UPDATE: New Location Opens Tomorrow for Dinner:
The Capital Grille, the Providence restaurant known for its fine steaks and seafood, is moving from its original location in the historic Union Station building to a venue in the GTECH center that is now occupied by Ruth’s Chris restaurant.
The move will give the Capital Grille more space and allow it to expand its ability to hold more functions, such as business confabs and wedding receptions, says Chris Phillips, managing partner of the restaurant.
``We’re really excited for what is a great opportunity,’’ said Phillips in an interview. He said the current Ruth’s Chris space will be renovated.
``There will be a multi-million dollar renovation which will allow us to keep many of the features of what our customers are familiar with and merge it with the new opportunities the space provides,’’ said Phillips.
Such familiar artifacts as the large wooden canoe and the Bison head that overlooks the bar will be included in the renovated space, Phillips said. The new venue is about a long sand wedge from the current location.
The new site will include a larger patio space overlooking Water Place Park, which Phillips said will accommodate bigger outdoor events.
The menu will remain largely the same, said Phillips. The move is slated to occur in July, 2015.
Calls seeking comment from Ruth’s Chris officials were not immediately returned today.
The Capital Grille’s success in Providence has long been anchored by consistently excellent food and attentive service from bartenders and servers who are among the city’s best. Most staffers have been at the Grille for many years and are on a first-name basis with regular patrons.
The clientele runs the spectrum, from Providence Bruins and New England Patriots players, to Statehouse lobbyists and pols, and business and labor leaders.
The restaurant is a Rhode Island success story; the Providence location was the first Capital Grille. It opened in 1990 during a recession in what was at the time a seen-better-days section of downtown Providence. The founder was Edward Phelps ``Ned’’ Grace III, a restaurateur who was just a few years out of the University of Vermont, where he studied political science. From that humble beginning, the Capital Grille brand has evolved into an iconic restaurant chain with more than 50 locations worldwide.
Phillips, the managing partner, said he hopes the move will be similar to what happened in Boston, where the Capital Grille moved from a perch atop Newbury Street near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue to a new venue on nearby Boylston Street. The Boston move was successful, Philips said, in increasing business.
``We hope to replicate the success we’ve had in Boston,’’ said Philips.