Big News For Schenectady’s Little Italy-Cornell’s May Reopen Soon
There's some big news in Schenectady's Little Italy. It looks like the shuttered Cornell's Italian Restaurant has a buyer and they plan on keeping it as an Italian restaurant. The family who is buying has been in Schenectady's Little Italy neighborhood for one hundred and seven years and are the perfect ones to do it.
Maria Perreca Papa, the owner of More Perreca's Italian Kitchen plan on buying Cornell's just two doors down on North Jay Street in Schenectady's historic Little Italy according to the Daily Gazette.
Cornell's had been in Schenectady since 1943 on Van Vranken Avenue. Then they relocated to Little Italy in 2003. The building was rebranded and renovated and called Cornell's in Little Italy in 2016. The pandemic hit them hard and they were unable to just do take-out and delivery so they shut down in March of 2020.
Maria Perreca Papa said that the building is ready to go and in pristine condition. She would just have to add a few things that are needed to run the restaurant like upgrades to the grease trap and drains. But the sale still has to go through as well. No one is sure if the name and the menu will remain the same. If all goes well, they are hoping to open the restaurant in early fall.
Papa said of the aquisition:
I’m so happy [that in] Little Italy, the major businesses remain. To keep that little nook intact I think it’s very good for the community. We look forward to going back and having dinner at the bar, which we did many times.
She also said that before they can open they have to get the right staff together. That is very important. She did say that finding employees has been difficult because of unemployment people would rather collect than work. She hopes to find the staff and train them properly. At More Perreca's during the pandemic, she said that she reduced hours for her staff and added more days off to prevent burn out. Papa appreciates her staff and says that restaurant workers "work so, so hard."