QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For More than 40 years, anyone with a reason to walk along Sweet Road in the town of Queensbury would get hit by a sweet, home-baked whiff coming from the bakery at the corner of Sweet and Route 9. Those appropriately decadent smells came from Gamble’s Bakery, a family-owned institution now set to close its doors after decades of business.
First reported by the Albany Business Review, Gamble’s is set to close up shop sometime in the coming weeks or months. NEWS10 was unable to get in contact with the Jarosz family, which owns and operates the bakery, on Thursday or Friday, but the Glens Falls Post-Star newspaper quotes an employee indicating that closure is an upcoming inevitability.
As one door closes, another is set to open. Malta-based development firm The Burke Companies has its eye on the property at 920 Route 9, and hopes to knock the existing building down to make room for a WellNow urgent care facility. Queensbury Town Supervisor John Strough mourns the potential loss of the old building, but sees an urgent care facility as an appropriate new neighbor for the other restaurants and stores that populate that stretch of Route 9.
“WellNow isn’t going to be a big traffic generator,” Strough said on Thursday. “I think a medical center there will be a moderate-to-low traffic generator, so it will be an okay fit.”
WellNow would be far from the only urgent care destination in the Glens Falls/south Queensbury area. The company made its debut in Glens Falls with a Broad Street location constructed across 2020 and 2021. Hudson Headwaters operates facilities across Glens Falls and Queensbury, and Saratoga Hospital operates its own facility in Queensbury, just slightly north of Gamble’s. Other neighbors around the bakery and urgent care-to-be include a tattoo parlor across Sweet Road, as well as a Walmart and a liquor store on the other side of Route 9.
The Burke Companies did not respond to a NEWS10 request for comment on the project.
Although not involved with Gamble’s Bakery, Supervisor Strough has a personal connection to the property. Before it was the home of breads and bear claws, 920 Route 9 was where he himself cut his teeth on a 1932 Model A as a teenager. In those days, the building was a garage owned by Strough’s grandfather, Varnham Wickham.
“When my grandfather bought (the property) in the 1950s, it was a remnant of a farm and a little motel,” Strough recalled. “It had cottages they would rent out. He bought it so he could get into the school bus business.”
And that’s just what Strough’s grandfather did. The building later became the home of V.W. Weeks and Sons, which worked on school bus bodies in the summer and other vehicles around the year.
In the 1960s, the introduction of the Adirondack Northway brought changes to town. During that period, the first strip mall was built in Queensbury – the Queenzbry Plaza, today home to a Staples, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Petco, among other chain and local businesses. At the same time, businesses that had once called downtown Glens Falls home were leaving for the busier Route 9 in Queensbury.
With all that traffic along the road, Wickham decided it was time to adapt. A new garage was built out back for auto body work, and the road-facing side was adapted into a storefront. It was home to a sporting goods store, then a Subaru dealership, before becoming Gamble’s. To Strough, it’s another one of the many changes he’s seen come to Queensbury across his lifetime.
“I remember being 14 with a chainsaw in my hands to cut down trees and help make what is now Weeks Road today,” Strough recalled. “It’s too bad that they’ve got to take down the old building, but it doesn’t hurt as much as taking down the old house where I grew up.”