New Restaurateur at Apropos Wants to Leave NXIVM Legacy Behind


Jaclyn Cangro for Spectrum News wrote about the news that the new proprietor of the building formerly known as Apropos, the former social club for NXIVM, will be looking to put the building’s NXIVM past behind it.

The article is Halfmoon restaurant looks to escape from NXIVM’s shadow

From the article: “While [NXIVM] has dismantled, there are still some signs of the secretive organization in the Capital Region, including its former Colonie headquarters.

“In Halfmoon, there’s the Route 9 property that was once home to Apropos. The building was forfeited by Bronfman in 2019. Today, it’s undergoing a complete renovation and will soon be home to a new restaurant, Emma Jayne’s.

“Local restaurateur and executive chef Michael Fortin, who owns Joe’s Tavern and Max410, is expanding his footprint in what he calls an ideal location.

“’The past is the past and that has nothing to do with me,’ Fortin said. ‘This is a prime piece of real estate, and I think we can do really well here and let sleeping dogs lie..’

“Fortin plans to close Joe’s in order to focus more heavily on Emma Jayne’s, which is named after his young daughter.”

According to  , the Albany reporter for BizJournals Apropos was sold for $650,000 in October 2019, to MRK Real Property LLC, owned by Michael R. Klimkewicz, he owner of nearby Halfmoon Wine & Liquor.

Clare Bronfman signed the deed,

Fortin is leasing the 6,000-square-foot building.  The building was formerly Romano’s Restaurant before Nxivm bought the property in 2006 for $650,000, according to a Times Union story.

An attorney representing Nxivm told the town planning board at the time the uses would include a café and prep kitchen, but there would be no conference rooms or training.

When  the property was offered for lease, these photos adorned the MRK website,

It was described as


Building Information

High traffic retail location that
was home to a popular restaurant
for decades. 4,010 SF retail
space with 1,900 +/- SF of
basement storage with walkout
access for deliveries. Most major
commercial kitchen equipment
and refigeration are in place.
Exhaust hood and ansul system
in place. Highly visible corner
with close to 20,000 vehicles
per day traffic count. Potential
to add exterior seating. Land
lease potential at $70,000 per
year NNN. LBO to be present at


Apropos sits on US 9 in a little town called Halfmoon, not far from Albany.


The little red balloon is where you can find the locale of the former Apropos.

As readers know, Apropos was a place for a gathering of Nxians, located near where Keith Raniere and many of NXIVM’s High Rank lived.

It was much closer to the leaders’ residences than their headquarters in Colonie, where the classes were officially taught.

Spectrum reports that “Construction is currently underway, with plans to include additional seating on a new deck.”

“We want to be a place where you can come on a regular Tuesday night dinner with the family, or a place that you come to celebrate one of your biggest achievements and most special occasions in life,” Fortin told Spectrum.

The restaurant is hiring. Fortin hopes to open Jan. 20, 2022.

Cult Following

Now, as a man with some considerable experience with restaurants, I think Fortin is making a mistake. I think he should try to develop for his new restaurant a cult following.  Memorabilia of NXIVM, sashes, Raniere’s sandals, stills from HBO’s The Vow, Starz’ Seduced, Investigation Discovery’s the Lost Women of NXIVM, would make the place a true attraction.

Maybe ex-NXIVM members could come and sign autographs. Branding irons, mock collateral, the dungeon, exhibits from the case, and so much more… And above all, above the door, a most welcoming motto: Viva Executive Success!




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Frank, I enjoy your reporting, but NXVIM is dead. Soon enough it will be a bad memory. I understand that you need another scoop, but it is time to let this bunch of cultists go.

  • Frank, You’ve buried the lead…Ya re-“brand” (get it?) as a soul food joint.

    DOS hog maws. Alonzo’s Garbanzos (off-menu/only for the elite of the elite because of the culture clash and supply-chain issues)

    Cline’s Cornbread. Black-eyed peas w/ Keith’s Hair grease.

  • Since NXIVM was packed with vegans and vegetarians might I suggest an “all you can eat” meat restaurant?

    Chicken, turkey, pork and beef would be great dishes for the new NXIVM restaurant in Halfmoon, New York.

    Beef Brisket would also be tasty.

    Barbecue would also hit the spot.

    • Pasta Raniere would be boxed macaroni and cheese (you know – the glow in the dark orange powder kind) with some garlic powder added in. It was a favorite. Of course, that was long before the “garlic allergy” came to light (would that be a blue light?).

  • Frank: last paragraph – simply brilliant.

    You’re definitely onto something.

    How about The E-S-P-Zah?

    Or the Branded Prime Rib, served rare.

    Baked Volleyball Ice-cream.

    Servings would be super thin, and max. 300 calories.

    • Nah – 300 cal servings are only on the women’s menu. All men get a side order of pizza with hot sauce with their meal. Tossed Word Salad is the specialty of the house (but beware the creamy dressing – looks sketchy to me). And all must say grace to the Vanguard Master before eating.

  • Oh Frank! This is such a great idea!!! The new place could be like Graceland or Dollywood!

    Everyone could get their brainwaves monitored while watching graphic scenes of violent death! And get their very own brand representing the 4 elements! And for the most badass visitors, you could even get a photo just like splash mountain, where it’s just your genitals and smiling face in a fancy card!

    There would be very little food available and all under 500 calories! And?!!!! This could all be paid for with scrip!!!

    Visitors could just pay cash at the door for the privilege of potentially receiving various items or services. These things could be like a deed to your house that you could exchange for getting branded. Or? A ticket that represents permission from your master that says you are allowed to eat in exchange for some food.

    Not sure what to name it, though …

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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