Beefing up seating capacity without costly renno

Beefing up seating capacity without costly renno

Twelve years in, Salvatore Scarlata looked around his popular New Jersey restaurant and thought, “We’re going to need a bigger place.” “Everyone wanted to come in for dinner at Vidalia Restaurant the same time, during the prime-time hour around 7 p.m.,” says the award-winning restauranteur. “It got to be a bit of a challenge.” And closing the doors against all that business lining up for a table at his Lawrenceville, N.J. eatery was not an option. In this week’s Q&A…

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Lesson from the lobster pot: selling what people want

Lesson from the lobster pot: selling what people want

Near the pristine mountains and crashing seascape of Acadia National Park sits a humble restaurant that turns sweet, tender lobster meat into restaurant gold. The Union River Lobster Pot Restaurant in Ellsworth, Maine isn’t fancy. There’s always a line to get in. And they don’t do takeout. But what longtime owner Brian Langley delivers on the plate is the meal Maine tourists and locals will wait patiently for: lobster, blueberry pie, and a water view. “When I first opened the…

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Farm-to-table strikes gold in NJ

Farm-to-table strikes gold in NJ

The first thing Adam Acerra learned when he opened a farm-to-table concept in Long Island was that he and his partners needed to keep it simple. While true that the first plates created by head chef Chuck Treadwell in Market Bistro’s kitchen could rival fine dining anywhere, the customers flowing into the rustic bistro in Jericho, N.Y. wanted something a little more casual. “And we listened to them,” he says. “Our menu was a little too elevated in the beginning…

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Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid inspire NH hole in the wall

Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid inspire NH hole in the wall

Thinking “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” way back when, a husband/wife hospitality team “got out of Dodge” (technically they left Dedham, Mass.) and headed to North Conway, N.H. to build a thriving restaurant where the air was clean, the vibe friendly, and the nearest big city many miles away. “When we decided to move north, we’d already been working our whole lives in the Boston hospitality business,” says Richard Delaney, of Delaney’s Hole in the Wall of North Conway,…

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A big risk in cowboy town pays off

A big risk in cowboy town pays off

One day while working in the media/marketing sector, Suzanne Tarbet  picked her head up from her computer, looked around the charming community of Redmond, Ore., and thought, “What if?” “I’d spent my entire career in media and marketing management helping my clients perfect their own brand. And I’d always dreamed of creating a brand for myself,” she says. With  no time like the present to strike out on a new venture, the foodie with a trained eye for color, fabric,…

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Glasshalfull toasts a smooth finish

Glasshalfull toasts a smooth finish

The financial crisis of 2007/2008 was just getting started as James Wald of North Carolina swung open the doors to his new wine bar & restaurant, Glasshalfull. He admits the timing could have been better. “It wasn’t the best time to start a business,” Wald says. “And I’m not sure how good of a job we did that first year.” But by playing the cards they were dealt, he and his staff played offered creative options to diners feeling the…

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Revolutionary War heroism & American fare

Revolutionary War heroism & American fare

The limestone walls of the Olde Bryan Inn protect a story, a cuisine, and an attitude of American goodness and heroism that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Beneath the rough timbers supporting the ceiling, diners sip from ale cups and cut into steaks from a menu that is a modern interpretation of Revolutionary fare, says longtime manager Robin Kelsey. “We serve Revolutionary cuisine,” says Kelsey, a fixture in the 40-year-old restaurant for 25 years. “Our restaurant is named for…

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Social House to open in Vermont

Social House to open in Vermont

A Manhattan couple who honed their craft at a 3-star Michelin restaurant in the Big Apple, is poised to carve out their American dream as first-time restaurant owners in Vermont. Debbie and Luis Pazos, longtime restauranteurs at the famous French restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, will open Social House Restaurant in Manchester Center this June. And while it’s no small step from the Manhattan life, with dinners served at 2:30 AM, to the tall pines and chilly peaks…

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Big fish in Saratoga Springs

Big fish in Saratoga Springs

Paul McCullough started out in hospitality as a very small fish. “I was 19 when I went to work as a runner for the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group,” says McCullough, partner in thriving Saratoga Springs restaurant, 15 Church. “Eventually I moved up to back waiter, then to assistant, and then to captain in three-person teams,” he says. “What an experience! I worked for 15 years learning the ropes of a premier and cutting-edge restaurant group created by a man I…

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Uncorking a great business plan in Jamaica

Uncorking a great business plan in Jamaica

One summer evening while sipping wine with friends in Jamaica, Anna Kay von Dueszeln and her pals hit upon the idea to open their own wine and cheese shop. “Our idea, which sounded really good over wine, was to dabble in wine and cheese,” Anna Kay says. “This was about 10 years ago when we first discussed the idea, and my only experience at the time in the hospitality business was that I liked wine and cheese!” But backed by…

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