Joe Simone, the Warren chef whose former Sunnyside on the Warren River was one of the East Bay’s most treasured eateries, has signed a purchase and sale agreement for a new restaurant location.
Mr. Simone signed the agreement earlier this week, and said Thursday that he hopes to close on the deal in mid-August. Until then, he said, he doesn’t want to disclose the location, apart from the fact that it’s in Warren. However, he said:
“The good news is that we found a place that we can work with, and that will allow us to follow the vision of what we can be.”
Mr. Simone hopes to open by late in the year, he said. Once that happens, the plan is to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. There will also be “kids’ pancakes” morning noon and night, he said.
“We’re very excited,” he said. “There are a lot of decisions to be made right now but it looks great.”
Mr. Simone, who is trained in Italian and Meditteranean cooking and holds a degree in mathematics from Brown University, was one of the state’s most respected restaraunteurs when he closed his Sunnyside on Water Street last October. The waterfront restaurant had been open since April 2009 and was known for high end breakfast and brunches, made with novel and local ingredients. He closed after running into problems with his lease and realizing, he said at the time, that serving dinner was his “destiny.”
He said upon the original Sunnyside’s closure that he has lots of ideas for dinner — like making his own pasta and having ultra-fresh fish delivered daily. He also needs more room for a kitchen, not just for himself and his staff, but for the dozens of people who have become familiar faces at the cooking classes he regularly holds.
“I want to have a giant space, so that people can strap on aprons, have a glass of wine and cook with me.”
As for staff, he expects it will double once he opens the new location. When he closed last fall, Mr. Simone employed about 13 to 14 servers and kitchen workers. He said Thursday that he expects that number to roughly double with the addition of a dinner menu.