Cornell’s in Schenectady Ready to Reopen


Cornell’s in Schenectady Ready to Reopen


Cornell’s closed at the beginning of the pandemic and since then, we’ve been waiting to hear about the future of 39 N. Jay Street.

Back in March 2020, (feels so long ago, right?) many restaurants were getting around the closures by offering takeout-only and closing the dining rooms. Cornell’s in Schenectady’s Little Italy couldn’t make it work.

After sitting closed for about a year, we found out what was going to happen to the space. Maria Perreca Papa and a silent partner decided that they would purchase the space. Papa’s name should be familiar as co-owner of Perreca’s Bakery and More Perreca’s next door. The Perreca family has owned the bakery since 1913.

According to the Times Union, Papa has mentioned that she has rehired much of Cornell’s staff as well as Scott Carlton as chef, who used to be at Tala American Bistro. The only thing we’re waiting on now? A liquor license from the State Liquor Authority.

Fans of Cornell’s will be happy to know that Papa not only purchased the space but their recipes so you can expect some of your favorites to be back. As a Schenectadian, I’m excited to see two of my hometown staples merging to continue to delicious Italian food that we’re known so well for. I can’t wait to see the announcement that they’ve finally opened!

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3 thoughts on “Cornell’s in Schenectady Ready to Reopen”

  • I learned about Cornells from an episode of 30 Minute Meals in 2002. She talked about a place in Schenectady that made a dish called “Chicken in the oven” that is roasted chicken with cherry peppers and potatoes that takes 45 minutes to make (didn’t name the restaurant), and the quest was on to find the place. A bunch of friends and I went, and it was incredible.
    That dish better be on the menu when it opens!

    • Oh my gosh, that sounds delicious. I’ll keep my fingers crossed with you!

  • Our favorite restaurant in the 60’s and 70’s. Best wishes to their reopening.

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