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 Michael DeMasi, 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
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
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.
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!