You Paid For It: Sign of the Tree Restaurant
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 01:56 PM EDT
ALBANY -- You could call it a sign of the times at The Sign of the Tree -- the once bustling upscale restaurant between the Egg and Corning Tower at the Empire State Plaza now sits empty. Operated for a decade by Chef Michael LoPorto, all that's left are some tables and chairs and outdated curtains. Its been closed since 2006.
The State was collecting $67,000 per year in rent, so that means over the past seven years, New York has lost out on nearly a half million dollars and counting.
The State is trying to find a tenant -- notices go out periodically asking vendors for bids, but so far no takers. Dominick Purnomo of Pono's and DP: An American Brasserie, is a member and past president of the Capital District Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association. He says putting a new restaurant in that space would be great for the City of Albany. He acknowledges that its location is a problem -- parking and accessibility are challenges.
The State does occasionally have catered events at the sign of the tree, but officials weren't able to tell us how much money has been realized from those events.