Warwick, RI — Doherty’s Lakeside at 446 Tiogue Ave., Coventry opened Thursday night to a teeming crowd eager to be among the first to sample craft beverages and made-from-scratch fare at the nautically-themed restaurant and bar.
As promised, the latest incarnation of the Doherty’s brand sported a boat-shaped bar, (built by Jim Sullivan, one of the partners at Tapp’d Restaurant Group, which owns the Doherty’s brand) jutting into the center of the interior. The space is more open, remodeled interior than patrons of the former Nino’s banquet hall would remember. Tables, chairs and bar will be custom built by Iron Rock Woodworking of Woonsocket using wood also reclaimed from Nino’s.
There are also two outside decks overlooking the lake featuring with 140 outside seats. An old Nino’s sign hangs on the wall inside, recalling the building’s recent past.
The spot boasts craft sodas, liquors and beer, with 101 taps for the latter, organized by bar manager Amanda Leigh. Special attention is also paid to the food, complements of Executive Chef Rob Hilken.
“Everything is craft. Everything is made fresh,” said Frank Peace, President and CEO of Tapp’d Restaurant Group, with corporate offices at the company’s Shannon View Inn location on Post Road. “Being “craft centric” and having passion for serving innovative handcrafted food, craft beer, and craft spirits in an amazing environment are the core tenants of our brand.” Peace said he’s confident it’s brand that’s increasingly sought after.
The sodas, such as Wild Maine Blueberry, with the signature ingredients shipped from Maine, are mixed on-site. “We’re probably the only restaurant in the State of RI that has craft soda,” Peace said.
Staff and owners were also anxious to open the spot after 10 months of construction remodel the spot. “We’ve been chomping at the bit to get open,” said Peace. On Jan. 20, the restaurant hosted a soft-opening, serving 284 patrons in two seatings at the 300-person capacity building. It went well.
“Phenomenal,” said General Manager Alan Campbell.
Among the attendees were members of the Coventry Town Council and other town officials, as well as friends and family of the owners.
“This is the first of many that we’re going to be opening nation-wide,” Peace said.
That’ll begin in Massachusetts, Peace said. The company is looking at locations in Framingham, the Boston Seaport District and Burlington.
“I am aggressively pursuing acquisitions and currently engaged in several negotiations in Massachusetts where we are targeting a minimum of 3 locations in addition to targeting other NewEngland states, then our growth strategy will take us to DC and beyond over the next 7 years we feel the brand is scalable to well over 70 restaurants nationwide,” Peace said.