New restaurant, familiar face in Warren

The former Cheese Plate is being taken over by Wooden Midshipman owner Katie Dickson and her husband, Cafe Nuovo chef Brian O'Donnell. The former Cheese Plate is being taken over by Wooden Midshipman owner Katie Dickson and her husband, Cafe Nuovo chef Brian O'Donnell.
The former Cheese Plate is being taken over by Wooden Midshipman owner Katie Dickson and her husband, Cafe Nuovo chef Brian O'Donnell.

The former Cheese Plate is being taken over by Wooden Midshipman owner Katie Dickson and her husband, Cafe Nuovo chef Brian O’Donnell.

Katie Dickson seems to be everywhere in Warren, from her Wooden Midshipman on Water Street, to Discover Warren to pretty much every festival or party thrown in town. Soon, she and her husband will be spending time at their new restaurant at the corner of Water and State streets.

That’s the former location of the Cheese Plate, but last week Ms. Dickson and husband Brian O’Donnell closed on a deal to purchase the business and reopen the location as Bywater. The restaurant is named after the famous New Orleans neighborhood and should be open some time around Labor Day, Ms. Dickson says.

In her years in town Ms. Dickson has been a champion of all things local, and that philosophy will continue at Bywater.

“We’re thinking coastal New England, really really fresh, really seasonal foods,” she said. She and Mr. O’Donnell, a chef at Cafe Nuovo in Providence, plan to open for dinner first, but hope to also expand to lunch at some point.

One of the hallmarks of the Wooden Midshipman has been its wide offerings of local products. That will continue at Bywater, which will be a collaboration with many local vendors. Furniture will be made by O&G Studios in the Cutler Mill. Some of the restaurant’s leather goods will be made by Sweet Trade. And food will be locally sourced.

Ms. Dickson said the Wooden Midshipman will stay open. And though many restaurants have opened in Warren over the past few years, she believes there is definitely room for growth.

“I think it shows that Warren is healthy,” she said. “”From an outside perspective, people think of (Warren) as a destination. We definitely haven’t reached that critical mass yet.”

Plans for the summer? Expand the restaurant’s small kitchen, transform the location and get ready for the opening. She and Mr. O’Donnell have already secured the town permissions they need to serve food and drink.

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