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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, January 27, 2011
The Shinases are back
By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND The Shinases, who retired three years ago after running the Chariot restaurant for 34 years, are back in business.
They had sold the restaurant to a couple who didn’t make a go of it; their new eatery, called Inn Town, is at the same location 5180 Western Turnpike.
In 2008, Michael and Penny Shinas sold their Greek restaurant to Brenda and Gary Evans. The Evanses opened Evans Public House, and served pub fare, along with 42 varieties of beer. They planned to build up a banquet business.
On Sept. 8, 2010, Evans Public House was seized by the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance for six outstanding sales-tax warrants, according to Brad Maioni, a spokesman for the tax department.
“We opened in a bad economy, not knowing how bad it was going to get,” said Brenda Evans in September.
“We did not want the Evanses to fail, but we’re not entirely unhappy to be back,” Mrs. Shinas told The Enterprise this week. She said that she and her husband would have been stuck paying property taxes no matter what, so it only made sense for them to open another restaurant at the location.
Mr. and Mrs. Shinas were both born and raised in Greece, but they met in Germany, while she was vacationing and he was in the Army. He moved to the United States first, and, a few years later, brought Mrs. Shinas over and married her.
Mr. Shinas’s uncle was in the restaurant business for many years, and the couple said the decision to open a restaurant was natural. Over the years, the Shinases got to know their customers, some of whom were young when the restaurant opened, and later brought their children and grandchildren in.
Mrs. Shinas said Chariot, the original restaurant, was more of an upscale “destination” eatery, featuring Greek and Mediterranean dishes.
“The Evanses went with pub fare, and we’re going for that, too,” Mrs. Shinas said. The bar serves beer on tap. Her husband is a chef, and several of the cooks they employed at Chariot have been re-hired at Inn Town. Mrs. Shinas said the new restaurant will feature specialty Greek and Mediterranean dinner entrees, too.
“It will sort of be a mix of the two,” Mrs. Shinas said. The area has experienced a lot of growth since Chariot opened in 1974, she said, and families are looking for affordable dining options.
The new restaurant had a “soft opening” on Dec. 7; Mrs. Shinas said there was no advertising involved, they simply hung “now open” signs on the door and waited for people to notice.
“We wanted to iron out all the kinks before we had a big group come in,” Mrs. Shinas said. So far, business has been good, she said. The restaurant will hold its official open at a party on Jan. 30.
In 2003, Mrs. Shinas told The Enterprise she and her husband never wanted to leave the Chariot. They thought they were going to retire in 2008, but now they’re back.
“Thank God we’re in good health even though we’re in our 60s!” Mrs. Shinas laughed.