By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
Christina Ostrander and her fiancé AJ Richards plan to open a “New Age American cuisine” restaurant called [forged] in the former Washington County Courthouse at 122 Main Street in Hudson Falls.
“We are planning a high-energy casual and fine dining restaurant for the downtown Hudson Falls community,” Ms. Ostrander told The Chronicle.
She said they hope to open in the middle of May, after she and Mr. Richards wed on May 13 at the Charles R. Wood Theater in downtown Glens Falls.
Ms. Ostrander said Mr. Richards is a “Certified Executive Chef, one of the few in the area. He is also a Level One Court of Master Sommelier…[and] treasurer of the local American Culinary Federation…
“He just recently returned home from a short stay with 3 Michelin Star Chef Grant Achatz in Chicago. He’s very passionate about his food and wine program.”
Ms. Ostrander said the menu “will change regularly with the seasons.
“AJ really enjoys working with local farmers and farmers markets…We will offer a dining room side as well as a bar on the opposite side. The dining room and gastropub menus will be different.”
She declined to give specifics of the menu, saying people “would have to come and see.”
Mr. Richards worked at Dunham’s Bay Resort on Lake George and most recently at Saratoga’s Henry Street Taproom, said Ms. Ostrander.
Ms. Ostrander said they considered two locations in Glens Falls — in the Aeon Nexus building on Glen Street and the Rogers building on Bay Street — but “both of our attempts to build our business in Glens Falls were unsuccessful.”
The couple “didn’t really consider Hudson Falls until Kingsbury Supervisor Dana Hogan suggested we look here. He put us in contact with Phoenix Rising and the rest is history.”
Phoenix Rising, the non-profit community organization that owns the former courthouse, has been “very supportive of our vision and we look forward to working with them,” said Ms. Ostrander.
Hudson Falls attorney Bill Nikas, president of Phoenix Rising, said the couple signed a three-year lease.
“We are absolutely delighted with Christina and AJ,” he said. “They are top shelf. AJ is a Certified Executive Chef, and I think the community is going to be very excited to see this.”
Ms. Ostrander said the restaurant’s unusual name — [forged] — was the “suggestion of a close friend. He mentioned it and we loved it.” She said it’s named “after the process that steel chef knives are made.”
The former Washington County Courthouse has been home to numerous restaurant attempts over the years, including the Gavel Grille, La Cocina and La Fontana.
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