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Spectrum 8 Theatres

Photo: Alicia Solsman

The Capital Region’s 10 most beloved businesses of the past 30 years

First things first: Most people who currently work or write for Metroland refrained from stuffing the ballot box in our honor. We are, of course, thrilled by the votes we did get.

The rest of the list, including the honorable mentions, tell a story of appreciation for locally owned businesses doing what they do well. The winner, the Spectrum Theatres, keeps us nourished with good movies just as the second-place finisher, Honest Weight Food Co-op, keeps us nourished with good, healthy food. The Book House and the Open Door give us top-notch alternatives to the predatory chains, while Last Vestige offers niche record shopping unlike any other. And while Stewart’s is a chain of sorts, it’s our chain, with a great many of its shops set down in actual neighborhoods rather than on sprawling thoroughfares.

Alas, businesses do not always last, and our respondents were careful to salute the memories of their beloved haunts of the past: the rock club QE2; record store the Music Shack; Schenectady hardware hub Wallace Armer; Lark Street healthy eatery Shades of Green; and Albany eatery Joe’s Delicatessen. We miss you still.

Survey respondents ranked up to 10 choices, and points were tallied as follows: 10 for 1st place, 9 for 2nd, and so on.

1. Spectrum 8 Theatres (59)

2. Honest Weight Food Co-op (50)

3. QE2 (49)

4. Tie: Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (29); Metroland (29)

6. Last Vestige (21)

7. Stewart’s Shops (18)

8. Tie: Music Shack (17); Palais Royale (17)

10. Wallace Armer Hardware (14)

Honorable mention: Drome Sound (12), Open Door Bookstore (12), Shades of Green (12), Toll Gate (12), Valentine’s (12), Babushka Deli (10), Blue Note Records (10), Costumer (10), DiCarlo’s (10), Indian Ladder Farms (10), Joe’s Delicatessen (10), Saratoga Shoe Depot (10)

>> Back to Metroland 30th Anniversary

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