The former Albany home of sports bar and adult arcade Jillian’s from 1999 to 2012 was purchased last month by two locally established bar and restaurant owners who have a vision of turning the space into a bar and music hall on the first floor, with a dance club upstairs.
The 34,000-square foot building at 59 North Pearl St. is located not far from the Palace Theatre and the Times Union Center, and it’s right in the middle of many bars and clubs in Albany’s downtown area.
Chris Pratt and Alessio Depoli own the Pearl Street Pub, Barrel Saloon, The Capital American Eatery and Public House in Albany. The duo bought the Jillian’s building for just $855,000, a big discount from the more than $2 million the former owner, New York Business Development Corp., had reportedly been seeking. The NYBDC is a nonprofit that uses its sway to work with banks to help local economic growth by facilitating deals. In 2010, it acquired the building for $2.3 million.
“We see this as an investment in downtown Albany,” Pratt told the Times Union last month. “The building cost far less than (Spillenger) paid for it, and it hasn’t deteriorated very much at all.”
He also said that he has had offers to make similar moves in Schenectady and Troy, but he cited Albany’s recent growth as the reason he chose the city.
Pratt added that he will need to invest more than $100,000 into the building’s infrastructure, and he’s hopeful he can have the doors opened before the end of the year.
The building has a few apartments on the top floor. Pratt said he’s looking into making the basement, where the arcade used to be, into a fully functional workout center.