Vintage arcade games, vegan food on deck for downtown Schenectady – Times Union

December 20, 2021 by No Comments

That’s the next project by Chelsea Heilmann, founder and owner of Take Two Cafe, downtown’s vegan startup. 

“Games aside, the food is going to be really different than anything you’ll get downtown,” said Heilmann, who dubbed the menu “elevated pub fare.”

Think comfort food like macaroni and cheese, loaded tater tots, mozzarella sticks and fried “chicken” — all animal-free, naturally.

For her new venture, Heilmann is taking over the roughly 4,000-square foot space at 148 Clinton St. vacated by the Clinton Street Mercantile last summer. 

“This has been an idea of mine for years,” said Heilmann, who drew inspiration from her globetrotting, including a ping pong bar in Colorado. “It’s a collective idea of all these things I’ve experienced.”

Arcade machines are now waiting players seeking a touch of nostalgia: 

Shoot-em-up games like Area 51 and Lethal Enforcer will join classics like Ms. Pac Man, the Simpsons and Mortal Kombat. A N64 section is also planned, as well as a pinball machine and table games like ping pong, Skee-ball, air hockey and corn hole.

Despite launching Take Two only in May, Heilmann feels bullish on prospects for the yet-to-be named project. Take Two is a block away.

Downtown is thriving, said Heilmann, who envisions the venue as a family-friendly environment, replete with mocktails and a relatively early 11 p.m. closing time.

Heilmann expects to launch the effort next spring after internally renovating the space to add a bar and kitchen.

The building is owned by Redburn Development Partners, a leading engine of downtown development.

Heilmann, said Redburn principal Jeff Buell, has a finger on the pulse of downtown and the upcoming space adds to the neighborhood’s growing vibe as a place where things are energized.

“The redevelopment of downtowns hinges on creative and somewhat crazy people,” Buell said. “Chelsea is creative and somewhat crazy and I love her for it.”

The new project joins a wave of development reshaping the downtown Clinton Street corridor that stretches from Broadway to City Hall, including Redburn’s renovation of the Bank of America complex into medical space and nearby former …….



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