At Teta Marie’s, Brenda Hage’s mother-in-law Marie's fingerprints are on everything, including the restaurant’s name.

“She is well into her 80s and she is the woman who gets up every morning, breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family,” Hage said. “We wanted to do the restaurant while she was here but because she had to go back home we decided to do the restaurant in honor of her.”

What You Need To Know

  • Earlier this week Lebanese restaurant Teta Marie's opened on Ontario Street in Cohoes

  • A few days earlier, the farm-to-table grocery store The Local opened its doors on Remsen Street

  • City economic development leaders say more new businesses are expected to open in the weeks ahead

Brenda and her husband Joe learned most of the Lebanese recipes they serve while Marie was visiting from overseas a few years ago. “She is old-fashioned,” Hage said. “She cooks everything from scratch, it’s amazing. She cooks with her heart so it is just pure.”

Located on Ontario Street, Teta Marie’s first full day of business was Tuesday. While opening a restaurant is never easy, Hage says starting during a pandemic made it especially challenging. “It has been extremely hard,” Hage said. “We’ve had delays of everything because not everybody is functioning at the normal level.”

A short drive away on Remsen Street, The Local is also new in town.

“Times are definitely tough and we did hesitate and went back and forth on whether we should wait to open,” owner Kelsey Knutsen said. Her farm-to-table grocery store opened just last week.

“People are really happy to have a place they’re able to walk to for their groceries and to be able to know where their food is coming from and have it fresh and local and healthy,” Knutsen said.

City leaders say at least two more businesses are expected to open in the coming weeks. Despite the unique hurdles faced by opening during a pandemic, both Knutsen and Hage say their first days in business have given them no regrets.

“To see they’re still they’re still opening up new businesses and they’re flourishing during this global pandemic really speaks volumes to the amount of support the city has for its people,” said Knutsen, who also owns Cafe Monocle in the city.

“It makes us feel really good,” Hage said. ”All of the customers were great and they had a lot of nice feedback for us and I am hoping that everybody will be returning customers.”