image via cafevicino.com
Chef Richard Langston of North End staple Richard’s Café Vicino is relocating his popular Italian restaurant to the new Inn at 500 Capitol. The six-story, 112 room boutique hotel is currently under construction at Capitol Boulevard and Myrtle Street, in the parking lot adjacent to The Flicks. Obie Development Partners LLC, which owns a similar hotel in Eugene, Ore., broke ground on the property last October.
“They came to me several months ago and asked me if I’d be interested in doing it,” said Langston. “So we spent a lot of time and did a lot of research. It’s going to be a beautiful hotel. We’ve been to the hotel in Eugene, it’s really nice.”
Langston says the new space will boast a 70-seat dining room divided into three “vignettes of seating” to maintain the intimate atmosphere Richard’s Café Vicino is known for. There will also be a 28-seat full-service bar and a 12-seat private dining room on the ground floor and a 100-seat banquet room on the second floor.
“We’re really going to do everything we can to try to keep this vibe,” said Langston. “The color scheme will be very similar. It’ll be very high ceilings. Lighting will be very important.”
The second floor will also feature a patio terrace overlooking Capitol Boulevard and Myrtle Street that will seat around 20 people in the warmer months.
“We’re going to open that seasonally, probably with a little more casual concept,” said Langston. “It’ll have a full bar on the second floor, also. But that will only happen when the weather’s nice. … It’ll be more casual—have a drink, have some appetizers.”
image via innat500.com
The restaurant will keep the same menus from its North End location, but it’ll drop “Café Vicino” and just go by Richard’s. It’ll also expand its hours to offer breakfast seven days a week and brunch on Sundays.
“We are definitely keeping the style and the feel of Richard’s Café Vicino. … At lunch and dinner you probably will not recognize a difference in the menus, except they may get a little bigger because I’ll have a bigger facility to prep in and prepare in,” said Langston.
Langston says the “transition should be seamless” for his regular customers and confirmed that there will be 23 surface parking spaces in the new location.
“It’s still my food, this is what I’ve done for a long time and people seem to react to it well and appreciate it,” said Langston. “So that’ll be very much the same.”
Langston says all of his staff—front- and back-of-house—plan to make the transition to the new location, which he says should be open by Dec. 31 of this year.
“We will probably close here about the end of November, sometime in December so we can bring the new staff in and start training and working in the new space, getting ready for that opening,” said Langston.