For Immediate Release
Contact: Terry O’Brien, 518-874-1734
TROY, N.Y. (5/14/14) — The new owners of a historic downtown hotel will serve up a special treat this May 20: crow.
Technically, a crow-shaped cake. The special confection is a playful wink and nod to those who doubted they would succeed in their restoration efforts. The party is being paid for by one of their harshest online critics.
“It’s been a lot of work, but it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears to get this beautiful old building back open,” said Terry O’Brien, who purchased the 19,269 square-foot building last fall with her husband, Donald O’Brien.
The family team did much of the restoration work themselves on the 19th century building and its circa 1901 hotel addition.
This March, they opened a first-floor barroom and dining area called O’Briens Public House at the Historic Trojan Hotel. In April, they began kitchen service, and work is already underway to restore and re-open the spacious ballroom in the hotel’s rear annex.
A TONGUE – IN – BEAK RESPONSE TO CRITICS
Complimentary Drink to the First 40 Party Patrons
Although the Trojan Hotel is one among many historic building rehabilitations underway in the celebrated revival of downtown Troy, this restoration effort was not without its doubters along the way.
But one of the harshest online critics of the effort has kept good on his public offers to buy a round of drinks for the house if the family succeeded in opening. The skeptic, who wishes to be identified as a “local facebook loudmouth,” has paid the bar $200 to help provide one complimentary drink (beer, wine or regular drink) to the first 40 people who attend the Tuesday, May 20 opening party, starting at 5 p.m.
So, in the spirit of fun and redemption, the O’Briens will serve up slices from a lifelike crow-shaped cake, made by Troy confectionery artist Susan Dunkel of Sweet Sue’s, 203 River St.
“Eat Crow” is an American idiom that gained wide-usage after it appeared in an 1850 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The story, which is set in the Hudson Valley, ends with a farmer reluctantly eating a cooked crow after boasting that he “kin eat anything.” The flesh of crow is considered to be foul tasting, hence “eating crow” is used figuratively when one is proved wrong after taking a strong position (because admitting being wrong is equally as “hard to swallow”).
The O’Briens say they are grateful to all those who helped and supported them during their restoration work, including city officials, their construction crew and personal friends.
The drink specials during the evening will also include a “Humble Pie” cocktail special, which is another British idiom of similar meaning.
HOURS, KITCHEN HOURS, MENU
Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. till close (kitchen 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.); Thursday through Saturday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 9 p.m.); Sunday, noon until close (kitchen noon until 8 p.m.).
The menu features pub fare and entrees, ranging from $8 to $16, including: Shepherd’s Pie; Crab Cakes; burger; Reuben; spinach dip; potato cakes with smoked salmon; and salads.
Revolving specials include: Corned Beef and Cabbage; Sausage and Mash; Smothered Pork Chop; and Rasher, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches — an Irish “BLT” (price). All items are made from scratch.
The O’Brien family — Donald, Terry, Ali and DJ — ran O’Briens Public House for 20 months at 443 Fifth Ave. in Lansingburgh until closing last June. The family now works together to operate their newest business, O’Briens Public House at the Historic Trojan Hotel, at 43 Third St. in downtown Troy.
COMING NEXT – GRAND OPENING OF BALLROOM
This summer, the O’Briens plan to re-open the first floor ballroom, which is located in the hotel annex and is accessible from the first floor bar area. The 1,200 square-foot ballroom will be used as a dining room and multipurpose events space for music, theater, lectures, movie screenings private parties, weddings and showers. It features a stage area, an original maple floor, the original molding, wainscoting, and lathe and plaster walls. It will also feature a display of historic memorabilia from the various businesses to occupy the building — some of which was discovered during the restoration and some of it donated by Troy residents.
After that, the O’Briens will begin work to reopen the Trojan Taproom, a rathskeller in the building’s lower level that was once popular among city leaders.
They also intend to restore the upper floors of the front building as a private residence.
ABOUT THE TROJAN HOTEL
Built in the 19th century, the building originally served as a bar, ballroom and residence. In the late 1800s, it was opened as a hotel. The name was changed to the Trojan Hotel in the early 20th century, when a 5-story addition was built in the rear, facing Franklin Alley. The building and popular taproom have changed hands several times throughout its history.
The DeGiorgio family ran the taproom from 1969 until 2003, when the city foreclosed on the building. They had stopped renting rooms several years earlier.
In 2004, Anthony Prezio, a relative of the DeGiorgios, wrote and performed and recorded an original musical, “An Evening at the Trojan Hotel.”
For a screenshot of the online comments that inspired the “Eat Crow” party and historic photos of the Trojan Hotel and what it looked like before rehab, visit: