Ballston Lake landmark restaurant to close amid sewage problems

A familiar restaurant and tavern on Main Street in Ballston Lake will soon be closing due to issues with sewage disposal it simply can't afford to remedy.

Carney's Restaurant has served the public since 1982, but a failing septic system has seen the ownership in talks with the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation for years. The owners have been storing their wastewater and paying about $900 a week for over a year to have it taken away, but that plan is far too costly to be a permanent solution.

The DEC is concerned primarily with possible pollution of nearby Ballston Lake.

Rosemary Carney, who owns the business along with her husband, said that bringing Carney's up to the DEC's expectations would have required a $215,000 septic system that was much bigger than necessary. The agency refuses to sign off on any other plans.

Instead, Carney's last day of business is set for Sunday, Sept. 28. No specific festivities are planned, but it is expected that workers and regulars alike will be on hand to enjoy the atmosphere for one last time. Over 30 employees will be laid off when the business closes, including two bartenders who have been drawing beers in the Irish restaurant since it opened.

The departure of Carney's will leave a building with a long history vacant, which disappoints people like Town of Ballston Historian Rick Reynolds on two levels.

My No. 1 concern is that we're losing a place where this community can kind of hang out, and that's sad because we're losing a lot of those around here, said Reynolds. "Secondarily, I'm concerned about the building. This is a 130- to 150-year-old building, and it's in reasonably good shape. If someone was to buy it, they could bulldoze it."

The building has long served as a restaurant and inn, operating under the names McDonough's, The Ballston Lake Hotel, Lord Nelson's, The Rendezvous, The Empty Arms Hotel and The Main Street Tavern.

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