By: Andy McKeever On: 08:55PM / Tuesday March 29, 2011
Restaurateurs Gill Rubenstein and David Aldecoa spoke to the Selectmen on Monday night with their attorney, Adams Filson.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The owners of the new restaurant Hops and Vines, in the former Mezze building, said they are bringing the "city trendiness to the country friendliness."
The new Water Street restaurant received its liquor license Monday and the owners presented the Selectmen its idea of a mix between fine and casual dining.
"The idea is to renovate it into two sections. One side will be the hops — the causal side — and the other will be vines — the fine side," owner Gill Rubenstein said. "It's a trendy but friendly concept."
The owners are renovating the inside of the building with a new fireplace, tasting room and a partition to divide the two types of dining. But the real draw, they said, will be the outdoor beer garden.
Rubenstein said it will carry a "sizeable" beer list, on draft and in bottles, that will feature international and local micro brews and a large wine selection. Co-owner David Aldecoa said he is a certified sommelier.
The restaurant will feature seating on two outside porches with seating for up to 92 people as well as live music. It is expected to be open between May 16 and June 1. When the restaurant opens it will start with only dinners, opening at 5 p.m., but the owners said they would like to expand into brunch service, too. However, more serviceable parking would need to be created.
Foodwise, the owners have yet to decide exactly the angle. Rubenstein said they are leaning toward French-American food but it will depend on which chef they hire.
The owners said they both have extensive restaurant experience. Aldecoa said he got started when he opened a restaurant with his brother in Arizona more than a decade ago. He then worked at a resort casino in Las Vegas, where he first began working with Rubenstein. The two both moved to New York City and worked in various places there including the Essex House.
Aldecoa worked his way through the ranks on the food and beverage management side while Rubenstein's career is in financial consulting. Rubenstein said he worked with top chefs as a consultant in asset management.
"The capacity was more to make the chef's artistic side better on the financial side," Rubenstein said after presenting to the selectmen.
Rubenstein has opened other restaurants before, the most recent being Unwined in New York City.
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I think they use the word trend to convey an image to prospective clientele. I don't take it as a patronizing comment whatsoever. I think Williamstown is a very appealing community and has a draw. I wish these gentelmen luck and look forward to their opening.
What is the big deal about parking? If you go to NYC, you have to walk to find good places to eat. If you go to tunnel city on spring st for coffee, you usually have to walk because the parking lot is always full. A little walking never hurt anyone! If the food it good, people will want to go there regardless of where they have to park. Mezze did just fine. Calm down!!!
I would ask the owner of The Forge and the Owner of Mezze if the demographics dry up...
It actually sounds a little like a cross between the 2 places and will be nice to bring my wife to a place where I can enjoy a great beer on tap and she can enjoy a just as incredible wine.
Why do you have to put a negative connotation on things?