A few weeks ago, the managers of a popular mainstay restaurant in Albany surprised its patrons by announcing a "temporary" shut down for a few weeks. But their latest announcement is anything but temporary.

While it raised a few eyebrows, it was only because the staff wanted to take a much-needed and well-deserved break.  

Photo: Google Maps
TJ's Cafe in Albany
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But that temporary shutdown (that would have ended on July 15th) turned into a heartfelt goodbye to the Albany mainstay notorious for its Chicken Parm and fried fish dinner night.

In a Facebook post on Friday morning, the staff at TJ's Cafe announced the permanent closing of the restaurant on Central Ave in Albany that served up tasty dishes to hungry Upstate NY patrons for a quarter century.

"Our customers have been our lifeblood and our purpose for the better part of 26 years. I wanted people to feel at home and comfortable. I wanted a place where people could relax to a good meal, without pretense. I feel we have accomplished that, and so much more, I'm sorry we cannot continue to do so." TJ's Cafe on Facebook

Closing the doors on any business can never be easy, and you'd think that a restaurant that survived the pandemic would safely be on the other side.  But that's certainly not the case, especially in an industry where escalating costs and lack of good hired help make it really hard to operate.

The staff at TJ's addressed that in their post writing, "The economic forces presented to us at this time have become insurmountable...The cost of goods, supply chain issues, staff shortages, and pure exhaustion of the last two years has taken its toll on all of us."

In their goodbye announcement, the staff at TJ's thanked their loyal customers and staff, many of which have worked there for years.

We wish the staff at TJ's Cafe in Albany a happy early retirement - you all have been a family favorite of ours for years.

But when it's time, it's just...time.

"We have been burning the furniture to stay warm since the pandemic began, and we have thrown the last chair into the fire."

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