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Rebuilding a brand and repairing an image are two very common practices in the world of business. Recognizing a deficiency in your business plan or your staff is often the first step in the process and requires a humble and realistic approach. If the owner is involved in the rebuilding process, is humbled by his business’s lack of success and makes a commitment to strive for excellence, the business is on its way to a new and improved path. I was once told by a highly successful health club owner “hire great people, pay them well, and keep them happy. It is hard to find great people.” I recently sat down with such a business, who is making all the right moves towards a successful path here in North Kingstown.
The North Kingstown Blog, in its continuing series of articles on local businesses, is happy to report that, according to owner John Cioe of Tony C’s Bar & Grill, “we are striving for excellence – in food, in service, not only in North Kingstown, but for all of Rhode Island to see.” I met with general manager Stephen Altieri and Executive Chef John Bordieri, two thirds of what Tony C’s owner calls “my All-Star Team.” The third member of the “All-Star Team”, Melissa, arrived shortly after and was busy prepping the bar for the afternoon happy hour, which starts at 3:30. I got an very strong sense of confidence, experience, and professionalism from both Steve and Chef John. They used words like “elevated standards” and “exceptional quality” to describe how they wanted the new direction of Tony C’s Bar & Grill to follow. Owner John, Steve, and Chef John mentioned having an “upscale restaurant with exceptional service.” I asked Chef John what exactly “upscale” meant and his answer was as confident as anything he said to me all day. “It comes down to this. Food. Presentation. Taste. Quality. Variety.” With that, Chef John excused himself from our meeting and prepared some lunch for me to take home, Eggplant Rollatini.
Tony C’s Bar & Grill is located in Wickford Junction, just off of Ten Rod Rd next to the train station. When you enter the Wal-Mart parking lot from Ten Rod Rd, you follow the rotary about 3/4 around and exit into the parking lot to the right. There is plenty of parking available and the parking lot is well lit at night. Tony C’s has a sports bar feel with a gorgeous bar with specialty drinks and plenty of TV’s to watch your favorite sporting event. Speaking of specialty drinks, Tony C’s offers 13 specialty drinks, named after the 13 train stops from Wickford Junction to South Station in Boston. My eyes perked up when I saw “The Back Bay Painkiller” and the “The Sharontini.” The restaurant has a seating capacity of about 42 patrons, with both high top tables and traditional tables (for those who would rather not sit at a high top table.) According to general manager Steve, “families are very welcome in our restaurant, despite the fact that appearance of a sports bar might be a turn off. In fact, I love going back in the kitchen and making the kids ‘messy sundaes and pizookies.’ We have done really well with big sporting events like the Super Bowl with families.” Tony C’s has some exciting plans for their menu as well as the layout of their restaurant, which for the time being, we will keep under wraps. But, stay tuned for more information about what is next for Tony C’s Bar & Grill coming soon.
Getting back to the Eggplant Rollatini, my fiance Rachel, who happens to be Italian and a very good cook herself, had this to say about her lunch. “This is delicious. You can taste all the cheeses without a doubt. It is very flavorful. Just as good as my grandmother’s gravy. The eggplant is light and tender, not greasy at all, not chewy. It is just right.” I had to look up that gravy is actually sauce, but anyway, coming from an Italian, this is surely high praise. I look forward to seeing this “All-Star Team” at Tony C’s Bar & Grill strive for excellence and recommend that you stop by and let Steve, Melissa, and Chef John treat you to exceptional food and service.
Tony C’s Bar & Grill
Facebook – Tony C’s Bar & Grill