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Albella Restaurant owners Mike and Dita Hajdaraj hosted a grand opening/ribbon cutting event on Wednesday, September 10, to showcase the latest addition to their eatery: a brand new, expansive wood-crafted bar, a refurbished dining area and more.
Mike Hajdaraj cooked all over the metropolitan area, but tired of the city life, he and his family made the move to Sullivan County in 2000 to, as he said, “Not just to pursue my dream of one day owning my own restaurant, but also because I wanted to raise my family here.”
In 2005, Mike and Dita realized that lifelong dream with the opening of their Albella Restaurant at 50 Jefferson Street in the Village of Monticello.
“We work hard to please our customers here at Albella,” said Mike. “A happy, satisfied customer is a customer for life and I think we’ve picked up a few of those over the years.”
“I did the bar area because I felt we needed it … it’s a place where people can come and unwind after work or anytime,” offered Hajdaraj. “Our customers and the community here in Monticello have been wonderful to us since we decided to open up here and it feels good to give something back to our customers and the community. Without them we truly wouldn’t be here, so it’s just really nice to see a turnout like this to see what we’ve been working on here the last few weeks.”
Besides the bar, the Hajdarajs have made many smaller, more subtle changes to the restaurant, like new chandeliers, softer lighting, new flooring and more; small changes sure to enhance an already pleasant dining experience.
Originally published in Sullivan County Business Edge: Fall 2014.