Brianne Baggetta, owner of a direct-mail company and one half of the team behind the pub Dove + Deer in Albany’s Center Square neighborhood, is not known for taking shortcuts. Before COVID-19 was a household name, she used social media to showcase the design process behind renovations at Bongiorno’s, a neighborhood restaurant on the corner of Spring and Dove streets from 1978 until the spring of 2019.
From vintage lights and pink Historic Albany-sourced bathroom tiles to opinions on logo and seating decisions crowd-sourced online, the painstaking, 15-month effort underscores the point. Baggetta and investment partner Tim Dillon lost not one but two operations partners along the way, found themselves hella over budget as the 1840s historic building exposed more than just her charms, and opened amid a pandemic, but it’s a stunning makeover. And the resulting Rosanna’s Italian Kitchen — named after the matriarchal prior owner — keeps a small menu manageable, prices accessible and cocktails charming enough that it won’t be only Center Square pedestrians popping in for a drink.