Pub franchise to debut in U.S.

…the parent company has approval for its second U.S. pub and restaurant with a different franchisee in the Virginia Beach area, said Todd Baldwin, director of franchise development at Fransmart LLC, the Alexandria, Va.-based franchising company helping to establish the restaurants in this country.

www.timesunion.com
July 31, 2004

Pub franchise to debut in U.S.
Colonie – English-style Firkin & Fox to open at former Big House Grill on Wolf Road
Kevin Harlin

A Canadian chain of English-style pubs will open its first restaurant in this country on Wolf Road in Colonie, in the former home of the Big House Grill.

John Kvocka — the Queensbury resident who bought franchise rights with his son, John Kvocka Jr. — said he is renovating the former brew pub and hopes to open the new restaurant, Firkin & Fox, in October.

The Kvockas had planned to open their first U.S. restaurant in Saratoga Springs, but deals there fell through. But the elder Kvocka said he's still interested in the Spa City.

The franchise agreement with parent company Firkin Group of Pubs, based in Markham, Ontario, allows the Kvockas to open up to six of the pubs in a 20-county swath of upstate New York, western Vermont and Massachusetts.

"It will be an authentic English pub. There isn't anything like it around, and when people come, they will see that," the elder Kvocka said.

He said the Wolf Road location was a better spot than Saratoga Springs for the pub's initial foray into the region.

"The building is extremely well-situated," he said. "It has a lot more people on a more consistent basis through the course of a given year than maybe Saratoga, which is more seasonal."

The Firkin Group has about 40 pubs in Canada and about 30 in development in the United States.

After the Colonie site opens, the parent company has approval for its second U.S. pub and restaurant with a different franchisee in the Virginia Beach area, said Todd Baldwin, director of franchise development at Fransmart LLC, the Alexandria, Va.-based franchising company helping to establish the restaurants in this country.

Kvocka said his restaurant will serve standard pub fare and include a range of beers, including some local brews.

He said the company wanted the Firkin & Fox name for his pub as a nod to its first Canadian pub, the Fox & Firkin.

Kvocka said he is leasing the Big House space from Stephen Waite and his ownership partners. Waite, an Albany attorney and businessman, had operated the Big House Grill, but closed it about a year ago, ostensibly for renovations. Soon, though, a for-sale sign went up out front.

Waite still owns the Big House Brewing Co. in downtown Albany, though that restaurant and pub has stopped brewing its own beers. Its brewing equipment was moved to Brown's Brewing Co. properties in North Hoosick and Troy, which will supply Big House's beer.


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