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Bier Abbey in Schenectady No Longer Cloistered

June 11, 2012

Insiders tell me that the long-awaited Bier Abbey in Schenectady has finally opened its doors, more than a year after their sign was hung on the side of the building at 613 Union Street (the building that once housed the unsuccessful Wine Down Lounge).

Since the closure of Wine Down, that particular few-block section of lower Union Street in Schenectady has practically exploded with activity – Cafe NOLA opened, Marrotta’s Bar-Risto opened, a couple other business openings I can’t recall right now, and a fire that consumed a former bar/restaurant next door to Manhattan Exchange. So people were getting excited about the prospect of another hangout being added to this burgeoning section of town.

Their website has long stated that it would be “Coming March/April 2012”, and people have been wondering if an opening was ever going to happen, since it had been sitting unopened for so long. They got their liquor license back in December, and anxious potential patrons have been hoping they’d just open already.

This past Saturday, they got their wish.

The Bier Abbey hosted a “soft opening” on Saturday, with thirty or so beers on tap, many of them Belgian. (Just what is Belgian-style beer, anyway?)

The tap list at Bier Abbey in Schenectady. Photo: Bier Abbey’s Facebook page

So, how’d the opening go?

A friend of mine reports: “Slow service, and the cheese plate looked *awful*, but hopefully they will sort that out in time for the proper opening. Supposed to have Belgian-inspired menu.”

Sounds like a very normal first night for a new place. Not much else to report. Their website has no information at all, and their Facebook page simply lists hours of Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00 am. No mention of menus or anything else. When one FB commenter mentioned that the website should reflect the beer list instead of the outdated “coming soon” info, the page admin replied, “Yeah, I’ve got bigger fish to fry right now. I’ll worry about the website later…”

Hmm. I don’t think that’s particularly smart or marketing-savvy, but I guess their priority right now is getting open and getting those taps set.

More information as events warrant…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    June 11, 2012 2:11 pm

    Everyone here in the office saw that Facebook post last week and cringed – lets hope he becomes more of a happy and pleasant bar owner, otherwise he might end up right with Wine Down

  2. Brandon Fromm permalink
    June 14, 2012 11:27 am

    I had a beer there last night. There were about 2 dozen people in the place, pretty good for a Wednesday. Speaking with the bartender, he said the menu was almost finalized, and that we could expect it within the next two weeks. It is going to be a great place. The staff was knowledgeable about their products, and I think we will see done great pairing of beers/foods.

    • June 14, 2012 1:23 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience – I’m really looking forward to getting there one of these nights. What kind of beer did you have? Was it good?

  3. Dick Shave permalink
    June 16, 2012 9:44 am

    Wendy — Belgium has the most wildly variable of the great brewing tradions. You never know what’s going to happen on your tongue when you taste a new one, but they tend to be complex, often spicy, and hit pretty hard. Ommegang is the local Belgian-style brewery around here. Don’t get me going about beer because it make me even more boring than usual, but if you’re drinking enough beer at the time its OK.

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