39 Problems, bar and restaurant in Albion, reopens on Main Street

Photos by Tom Rivers: 39 Problems reopened today at 11 a.m. under a new owner. Pictured from left include Melissa Stornelli, Madison Flor, Kent Bane, Keith Sidari, Dan Freidly and owner Randy Ruhlman.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2022 at 4:34 pm

ALBION – 39 Problems is back on Main Street in Albion.

Randy Ruhlman, owner of the Fitzgibbons Public House, has reopened the Albion business after it closed on July 6, 2020.

Previous owners, Adam and Tina Johnson, closed the business after Covid restrictions proved to be the final problem that was too much to withstand. The Johnsons named the business 39 Problems because it was very challenging to rehabilitate a historic building and launch the restaurant and bar.

Ruhlman bought the business in November 2020. He retired as facilities manager for Bausch & Lomb in Rochester on Aug. 26.

He did that job while running Fitzgibbons and getting the Albion business ready.

Today is the soft opening. Ruhlman said the restaurant is starting with a smaller menu but will add more selections in early 2023. He also expects to have live music and other events in the new year.

He sees 39 Problems and Fitzgibbons as sites that add energy to the downtowns, offering quality food without being too fancy.

“We are looking to promote more events in both villages,” Ruhlman said today. “There are a lot of good things in both villages but people tend to focus on the negatives.”

Melissa Stornelli and Kent Bane both worked at 39 Problems before it closed and are happy to be back.

Melissa Stornelli worked at 39 Problems before and is back on staff.

“I’m glad he bought it and is doing something with it,” Stornelli said about Ruhlman. “He has a lot of good ideas.”

Ruhlman also reached out to Kent Bane, the site’s previous chef, to come back and Bane was eager to join the new team at 39 Problems.

“It’s good for the community because this brings a lot of action on the street,” Bane said. “There hasn’t been anywhere to dine in and have a drink.”

Keith Sidari is one of the restaurant’s new employees. Sidari went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Providence 10 years ago and was working as a chef at a resort in Bershire County, Massachusetts.

Sidari, the son of Amy and David, welcomed the chance to come home and be near his family.

He said 39 Problems will be developing specials and a longer menu as it sees what is popular with customers.