Magical dining destination Wizard Burger opens in Downtown
A restaurant that serves exclusively vegan meals was welcomed to downtown Albany on November 19, 2021. Joining Wizard Burger Owners Alex Berta and Chris Carpentier and Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Georgette Steffens were City of Albany Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, Albany County Senior Policy Analyst Lucas Rogers, and Redburn Development Partners Principal Jeff Buell.
Wizard Burger’s name comes from Berta’s recent rewatching of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and what he calls Albany’s “wizardy” architecture, adding that it often feels like something is magical happening just beyond what can be seen. Inside the restaurant, that magic comes in the form of burgers and sides featuring names like Sorcerer Supreme, Magic-ano, Bilbo-Q, Cluckerella, and Mumbo Jumbo, for which Berta credits business partner Beth Mickalonis, calling her “the real creative genius.” Among the most popular items are The Orc Popper, which features an Impossible patty, cream cheese, onion rings, melba, and jalapenos, and The Raptor which features crispy chick’n, ranch, and lettuce. Their recently launched breakfast menu, currently available Wednesday-Friday 7:00-11:00 AM, includes items The Early Ogre, which features Just Egg, shitake mushroom “bacon”, greens, and sriracha aioli on an English muffin, and Second Breakfast, which features Just Egg, an Impossible patty, tater tots, American cheese, maple syrup, and jalapeno garlic crema on a potato bun.
While Berta and Carpentier set the goal to get as many people as possible to try vegan food, Berta notes there was some debate prior to opening of whether to operate a business that was 100 percent vegan. Originally, the plan was a basic burger place, but the duo’s tendency to think and stay outside of the box won, and they ended up with a larger menu than planned, and one he anticipates will continue to grow in the coming years. Plans also include extending their beverage options, which currently includes beer, hard cider, and wine, to include cocktails as well.
74 N Pearl Street 12207