Play Troy Takeout Bingo to Support Local Restaurants During the COVID-19 Crisis

Organized by Franklin Alley Social Club, the food-focused game unites the Rensselaer County community.

Anyone dusting off the board games during quarantine?

Troy Takeout Bingo might not be Settlers of Catan, but, for foodies of the Hudson Valley, it’s the only way to do game night right.

The concept for the Rensselaer County game came to Franklin Alley Social Club co-owner Frank Sicari via a friend in Orlando, Florida. She heard about a few businesses doing a similar program, so she shared it with Sicari and his wife, Heidi, who thought it was a perfect fit for Troy. In no time at all, they made the calls, sent the emails, and pieced together their very own community-wide bingo.

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Photo by Franklin Alley Social Club

Launched on March 25, Troy Takeout Bingo is a collaborative endeavor between Troy restaurateurs and food-loving locals. To participate, all Hudson Valleyites need to do is place an order for takeout at one of the 24 featured restaurants. During their order, callers can request a bingo card – there are multiple card arrangements and all are available on the Facebook event page ­­­– and a bingo piece.

With each order and each chip, players can fill their cards until they achieve a complete diagonal, horizontal, or vertical line. From there, all they need to do is snap a photo and post it on the Facebook page to be entered into the prize raffle. So much easier than Monopoly, right?

“We have a bunch of prizes to give away,” Sicari notes, adding that restaurants have donated everything from hats and t-shirts to gift cards. Speaking of those eateries, they run the gamut from Sicari’s Franklin Alley Social Club, Bard & Baker, and The Ruck to Berben and Wolff’s, Nighthawks, and DeFazio’s Pizzeria. And that’s just the start of it (find the full list here). While the current game runs until April 11, Sicari explains that, because there were more interested restaurants than he could fit into this round, he’s already planning a follow-up game with a new assortment of dining spots.

“It’s been really great,” he says. “We put [the event] out there and a bunch of people started liking it and sharing it.”

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Admittedly, the game is something of a support group for the restaurant owners of Rensselaer County, who, like food industry professionals across the country, are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Troy has a tight-knit community,” Sicari observes. “Everyone’s in the same boat. We’re hurting quite a bit but trying to ride out the storm as much as possible. You make do with what you can.”

Now down to four team members at Franklin Alley Social Club (himself, his wife, and two additional staffers), he’s taking things one day at a time and doing all he is able to foster a support network in the Hudson Valley.

“We’re going to try our best,” he says.

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