Guilderland Mangia makes way for Creo

A popular Italian eatery in Guilderland will soon be demolished to make way for a new environmentally friendly restaurant. Mangia, located in Stuyvesant Plaza, will be torn down in June so that the owners, White Management, can construct a greener restaurant built using many recycled materials.

"It's a very popular restaurant, but our building at Stuyvesant Plaza is 55 years old, and it's a structural mess," said Mark Burgasser, vice president of White Management, owner of the building that was formally a Howard Johnson's restaurant. "It was a great opportunity to completely rebuild in an environmentally sound way."

The new 6,000-square-foot restaurant will be called Creo, which in Latin means "to create."

The building design will feature "green" elements inside and out. The restaurant will have an organic grass rooftop, recycled rubber and cork floors, energy-efficient lighting and tabletops made from compressed 100 percent recycled paper.

"We want to use this as an opportunity to show that you can do high-quality design that happens to be environmentally friendly," said Scott Townsend of 3t Architects in Albany, which designed the new restaurant. "To the best of my knowledge, none of the restaurants (in the Albany area) have done it."

The exterior design may be finalized, but menu selections are still being ironed out.

"We're working on an eclectic menu," said Burgasser. "It will be casual, very family friendly; we're going to have a wood-fired oven, rotisserie and grill," along with daily specials, he said.

The Mangia in Slingerlands, and another in Plattsburgh, will remain open.

"We are committed to keeping Mangia in Slingerlands open and expect that all of our current customers will frequent the Slingerlands location while Creo is being completed," said Burgasser. An auction will be held at the property on Tuesday, May 27. Demolition is expected to begin in early June and Creo is slated to open in mid-September.

In other restaurant news, the former Fresno's restaurant at 1620 Western Ave. is currently undergoing renovations to become a Japanese steakhouse. Owner Tommy Chang expects the restaurant to open in a month and it will feature Japanese fare prepared hibachi style. ""

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