There is no shortage of longtime Saratogians—especially former students from a certain Catholic school—who have fond memories of Katz’s Newsroom, a hot dog, candy and newspaper shop that operated at 267 Broadway in the middle of the 20th century, and its proprietor, Max Katz. “He always gave me free candy when we would stop by,” one local Facebook user posted in the I Love Saratoga Facebook group. “Mr. Katz was wonderful to all of us at St. Pete’s!!” another wrote of St. Peter’s Academy, the school that’s now Saratoga Central Catholic.
“Most of us from St. Pete’s were in there on our breaks,” former Saratogian Robert “Razz” Rosse says. “Everybody loved Mr. Katz. When he would get tired and need to sit down he would tell us to work the register. I think every student who ever went in there worked behind the counter at one time or another.”
In 1963, by which point Katz had already operated the store for two-plus decades, he was so popular amongst St. Peter’s students that a group of them pooled their money—15 cents each—to buy the beloved shop owner a giant birthday cake. “I was so surprised it almost brought tears to my eyes,” Katz told The Saratogian of the gift. “When children like you, it means a whole lot—a lot more than money.”
Shortly after that heartwarming gesture, Katz’s Newsroom closed for good, a “victim of urban renewal,” per a different Saratogian article. But a half-century later, the shop lives on in the memories of all those who stopped in for a piece of five-cent candy or a magazine. “I can hear Mr. Katz now,” Rosse says. “‘This is not a library—buy the paper or put it back!’”