schenectady-merchant-mashup.jpgFree food tastings, shopping specials & entertainment in Downtown Schenectady, April 20, 4-8pm Schenectady, N.Y. - What do you get when downtown Schenectady restaurants set up inside downtown retailers for a night of shopping, food and fun? A Downtown Schenectady Merchant Mash Up! On Friday evening, April 20 from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) invites visitors to stroll around downtown Schenectady from store to store to sample delicious FREE cuisine, shop for unique treasures and enjoy music and other in-store activities. The DSIC's first Merchant Mash Up in August 2011 attracted more than 2,000 visitors. Says Jim Salengo, DSIC Executive Director, "Getting people in the front door is a crucial first step in building loyal customers for downtown Schenectady businesses. Our first event succeeded well beyond our expectations, so it was an easy decision to bring the Mash Up back. This is definitely a fun and effective way to showcase our wealth of dining, shopping and services to a wide array of visitors." Last August, Chef Kevin Brown, owner of Café NOLA on Union Street, paired up with From Here to Antiquity, an antique shop on State Street. Says Chef Brown, "I was dishing out gumbo so fast that I had to run back to my restaurant to fill up at least five times. People ate, people was a great night for downtown. I even had customers come to my restaurant that night who had tasted a sample during the Mash Up. I couldn't wish for better results than that!" Merchant Mash Up pairings include*: Moon & River Café @ Orenda Yoga & Healing Arts (   - 609 Union Street *          Basmati Rice Pilaf *          Samples of a special blend of iced tea *          Moon & River Acoustic Open Mic 4-7pm - all welcome; Drum circle 7-8pm *          At Orenda: Mini Tarot Card Readings by Sandy 4-8pm; Reiki Demos by Christine 4-7pm; Chair Massage with Gina  4-7pm; Belly Dance Performance at 7:30pm accompanied by Kate Ashworth, Master Drummer and Drum Circle Facilitator Cafe NOLA (  @ The Open Door Bookstore (  - 128 Jay Street *          Crawfish Jambalaya (Tender crawfish tail meat and andouille sausage blended with fresh herbs, spices and rice) *          Free book with purchase at The Open Door Tara Kitchen (  @ New York Folklore Society ( - 129 Jay Street *          Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip *          Grilled Ground Chicken Kebab with Pomegranate Seeds *          Live Indian classical sitar music with Veena and Devesh Chandra Taj Mahal Restaurant ( @ Zaria & Bella's ( - 158 Jay Street *          Chicken Tandoori (Chicken marinated in a variety of Indian spices) *          Masala Vada (Vegetarian crispy snack made of lentils/spinach and spices) *          15% off Jim Shore Collection pieces at Zaria & Bella's - In store only *          Free henna temporary tattoos at Taj Mahal - 118-120 Jay Street The Alto Grille ( @ Bliss Gifts and Home Decor ( - 160 Jay Street *          Delectable smoothie selections *          Shop Bliss' unique selection of gifts and antiques Cornell's Restaurant ( @ Patricia's Room (  - 162 Jay Street *          Calamari Marinara *          Utica Greens *          Chicken Cacciatore (Sauteed boneless breast of chicken with green peppers, mushrooms and sweet white onions in a light marinara sauce with a touch of sherry) & Italian Bread *          15% off all items over $20 at Patricia's Room Katie O'Byrne's ( @ Lennon's Irish Shop ( - 164 Jay Street *          Guinness Irish Stew (Tender chunks of beef with carrots, onion, celery and potatoes simmered in a rich Guinness gravy) & Irish Soda Bread *          Live Band outside of Lennon's from 5:00-7:00pm: Running the River - A unique blend of classic country, rock, Irish, blues and fiddle tunes Manhattan Exchange @ Downtown Designs ( - 177 Jay Street *          American Pub Fare *          Nostalgia...with a twist! Gifts, home decor, hand bags, ladies' accessories, gift baskets & floral design Bastardo's Bistro ( @ From Here to Antiquity - 439 State Street *          Entrée with layers of chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan and roasted peppers *          Penne pasta with Bastardo's vegetarian marinara sauce *          20% discount on 14K gold, vintage linens & wall art at From Here to Antiquity Apostrophe Café ( @ Anthology Studio ( - 469 State Street

  • Homemade brownies
  • Free coffee samples

*          15%  off carry-out bouquets from Anthology during Mash Up Pinhead Susan's ( @ The Katbird Shop ( - 425 Liberty Street *          Serving Irish Stew *          Shop The Katbird's selection of antiques and fine American art & crafts *As of 4/16/2012 - Details subject to change; visit here for updates Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite Mash Up team by submitting a ballot at any of the participating locations; the winners will be dubbed the Merchant Mash Up Masters! Everyone who submits a ballot will be entered to win a Downtown Schenectady Mega Merchant Mash Up prize package. A map of participating locations will be available for download at several days prior to the event. Printed maps/guides will be available at participating businesses, outside event tables and Robb Alley at Proctors on the night of the event.

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The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Schenectady. Our mission is to promote Downtown Schenectady as a premier location for commerce, recreation and living by enhancing, facilitating and supporting economic and cultural growth. Contact: Jim Salengo, Executive Director, Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation 518-377-9430