A noted Warren chef may soon have a new home in town: Child Street.
Mr. Simone, who earned a regional reputation for his acclaimedSunnyside daytime dining restaurant on Water Street, is nearly ready to close on the building that formerly housed Not Your Average Joe’s at 275 Child St. If the deal goes through, Mr. Simone plans to open a large new restaurant capable of seating as many as 80.
The sale is tied to the transfer of a liquor license, and Mr. Simone was expected to appear before the Warren Town Council to request the transfer Tuesday night. If it goes through, he hopes to close on the property later this month and hopefully have the restaurant ready to open by late in the year.
“We are getting incredibly excited,” Mr. Simone said.
There are big changes planned.
Mr. Simone is working with a kitchen designer, architect and construction manager to come up with a new kitchen and overall layout for the restaurant property. He also hopes to build a small patio on the eastern side of the building. Though the plan is to provide seating for up to 80 diners, he said part of the building can be isolated to allow for private parties and events of up to 30 to 40 people.
“We have a long list of things we want to do,” he said Monday.
While Mr. Simone’s highly successful Water Street venture was known as The Sunnyside, he doesn’t yet know what the new place will be called. The Sunnyside worked on Water Street because the restaurant served only breakfast and lunch; opening at night and offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, he said, changes things and might call for different branding.
“We’re really thinking about it and trying to come up with something that does it justice.”
One thing is clear, though: Mr. Simone said he will continue to concentrate on premium, local food sources to incorporate into his novel menu, which he terms “Mediteranean/New England.”
“There were two sentences we always keep in mind, and those are ‘Sophisticated, not snobby’ and ‘A combination of rough and refined.’ That’s not going to change.”
Trained in Mediteranean cuisine, Mr. Simone plans to offer fresh fish, poultry and other dishes that celebrate the region. He said he’s looking forward to working with his old staff, most of whom are coming back; in addition, he will hire additional help. And he was careful to note that The Sunnyside’s success, and hopefully the new venture’s, was not due just to him but to those he surrounded himself with, and Warren itself.
“It’s the community of people that I happen to be lucky to be in the middle of,” he said. “People have really bought into our ideas.”