to rent it doesn't really matter since neither of us can likely afford it.

I am interested to see what acts they get in there but to me the space doesn't look too different than it did as Jillian's.

I'm confused? So they're re-opening The Pearl Street Pub in the old Jillian's street level space? And The Upper Room is the event space upstairs? I thought they were doing something new and fresh and original with the bar/restaurant space? Just moving the old stale bar, that only underage college kids inhabit, is a terrible idea.
It says they closed down for code violations, so they just move across the street? Will the same thing not just happen again? I'm disappointed, I was thinking we could revitalize Pearl Street, but this plan doesn't seem worthy. Oh well... another failed attempt...

I haven't been yet, so I won't judge yet, but I believe that the PSP will only call this a temporary home and will relocate back to its historic spot once the landlord addresses the code violations, at least that was my impression. This might explain the rushed and not so focused atmosphere, since the intent was to have something new and unique at this location, and that may still be the end game.

@alicia, PSP didn't own the building they were located at before, so they could not control the code violations. At least at this location, the restaurant owners also own the building, so it shouldn't be a problem (at least historically they have not had issues with the other buildings they own).

Why did they do this? And why is that going to be done that way? I hate it all. Meanwhile, I'll continue to sit at my computer whining, contributing nothing of substance, but feeling better about myself for dissing others efforts. And god forbid I have the balls to start or expand my own business.

So funny. We have all heard it before. 25 and up… Dress code… EDM only… It didn’t take long for there to be no dress code, 21 and up and all hip hop to be played. Just look at the video that Pratt posted on FB.
The line outside on Saturday night looked like the clientele from Buddah and Legends on Pearl.
Someone has to pay the bills…
Reply

It's amazing to me how commenters/posters always are saying that we need "new/exciting venues" in the Capital Region that aren't national brands (i.e. Lucky Strike in Crossgates). However, when people like Pratt and Depoli take a chance to revitalize an abandon space right in the heart of downtown everyone has negative comments. I may be the odd man out, but I'm excited to see a show at the Upper Room as well as grab some lunch at the new Pub...

I'm going to hold off a week or two before I go. But when I do, hopefully I can avoid the knee-jerk reaction common to the Capital District to immediately complain about everything possible especially when that thing is something I've voiced my support for in the past. Not only that, but with a stretch of luck I can enjoy my beer without obsessing over the apartment a few floors above me that I'll never be able to afford. Or dwell on my wells of pity for those poor souls who chose to move to the center of the city for the peace and quiet only to have it ruined by those inconsiderate people taking advantage of the nightlife that was already there.

Back on Earth, this is a great thing to see happen. Good on Pratt and Depoli for revitalizing a space that could have been a huge ongoing drag on downtown.

The new PSP was jammed up for lunch on Friday the 20th. Their menu is the same, which was fine for lunch. I like that they have more tables than the old place, since it was often already full at noon. More outdoor seating is great, too. No complaints here. I hope they do well for years to come. Way to take a risk, gents.

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