Sissi Boutique opens on Phila

   A new woman’s clothing boutique, run by a young Saratoga Springs businesswoman, has opened its doors at 10 Phila Street downtown.

Alex Potter, 23, co-owns the store with her mother, Kitty, a Saratoga County native. Kitty Potter now lives near Springfield, Massachusetts, while Alex lives right over the store.

The boutique features trendy, modern garments by brands comprising Ark and Company, Entro, Gracia and Wow Couture, in such colors as vivid green and tangerine. Shoppers can find dressy and casual clothes ranging from eveningwear to artsy long-sleeved T-shirts. There are also dresses, skirts, tops and palazzo pants, as well as a couple of sweaters just in case a breath of winter air lingers. Sissi offers accessories as well: jewelry and purses. The co-owners have stocked something for every woman.

Alex said, “I’ve been a clotheshorse all my life, and so has my mom. We talked about opening a boutique for a while, and now the time, the place and the funding all came together.”

She added, “I feel I have a broad sense of style personally, and when I buy, I try to keep in mind women of different ages and style preferences.”

“Our slogan is: ‘Life’s too short to wear boring clothes,’” said Kitty Potter. “We want to stock nice, fashionable clothes. And no matter your income, you should be able to find original, fun, comfortable clothing.”

The mother and the daughter said they have a lot of options, but want to avoid vendors who are either overly expensive or who produce cheap clothing.

“I’ve seen $100 sweatpants for sale on Broadway,” Alex said. “What are they, magic sweatpants?”

The wares at Sissi all cost less than $100, with most items priced at $30 to $50.

She and Kitty have solid backgrounds for managing a boutique. Alex majored in business and accounting at Wooster College, and Kitty most recently worked as a project manager for nonprofits.

Alex has also spent much time working on and around Phila Street as a bar manager, bartender and cocktail waitress at Sperry’s Restaurant, and at Peabody’s Sports Bar and Grill. She seems to have been bartending since age 16, she said, laughing. She also did all Sissi’s interior design, which currently includes a window mannequin dressed in a gown of yellow paper butterflies, to call in springtime, Alex said.

Down the road, the co-owners would like to enlarge the store, and carry foundation garments, hats and cosmetics.

“Right now, we want to get the word out about our new boutique and build a loyal customer base,” Alex said. 



Hat sational partners with Gideon Putnam


Hat sational by DEI announces a partnership with the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa at 24 Gideon Putnam Road. Hat sational will have a permanent display in the lobby, showcasing and selling merchandise at the resort year ’round.

Periodic trunk shows will be featured during the course of the year, with show dates announced on the company website, www.Hatsational.com.

In addition to these venues, during the Saratoga Racing season, Hat sational will have a 500-square-foot store set up in the Gideon Putnam Resort Estate Room, directly off the lobby to the left.

Hat sational by DEI is very excited to be partnered with the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa. The milliner considers this a complement to its two other locations, 510 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs and Artist Row inside the Saratoga Race Course. 


Illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi shows her cute children’s book “Naked!” May 2


May 2 at 10:30 a.m., Northshire Bookstore Saratoga will host a reading and an interactive drawing demonstration for children with Debbie Ridpath Ohi, illustrator of “Naked!”

“Naked!” is a hilarious new book about the antics of an adorable little boy who just doesn’t want to get dressed, from comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi, the team that brought you “I’m Bored,” a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. The New York Times Book Review wrote that Ohi’s “smart cartoony artwork matches Black’s perfect comic timing.”

Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people. Her illustrations appear in the latest editions of Judy Blume’s novels. She is the author and illustrator of the forthcoming picture book “Where are My Books?” and the founder of Inkspot, one of the first online writing communities.

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com


Author Maggie Shipstead in conversation: “Astonish Me” May 3


May 3 at 7 p.m., Northshire Bookstore Saratoga will host a live interview and book signing with award-winning author Maggie Shipstead. Shipstead will be interviewed by Darlene Myers, the artistic director and choreographer of Northeast Ballet and Myers Dance Center.

Shipstead is the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel “Seating Arrangements,” winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Shipstead's new novel is a gorgeously written, compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.

“Astonish Me” is the irresistible story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star, the great Arslan Rusakov, defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background. She will never possess Arslan, and she will never be a prima ballerina. She will rise no higher than the corps, one dancer among many.

Combining a sweeping, operatic plot with subtly observed characters, Shipstead gives a novel of intensity and deft psychological nuance. Gripping, dramatic and brilliantly conjured, “Astonish Me” confirms Shipstead’s range and ability, and raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art. 

For more information on this or other events, call 682-4200 or 1-855-339-5990, or visit the Northshire Bookstore website at www.northshire.com.


Circus Café celebrates a decade of fun dining


May 1, Circus Café celebrates a decade on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. Tenth anniversary celebration specials include free cotton candy all day with any meal, drink specials at the bar and tables, gift certificate raffles and  tableside magic tricks with Alan Edstrom from 5 p.m. to 7 pm.

A special open mic night will feature host Nate Solomon’s CD release party.


Celebrate the Crown Grill’s first anniversary

Crown Grill Saratoga Springs NY 

Anniversary celebration specials include complimentary bourbon and martini samples from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 1, along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres at the bar.

Live music with Jeff Brisbin will be featured.

Other news: Lunch is currently served Friday through Sunday. Starting June 20, lunch will be served seven days a week. Try the new lunch menu.

Carmine Sprio of TV’s “Carmine’s Table” has joined the kitchen team in the Crown Grille.  He is working with chefs Kyle Hendrickson and Nick Fredenburg to add even more culinary flair to the menu, said a Crown Grill press release.