Entrepreneurial flurry on Schenectady’s lower Union Street

July 28, 2019

BY JOHN CROPLEY, The Daily Gazette
Photos by PETER BARBER, Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Three entrepreneurs are filling three adjacent storefronts on Union Street with two restaurants and a Schenectady-themed retail shop.

Longtime area chef Doug Davis is doing a gut renovation and expansion of neighborhood favorite Manhattan Exchange at 607 Union St.

Artist Caroline Bardwell is moving her Schenectady Trading Company out of the Clinton Street Mercantile into a full-size space of her own at 609 Union.

Rick Greminger is embarking on a second career with his new restaurant, which he named 611 Union.

Greminger had soft opening with limited offerings in April and began full operations at the end of May. Bardwell is aiming for late September. Davis, who must undertake the most ambitious overhaul of the three, is hoping to be ready to open by mid-October.


Greminger is a longtime Niskayuna resident and long-ago restaurant employee, having worked at eateries in high school and college. Right out of college, he was hired as a regional troubleshooter for the TGI Fridays chain.

“It was a great education, because all I did was sit there and fix restaurants,” he said. “I got out of the restaurant business because I wanted a family — it’s just not conducive.”

Over the years, he ran small businesses and did some consulting work. Then a friend who owns 611 Union St. reached out to Greminger when Rare Craft Steak and Cocktail House closed and suggested he open his own restaurant in its place, then asked again after Greminger declined.

Now in his mid-50s, with his youngest child nearly done with his college studies, Greminger decided to take his shot.

To view the complete article on the Daily Gazette website, click here.

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