Running a Business in Warren County: Meet Brian Bowden of Radici Kitchen & Bar

Brian Bowden, originally from Troy, New York, is an entrepreneur and owner of the popular Glens Falls eatery Radici Kitchen & Bar. Brian runs the business with his partner Carly Mankouski who hails from Newport, New York. After devoting many years to many well-known restaurants in the Capital Region, they decided it was time to realize their dream to own and operate their own restaurant.

Recently, we spoke with Brian to learn more about doing business in Warren County.

Why did you choose Glens Falls to start your business?

At first, we were a bit undecided on where we would begin but we knew we wanted to be a part of a community. We thought Troy, obviously, since I am from there and had worked in the region for many years. The downtown architecture is beautiful and there was a blossoming restaurant scene to add to some of the local institutions. Unfortunately, the commute to Troy would be pretty long and since we were already living north of Saratoga we decided to look a little closer to home and check out Glens Falls.

We viewed the space at the corner of Glen and Park Streets which I believe was formerly the home of LOOK TV. The fit-up to revive the space into a restaurant would have been WAY outside of our budget and a bank loan did not seem possible- that was 2015, so we continued our search.

On our time off, we would have dinner at Bistro Tallulah and loved the vibe of the restaurant and the downtown area. Fast forward to 2019. The space at 26 Ridge Street had sat empty with a ‘turnkey restaurant for lease’ sign for many months. We started a dialogue with Chuck Mineo (the current building owner) and began to pursue our dream! We just loved the exposed brick and open kitchen concept with the chef’s tasting counter. Carly and I have been doing tailored residential dining experiences for many years, and it was exactly what we had been looking for. It just seemed like the perfect fit.

We were excited to add our own unique skill set to an already amazing lineup of chefs and restaurateurs.

Tell us about your business and what makes it unique?

Radici Kitchen & Bar is a casual neighborhood concept with an open kitchen to watch the chefs practice their craft. We focus on seasonal menus that change frequently and offer a variety of small plates, handmade pasta, prime steaks, and unique seafood offerings. Truly something for everyone!

Our nightly features are a favorite of our regular guests and first-timers alike. Our modern craft cocktails and beer list are outdone only by the amazing wine list Carly has created. The 14-seat bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant and we offer $1 oysters on the half shell there daily. Once distancing mandates are loosened or ended, we will open our chef’s counter where guests can sit up close and watch the action.

What is unique about Warren County and the surrounding area?

We have found that there are a number of elements that make Warren Country unique — The combination of the Adirondacks with the beautiful surroundings, the tourism, the diversified activities in the region, and the detailed history of the area.

What do you love about Warren County?

One of the best parts about Warren County and the region is Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. So many opportunities for hiking, fishing, skiing, and golf. Also, easy access from I-87 makes it quick for my family and friends to drive up from Troy or Albany for a night in Glens Falls at Radici!

For the restaurant, we also have found some great opportunities to chat with local farms both here and in bordering counties.

Carly and I really believe the best thing we’ve found here in Warren County is the support of the community. People from all walks of life come to Radici and we make them feel comfortable and welcome! We have forged so many friendships and loyal guests. We couldn’t be more grateful!

What would you say to an entrepreneur thinking about relocating their business or starting their business in Warren County?

I would say there are great opportunities in this area. The residents are incredibly supportive of locally owned businesses and the area has amazing potential for growth. Carly and I are fortunate to be here. We actually had planned to open another concept nearby… as if 2020 wasn’t crazy enough! There is pride in ownership in Glens Falls, so many of the businesses are small and run by hard-working people, like ourselves. It feels like the growth in Glens Falls is very organic and we are happy to be a part of it, and we can’t wait to see what happens in the future, for the City and for ourselves.

Anything else you would like people to know?

Our doors are always open!