ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hattie’s Restaurant, a popular fried chicken joint in Saratoga, is opening a location in Albany. The restaurant will open in the old Lombardo’s Restaurant space that’s been empty since 2018.

“People travel up there [to Saratoga] from Albany to experience that cuisine,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “I think it speaks to what the neighborhood wants, and I think it’s going to be a great addition and a great source of pride for the South End.”

Hattie’s works with Business for Good, a nonprofit organization that puts the money made from their businesses back into local charities.

“Hopefully this will provide a spark to begin sort of a resurgence of that neighborhood,” said Hattie’s co-owner Jasper Alexander.

Residents of the South End were disappointed in 2019 when they learned the McDonald’s on South Pearl St. and Madison Ave. was closing. They felt it represented a pattern of businesses leaving the area.

Albany County Legislator Sam Fein, whose district includes the South End, told NEWS10 Friday that things in the neighborhood are improving.

“I think it’s really important that we have a strong economy in the South End, and that we have thriving restaurants and businesses,” said Fein.

Hattie’s owners Jasper and Elizabeth Alexander say the bones of the Lombardo’s building are good, and though they’re redesigning, some famous elements will stay. They plan to keep the large sign that many have come to recognize, but say it may get “retooled a bit.”

Slowdowns in the manufacturing industry have made the timeline a bit fuzzy, but the Alexanders hope to open up Hattie’s in Albany next spring or summer.