Great bay clam co. closes after more than 40 years

The Great Bay Clam Co., located at 2149 Doubleday Ave. Find fast food restaurants in Ballston Spa.

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y.>> A long time local seafood business has closed its doors after more than 40 years of serving fresh fish and Long Island clams.

Long Island native Harold Hotmer started The Great Bay Clam Co. Best food restaurants near me in 1973 on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs.

Hotmer began his career in the seafood industry just a few years earlier, when he and his friend, a clam digger from Long Island, would drive upstate on the weekends selling clams to many bars and restaurants.

“In those days, every bar in the area used to sell clams,” Hotmer said.


New fast food restaurants “You could get truckloads of them and everybody wanted these clams up here.”

The pair would go around Saratoga Springs, Lake George and even into Vermont, peddling their product. Chain food restaurants At the time, they were selling clams for about $28 per bushel. Fast food restaurants in the area Currently the average price is $140 for a bushel.

After seeing some success with this mobile business, the guys opened a fish market in Fort Edward, then expanded into Saratoga Springs.

When the partnership ended, Hotmer took over the Spa City location as The Great Bay Clam Co. Nearby food restaurants His fish market was situated right on Broadway in the downtown district, where the Saratoga Springs City Center stands today.

In the beginning, all of Hotmer’s seafood came from Long Island and the famous Fulton Fish Market in New York City.

“Then I evolved from that and wound up getting everything out of the Boston area,” he said, but he still always got the clams from Long Island, because that region had the best price and quality. Food restaurants nearby “They’re still the best clams you can get.”

From the Broadway market, Hotmer would sell fish fry sandwiches, but the dining side of the business really started later.

As an urban renewal initiative displaced the business, Hotmer moved shop to West Avenue, near the Jamesway department store. Fast food restaurants in this area At this location, The Great Bay Clam Co. Fast food chain restaurants also became a restaurant when Hotmer expanded the business into an adjacent former pizzeria.

“We were not an upscale restaurant, but we were very popular. Open food restaurants near me You had to stand in line to get in the place,” Hotmer said, mentioning that movie star Fred Astaire once stopped by, but didn’t have the patience to wait in line for a table.

It was at this location where Hotmer’s wife Sharon came into The Great Bay Clam Co.

“Between the two of us, we kind of built up the business,” Hotmer said. Fast food restaurants open “My wife worked the front of the house and I was the cook in the back of the house. Food restaurants near my location We were a good team.”

“We served just plain old seafood. Food restaurants around me None of this fancy stuff that they have in upscale restaurants,” Hotmer said. Most popular fast food restaurants “We never tried to be snooty or anything like that. Food chain restaurants We just served good old New England-style seafood. Junk food restaurants Always fresh, always fresh.”

Just months before a massive fire set Jamesway ablaze in April of 1989, The Great Bay Clam Co. Restaurants and food moved to Ballston Spa, a decision Hotmer made while seeking a more affordable space than those available in the Spa City.

“That was a great move,” Hotmer recalled, noting that the 2149 Doubleday Ave. Food near me restaurants location was a freestanding building with its own parking lot. Fast food and restaurants “It kind of opened up a whole new world to us, being out there.”

“We completely remodeled the place, my wife and myself. Restaurants american food We did most of the work in it,” Hotmer continued. American food restaurants “It was a real labor of love.”

In this new location, the business evolved into solely operating as a restaurant, without a fish market.

“We had planned on putting one in and by the time we got everything done there was no room for it. Worst fast food restaurants So then we just went to a straight restaurant,” Hotmer explained. Fast food restaurants usa “At the end we served prime ribs and steaks. Restaurants and fast food We had everything, but we were still primarily a seafood restaurant.”

This house-turned-restaurant was the The Great Bay Clam Co.’s home until it closed about a month ago.

In 2005, Hotmer and his wife Sharon sold the business to a Long Island couple, who ran the restaurant as Great Bay Seafood Co. Most fast food restaurants for more than a decade.

Seeing the business now closed, Hotmer said, is “a little sad.”

However, Hotmer has fond memories of owning and operating The Great Bay Clam Co., as do many of his longtime patrons.

The Hotmers are grateful to their customers from over the years. Fast food restaurants in america “We did have a great following from Saratoga and Ballston Spa,” Harold said. Top fast food restaurants 2016 “ We made a lot of friends.”

Though he’s finished with the seafood business, Hotmer isn’t retired. Fast food restaurants in my area He still works in the mezzanine at the harness racing track and sees a lot of his former guests.

“Many times people come up to the window and say ‘Boy, we miss your fish,’” Hotmer said.

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