Lawmakers Approve Lease for Johnny Rockets in TU Center


County expects higher revenues for arena’s restaurant space

TU CenterALBANY (Tuesday, May 10) – The Albany County Legislature on Monday authorized a lease deal for a Johnny Rockets restaurant with a full-service bar in the Times Union Center.

County legislators agreed to rent 3,106 square feet of space in the county-owned arena to Johnny Rockets & Handcrafted Brews for a restaurant and bar.

The national restaurant chain will replace the former Wolf’s 1-11 sports grill. It’s expected to open in the summer, and serve food and drinks in the downtown location from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, and later on nights when events are held in the Times Union Center.

Under the terms of the 10-year lease, Johnny Rockets will pay the county six percent of sales, or a minimum of $4,000 month, for the first five years. The minimum lease payment would increase to $4,350 a month starting in the sixth year of the contract. That means if annual sales reach $1.5 million, as some expect, Albany County would realize $90,000 in rent, or a more than 33 percent increase over what Wolf’s 1-11 paid.

“This establishment has the potential to bring larger crowds to downtown Albany and greater rent payments to Albany County,” the legislature’s majority leader, Frank Commisso, said.

Johnny Rockets would invest $300,000 on the rental space, while the county will spend $175,000 to $200,000 to equip it with kitchen and bar appliances. The restaurant’s operator, Louis W. Chicatelli Jr. of Niskayuna, would be responsible for repairing any of the county-owned equipment after three years.


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