Navigating the opening of a new restaurant in the midst of a global pandemic has its challenges, as the owners of Union & Main learned all too well. But it can be done – the new restaurant at 455 Main Street opened its doors Saturday after 14 months of construction and waiting, waiting and construction. The owners, Grampo LLC, gutted the space, most recently occupied by Red Stripe, which closed nearly two years ago, creating a brand new look – lighter and more open.
Grampo is the same group behind Back 40 in North Kingstown and Black Oak in Coventry.
The menu features “elevated American comfort food,” said Justin Dalton-Ameen, one of the owners. Josh Culpo is the other main partner. Olivia Culpo, Peter Culpo, Robert Pirnie and Gina Mercurio are also part owners. Travis French is head chef and the kitchen will focus on fresh – ”as ‘scratch kitchen’ as possible,” Dalton-Ameen said, with housemade pasta and even some breaks.
On the menu, they offer pastas, fish (“beautiful fresh rare tuna,” he said), burgers, meats, salads and small plates. Dalton-Ameen said his dad is a vegetarian so they make sure there are items on the menu for vegetarians too. They can also modify dishes to accommodate food allergies.
While this is a place to go for food, Dalton-Ameen said, there are several local and New England beers on tap as well as craft cocktails and a wine list that won’t strain the wallet on offer.
The back room that many may remember is still there, with a couple new windows adding some light. It features a full bar. Dalton-Ameen said it will be quieter in back, so maybe better for date night and certainly nice for a party.
Union & Main is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. That’s right – they are open for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. The kitchen will stay open late, so you can get a meal at 11 p.m. on the weekends if it strikes your fancy. The restaurant has some parking on site as well as space in the Crestar lot at Liberty and Greene streets, a block away. They will offer valet on weekends. Find out more at their website HERE.
Editor’s note: We omitted a couple names of owners. That has been amended but we regret the omissions.
Clementine’s – the popular Main Street ice cream shop – is heading south and west, to 2938 South County Trail, the longtime home of the former Beacon Diner, they announced recently on social media:
“We’re so excited to finally announce that we have a new home for our EG location! We are the new owners of the Beacon Diner location as of today. As excited as we are for this next step in our business, it feels bittersweet to say goodbye to our Main Street shop. So many memories, friends and customers were made there and we’ll always appreciate how much our new business was welcomed by the community. Based on some of the comments we’ve read, we know others feel the same.
“However our lease was ending and we did not have the option to stay at our current spot which prompted us to find a new location with more space and parking. Over the next few months the building will be undergoing a lot of construction to bring our vision to life! The bigger space will allow us to increase our ice cream making capacity, offer more seating, have an outdoor patio, and continue to grow our business. We also hope to maintain some presence on Main Street with our newly purchased ice cream cart. And don’t worry – it’s only an 8-minute drive.
“Lastly we want to congratulate the owners of The Beacon Diner on their well-deserved retirement. Owning a small business has its fair share of challenges and they successfully ran one for many years! We’re excited to keep the building in the hands of a small business. Thanks everyone for their support and we’ll see you in EG in late spring.”