New Eateries Thrive On Summer Business
By: James Kinsella
Times were good for new restaurants that rode a buoyant summer on and near Main Street in Hyannis.
“It was really good,” said Jason O’Toole, proprietor of Pizza Barbone at 390 Main Street. “A lot of people were down here. I think we were really well received over the summer.”
“It was a blast,” said Marshall Lopes-Pogue, host at the Beech Tree Cantina at 599 Main Street. “It was a wonderful summer.”
“It was good,” said Dylan Jordan, general manager of the Rendezvous Café & Creperie at 394 Main Street. “We were busy. We’re still pretty busy.”
Elizabeth N. Wurfbain, executive director of the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, said distinctive restaurants are a key factor drawing people to the Main Street area.
The district even has coined an acronym—F.O.O.D, for “Fabulous Owner-Operated Dining”—to emphasize what the area on and near Main Street has to offer.
The district’s website provides a map of the “F.O.O.D District,” which contains 40 restaurants.
Ms. Wurfbain said restaurants in the district offer an outstanding price-to-value ratio, whether a customer is buying a $3 lunch or an expensive dinner.
A cluster of new eateries, Ms. Wurfbain said, saw the business potential of Main Street and moved to capitalize on that potential.
The increase in foot traffic along the street, she said, offers a swelling market to restaurants in and near the street.
Meanwhile, she said the new restaurants are spurring existing restaurants in the Main Street area to improve what they offer customers.
“Everything positive raises the bar and the neighborhood,” Ms. Wurfbain said.
At Prova Brazil Steakhouse at 415 Main Street, manager Matt O’Hare said the restaurant has been engaging in a soft opening since early August “that’s not been very soft at all.”
Prova Brazil, he said, has yet to stage an official opening or to roll out its full menu.
Meanwhile, diners are enjoying churrascaria offerings in the traditional style of Brazilian cooking, one that employs a multicultural approach that involves aspects of Italian and even Asian cooking.
But the end result, he said, is strictly a Brazilian experience.
One of the restaurant’s biggest draws, he said, is the outdoor cabana bar just off Main Street.
“People love it,” he said.
On Main Street, Mr. O’Hare said, people are looking for a different dining experience than Cape Cod’s traditional clam shacks.
A place such as Prova Brazil, offers a more upscale experience that still lets customers enjoy the ambiance of the Cape.
The Bistrot de Soleil at 350 Stevens Street opened at the start of May.
Executive chef Tarsis Santos described this summer’s business as “not too bad … it is the beginning.”
Mr. Santos said the restaurant is looking forward to the fall and winter seasons, especially in hopes of drawing more people to the establishment’s bar.
The Bistrot de Soleil offers French and Italian cooking, with specialties that include duck, short ribs, homemade pasta and risottos, along with gourmet hamburgers and pizzas.
As much as possible, the restaurant uses local ingredients to prepare its offerings.
At the Beech Tree Cantina, Mr. Lopes-Pogue said the restaurant’s outdoor bar, which the restaurant calls Tree West, was especially popular this past summer.
Customers brought family and friends to sit under the large beech tree, said to date back to 1776, and enjoy the warmth of the bar’s fire pit.
The establishment subsequently has opened another section, known as the Beech Tree Coffee House, where frozen yogurt, smoothies and iced coffees have been popular.
By next summer, Mr. Lopes-Pogue said, the establishment hopes to open a billiards pool hall and a piano bar.
At Pizza Barbone, which features a wood-fired oven, Mr. O’Toole is seeing the restaurant’s customer mix swing toward year-round residents after being dominated by tourists during the summer.
In October, the restaurant plans to offer roast pork on Friday nights and roast leg of lamb on Saturday nights, along with homemade pasta.
Rendezvous also is seeing a shift in its customer mix.
“The Sturgis crowd is kicking in,” Mr. Jordan said, referring to students back in session at Sturgis Charter Public School at 427 Main Street.
In addition to the restaurant’s trademark crepes, a chicken bacon wrap proved a popular offering.
“The coffee did really well,” he said.
Ms. Wurfbain said restaurants and other business in the Main Street area are benefiting from its growing reputation as “the people’s Main Street.”
Visitors to the area see Main Street as “a family-friendly destination,” Ms. Wurfbain said.“It’s fun, but it’s not out of reach,” she said.
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