What’s there to do to in Albany when the sun goes down? You can always stay at home and finish your homework, but do you really want to spend your evening doing stoichiometry? “LateNight” explores the aspects of Albany nightlife that don’t involve a textbook. This time, we take a look at Happy Donuts, Albany’s only 24/7 donut shop.
It’s 2:00 a.m. You’re hunched over your computer, hashing out that essay on “The Great Gatsby” that you should have started two weeks ago. You still haven’t done your chem homework, and you’ve barely studied for the math test second period. It’s the perfect time to grab a bite to eat.
Happy Donuts, located in the Town Centre shopping center on San Pablo Ave., is the only establishment in Albany that can satisfy donut cravings 24/7. Not surprisingly, this makes it a hotspot of Albany nightlife.
It is important to note though, that the “Town Centre” is not actually in the center of town.
I entered around 3:30 a.m., and was promptly greeted with a sideways glance from an employee preoccupied with his phone. The service was about as good as service can get at 3:30 a.m.
The primary attraction of Happy Donuts, is of course, the coffee. They also serve donuts. With this in mind, I ordered a small cup of coffee and a chocolate glazed donut.
The donuts at Happy Donuts come in several varieties. Some of them have chocolate. Some of them have sprinkles. Some them are filled with jelly. Some of them are filled with custard. Some of them have a hole in the middle so you can wear them like delicious oversized rings. Most importantly, all of them are fried and covered in sugar.
The chocolate glazed donut that I ate was certainly chocolatey, and was most definitely glazed. I can’t say I was disappointed. Of course, a good donut isn’t complete without a good cup of coffee. There are two requirements for a good cup of coffee:
1. It is hot.
2. It has caffeine.
The coffee at Happy Donuts meets both these requirements. Except for the decaf. The decaf is awful.
The atmosphere is charming, in a 24/7 donut shop fashion. A machine off to the side sells lottery scratchers. A television in the corner played one of the hundred Fast and the Furious films while I sipped my coffee. I mentally replaced all of Vin Diesel’s lines with “I am Groot,” which vastly improved the film.
As I finished my coffee and donut, Happy Donuts began to fill up with customers. The rush hour, of course, is at 4:00 a.m.
I’ve always wondered what kinds of people would get donuts in Albany this late at night. It turns out that they’re exactly the same kinds of people who get donuts in Albany at any other time of day, only more tired. It being so late, I was initially worried for my safety. I soon realized that with my camera and tripod, I was probably the most intimidating person there. Watch out, Albany donut lovers. I may photograph you next.