Saratoga Winners Lost In Fire

A shuttered club in Colonie, N.Y., that hosted hundreds of rock shows in its heyday burned to the ground April 30 in a fire currently under investigation by local officials. The blaze at Saratoga Winners apparently began around 3 a.m., engulfing the unoccupied building in flames.

Authorities told the local Times Union investigators are working to determine whether the fire was of suspicious origin. The venue had been closed for the last few years and was without electricity.

The building, which reportedly housed a potato chip factory and dance hall during its lengthy history, was purchased by Stephen and Nickole Sutliff in 2007. The pair began renovations, announcing plans to reopen the venue in the fall of that year.

The Sutliffs even went so far as to install a new roof. However, the club that once hosted shows by artists including Melissa Etheridge, Joan Osborne, Counting Crows, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God never reopened.

Nickole Sutliff told the Times Union that numerous issues with the local building department finally led the pair to put the venue back on the market. It reportedly sold last month.

Ted Etoll, who booked shows during the venue’s earlier days, told the paper Winners had fallen into disrepair prior to the fire.

“The place was just sitting out in the middle of nowhere just rotting,” Etoll said. “The windows were all out of it, pigeons flying through the place. It was just sad.”