ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The War Room, a politics-themed tavern, is set to open at 42 Eagle Street in Albany. Owner Todd Shapiro, who owns a Manhattan-based public relations firm, will also be opening Todd’s Back Room Cigar Lounge next door at 40 Eagle Street.
“Albany is the home of politics,” said Shapiro. “It breathes politics.” That’s where he got the idea for the War Room. Shapiro wants to open “something Albany has never seen.”
It’ll almost be like walking into a museum, said Shapiro. Over 200 years of history will be displayed on the walls with memorabilia from almost every era. The walls include Malcolm X at the state Capitol, a bull moose head in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, and current New York Governor Kathy Hochul, said Shapiro. The tavern will also have a voting machine from 1939.
Shapiro said former Governors George Pataki and David Paterson have donated memorabilia to the tavern. The War Room is accepting and welcoming of all political parties, said Shapiro.
The War Room building has four stories. The first floor is the bar, the second floor is a fine dining room serving sushi and steak, the third floor is for entertainment and events, and the fourth floor can be used as housing, said Shapiro. Events are going to include legislative karaoke, political trivia nights, jazz nights, and singles nights for those in their 30s and 40s.
Next door, Todd’s Back Room will be a three-story cigar lounge. Shapiro said this will be the first one in downtown Albany and might be the largest cigar lounge in Upstate New York.
Shapiro said he bought both of the buildings to open these businesses. 42 Eagle Street is the former Public House 42 building, which closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shapiro is aiming to open both the tavern and cigar lounge around the same time in December. The War Room will be open every day until around midnight. He hopes to expand and franchise the War Room one day and have one in every capital city in the U.S.