‘Time To Say Farewell’: Popular Restaurant In Capital Region Closing

In the half decade since opening her restaurant in the region, Grace Thompson has met plenty of strangers - as well as a regular cast of “characters” - who have stopped in for a bite to eat over the years.

Gracie’s Kitchen in Voorheesville will permanently close Sunday, Oct. 8.

Gracie’s Kitchen in Voorheesville will permanently close Sunday, Oct. 8.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Gracie's Kitchen

Her Albany County eatery Gracie’s Kitchen, located in Voorheesville at 39 Voorheesville Avenue, will say goodbye to those characters on Sunday, Oct. 8, when the restaurant permanently closes.

“Since the pandemic, the restaurant industry has tackled historic inflation, a virtually empty labor pool, a volatile supply chain, and incredible disruption that has made it impossible for many restaurants to continue,” Thompson wrote in a letter on her website.

“Those who know me well know I’m not a thrill ride kind of girl.”

First opened in 2018, Gracie’s Kitchen serves up a wide selection of traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. There’s also an ice cream station with over a dozen flavors and dozens more rotating options.

Among its most popular dishes, according to Yelp, are the roast beef sandwich, corn fritters, and Reuben sandwich.

In her two-page letter, Thompson reminisced about her previous employees, as well as the “many wonderful, funny, caring, and unique characters” she’s gotten to know over the years.

Among them was “Princess Dorothy Kohler,” a 93-year-old who often regaled others with stories of her childhood and career in nursing.

“She does not hesitate to have those ‘forbidden’ but engrossing conversations about politics, sex, and religion,” Thompson said. “I keep asking her to write her second book!”

There were also “the breakfast guys” who taught Thompson that a slice of pie is a perfectly healthy breakfast, she said, adding that she probably baked nearly 500 pies for each of the last several Thanksgivings.

And then there was the “devoted husband” who lost his beloved wife to early onset Alzheimer’s.

“I witnessed the essence of love and selflessness that our world needs so desperately,” she said.

“Whether sharing a meal or inside joke or dancing in our little restaurant, this couple will forever be, for me, a model of creating joy and possibilities, through laughter and tears and dedication.”

Thompson was also candid about the business’s struggles, which included hiring a chef who later stole from her and, of course, a pandemic.

“Many businesses did not survive, but with the guidance to adapt, improvise, and improve, we did,” she said. 

That included selling toilet paper, paper towels, masks, and sanitizer during the height of the pandemic.

“Few are aware of the severe personal toll this has taken, yet it is time to say farewell.”

Gracie’s Kitchen is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m. 

Find out more on its website.

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