ALBANY — When Kip Finck took over Pauly’s Hotel his first order of business was to renovate the storied venue.
The Central Avenue pub has been an Albany institution dating back to when the Pauly family opened it in 1862.
Between then and now, it once served as a speakeasy. From within the family was a decorated U.S. Air Force pilot and former commander of NATO Air Forces, Gen. John Pauly. Purveyors of music, however, respect its stage as a welcoming venue for blues, rock, punk and more. It even welcomed a Burlington jam band with a propensity to spell “fish” incorrectly back in 1989.
Pauly’s is known for its eclectic bill of musical acts. Over the years, it established itself as the home for nearly every genre, a distinction of which Finck was well aware from his previous tenure as the owner of Northern Lights.
His team took months to revamp the room in order to reintroduce it to the local music scene. One of the biggest improvements made was a state-of-the-art sound system installed by Stan Denis of Denis Entertainment.
Behind the bar, high class beverages line the shelf. It’s a wonder how Finck kept the joint open since first purchasing it in 2019. The St. Patrick’s Day parade, one of the biggest draws in any given year, has been canceled twice since then. Nonetheless, he’s brought the room back to life, allowing it to serve music-loving crowds, fundraisers and benefits.
“I want to bring this venue back to an old place,” Finck told The Spot 518 in April. “I want to showcase its nostalgia, its intimacy. I’ve brought in stuff from Northern Lights and my other venues, and I want to bring forth the atmosphere that many love about Pauly’s.”