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Joshua Thomas
The Italian Shack serves a variety of homemade pastries, including cannolis, sfogliatelles, and chocolate jumbles.

Joshua Thomas
From left, the Italian Shack employee Bianca Mabbett, Owner Butch Egan, Owner Luciana Egan, and employee Heather Moore.

Joshua Thomas
Inside the Italian Shack, which had picnic-style tables and chairs custom made to fit the restaurant's ambiance.

Joshua Thomas
The Italian Shack owner Luciana Egan serves a take out order.

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The Italian Shack specializes in authentic homemade Italian food

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - Updated: 10:30 PM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

PALATINE BRIDGE -- The Italian Shack -- a family owned and operated restaurant specializing in a variety of authentic homemade Italian specialties and pastries -- opened its doors to a warm reception from the community on November 1.

It was Owner Luciana Egan's goal in opening a restaurant locally to provide "just a little something different -- something the area didn't have." The Italian Shack serves, "a lot of things that came from the area I grew up in," Egan noted, explaining that the restaurant specializes in a variety of foods that are found primarily west of Palatine Bridge, in the Utica and Herkimer area, where she was born, including chicken riggies, Utica greens and a selection of paninis -- a grilled sandwich.

"We're doing our best, and we make almost everything homemade, from scratch," said Egan, adding, "We put a lot of pride in our food."

The Italian Shack also makes a variety of Italian pastries, including cannolis and sfogliatelles.

Egan said that the idea of opening a restaurant has been on her mind for three years. "I grew up in the restaurant business," she said, working at the restaurant her father owned in Fonda, Sorrenti's Pizzeria, for years. "I missed it," she continued, explaining that while she once owned a bridal shop for about five years, which she sold when she had a child, she hasn't yet owned a restaurant.

"It's exciting for me," she said of the endeavor.

While the restaurant serves pizza, and Egan said, "We love our pizza -- we put pride in it," she noted that her goal was to open a restaurant that is more than just a pizzeria. She wanted to operate a comfortable sit-down and take-out restaurant that people could enjoy lunch and dinner in.

Preparing the location, which formerly housed Sister's Diner, and has been vacant for years, took about three months. Family members helped to remodel the  location, doing lots of cleaning and painting, also having picnic-style tables and chairs custom made to fit the "shack" feel of the establishment.

"Family were involved every step of the way," said Egan, noting that everybody currently working at the business are family members, including her daughter, mother, sister and husband.

The reception from diners so far has been "great," Egan commented, continuing, "The people here are wonderful. They're all so nice, and very friendly in this area."

"We already have our repeats."

The Italian Shack, 174 West Grand St., Palatine Bridge, will make trays of food and/or pastries for holiday events with notice. The business is open Monday through Wednesday for breakfast, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. To contact the Italian Shack, or to place take-out orders, call (518) 673-4800.

Joshua Thomas - Fresh baked sfogliatelles at the Italian Shack.

Joshua Thomas - The Italian Shack opened Nov. 1 at 174 West Grand St., Palatine Bridge.

     

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