Today is our Anniversary: Ten Years in Downtown Providence

Ten years ago, downtown Providence was a different place. Many of the great restaurants and shops did not yet exist, and some of our favorites have since left. Gracie’s originally opened on Federal Hill, but opportunity knocked, and we moved into a great location across the street from the spectacular Trinity Repertory Company. Working in downtown Providence came with challenges and opportunities. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the last decade. But as we celebrate our downtown location’s ten-year restaurant anniversary, it is a delight to see many of our neighborhood restaurants bustling night after night. It is encouraging to see so many independently owned shops opening their doors, and at the same time, The Dunkin Donuts center plays host to hockey tournaments and world tour concerts. 

1461237_10152050907628879_288380452_nThe restaurant business is a tricky one, and so often is subject to the economy, weather, fluctuating food prices, and even the whims of culinary fashions. It’s no secret that many new restaurants close within five years or less for any combination of reasons. Sometimes, though, you get lucky. Hard work, dedication, and a love for what you do come together with people who appreciate what you do. In that respect, we’ve been pretty lucky. 

In the last ten years, we have learned a lot – way more than we could possibly fit into a single blog post. We have also met some wonderful people – again, way more than we could possibly fit into a single blog post. As we celebrate our ten-year downtown restaurant anniversary, we know that we are fortunate to have met and worked with so many wonderful people. 

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Sharing a Meal – photo by JWessel Photography

 

We have restaurant guests who have eaten with us regularly since we opened. We have some guests that we see every year on their anniversary. We have had movie stars and sports stars at our tables, and we have had young couples celebrating a first date. We’ve been honored to host weddings, graduation dinners, and birthday parties. 

Our kitchen has been graced with so many chefs, from Johnson & Wales interns, to our own regular staff, to guest Star Chefs from Maria Helm Sinskey to Ciril Hitz to Celina Tio and so many others. We really can’t begin to express how honored we are to host so many amazing, talented people. 

Current Executive Chef Matthew Varga was featured in Art Culinaire: The International Magazine in Good Taste. We’ve won the AAA four-diamond award four years in a row, and Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Denmark was named a Rising Star by the online culinary magazine Star Chefs. We’ve been able to partner with No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength to work toward ending childhood hunger in America, and we’ve donated and walked many miles for the March of Dimes

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In the front of the house, we’ve learned about Wine and Food pairings, how to share the joy of a tasting menu with new guests, and gone through more than a fair share of wine glasses. We’ve watched some of our staff graduate high school AND college, and some we’ve seen move across this great country to follow their dreams. We’ve managed to have some fun, too. Perhaps maybe too much?

This is supposed to be our Front of the House Manager.

This is supposed to be our Front of the House Manager.

 We’ve worked with so many dedicated and caring vendors, local farms, fishers, dairies, artisans, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, many of whom have been part of our team for years. We’ve shared our favorite Providence restaurants with you, and we’re even going on a Mediterranean cruise in October. 

And we owe it all to you. We love what we do, but we wouldn’t be here without each and every person who supports us. From the farmers that spend countless hours raising the best corn, or staying up all night caring for a newborn calf, to the men and women on the Rhode Island coast pulling in fresh seafood, to the guys who makes sure we have all the linens and dish detergent we need, this is a team effort.

Most of all, though, we wouldn’t be here without you. Whether you enjoy a meal with us on a special occasion, or just because, we couldn’t do what we do without your willingness to try new things with us, to taste new ingredients or an unusual wine. For you, we are incredibly thankful. Thank you for helping us make this ten-year anniversary the start of the next decade. 

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