The Getaway opened in Clifton Park Center on Oct. 1, and it isn’t your typical sports bar. Ice cream replaces alcohol at the bar and the target group isn’t rowdy college students looking for a party, but youth, young adults and families.
It was started by longtime Clifton Park residents Tom and Gail Alverson as a place where local kids could hang out after school and on the weekends without the influence of alcohol and the atmosphere that it creates.
It just kind of hit us one day, said Tom Alverson. `I have four kids that graduated from high school and a son in school now, and there was really nowhere that they could go to hang out with friends.`
Alverson said he hasn’t heard of another restaurant trying out this concept and that he just thought it was important for the local youth to have a place they could feel was their own. Providing an atmosphere void of alcohol is his way of giving them an appropriate venue to have fun in.
`We’re really trying to keep [kids] in control here. It’s their place after school so we have three big-screen TVs, video games they can play, a jukebox they can listen to and an after-school special from 3 to 5 p.m. that features $1.50 hotdogs, hamburgers and soft drinks,` said Alverson. `We want [The Getaway] to be a place where kids can get a full meal, drink and play arcade games for under $10.`
The Getaway has already become a popular hangout for kids. Alverson said the restaurant saw a huge turnout for the World Series and that it gets busier by the day.
`The school really isn’t that far away, so a lot of kids have been walking over and some of the high-schoolers have their own cars,` said Alverson, who’s so optimistic about business that he’s opening on Thanksgiving to broadcast the Giants game not being aired on basic cable.
While the 15-flavor ice cream bar, smoothies and fair foods like pretzels and cotton candy are a hit, a few menu items have started to emerge as favorites`chicken tenders, the Reuben and Philly cheese steaks. But it’s the newest offerings ` fried Oreos and the fried Oreo sundae ` that have stolen the show.
`The fried Oreos have been blowing out the door,` said Alverson. `I had one kid come in and order the fried Oreo sundae three nights in a row.`
Sean Obernesser, a senior at Shenendehowa High School, has worked at The Getaway since its opening day. He said he thinks it’s more than just good food and cheap prices that keeps business flowing.
`It’s an enjoyable atmosphere, and the kids always look like they’re having fun. I think it’s a good idea because it’s nice to always have somewhere to go to just hang out,` said Obernesser. `I actually come here when I’m not working to eat with friends.`
Alverson said it’s also important to cater to families and that affordable prices and an atmosphere that promotes fun during and after dinner is how he’s doing it.
`When families come in for dinner, the kids don’t get bored when they’re done eating because they can play some video games, watch sports or listen to music,` said Alverson.
`We try to keep prices reasonable and people are actually amazed at them. We’re sort of the Wal-Mart of the restaurant business because we understand that families can’t afford to go out to eat that often.`
Families can bond over more than just dinner. The Getaway offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet during the weekend and will start serving a full breakfast next week. It’s open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.