Important Seafood Addition to Downtown Waterfront Opens

The Waterfront Grille to Open Friday
By Joe Cohen Standard-Times Staff Writer

NEW BEDFORD — The Waterfront Grille on the site of the former Louie’s on the Wharf and Twin Piers officially opens for business on Friday at 4:30 p.m. with off-the-boat seafood served ready to eat — something missing from the city’s working waterfront for about 15 years.
The Waterfront Grille plans to open with 80 pounds each of scallops, swordfish and cod. It also plans to have 60 pounds of salmon and 50 pounds of tuna, along with oysters, little necks and assorted other edibles, including beef.
Executive Chef Tony DeRienzo said he will have fresh fish off the city docks and from wholesalers — enough to feed hundreds of expected customers during the opening weekend.
On Tuesday, Mr. DeRienzo put 16 kitchen workers through their paces in anticipation of the opening while about 30 wait staff sampled the food and other managers and restaurant employees worked in advance of a private party planned for Thursday evening and the official opening Friday.
Kevin C. Santos, the Dartmouth resident who owns The Waterfront Grille, said he had weighed developing the restaurant at 36 Homers Wharf in the area known as Twin Piers off Route 18 since he bought the building in December 2005.
Mr. Santos said his initial plan for the site was to bring in a restaurant operator. But after spending months negotiating with potential operators, he realized to get an operation at the high standard he envisioned, he would have to do it himself. Mr. Santos said Mr. DeRienzo is a highly experienced chef, and he has hired other experienced professionals.
Mr. Santos said that as of Tuesday he had all his permits to open. The restaurant can seat 175 inside and 50 outside of the restaurant, 40 in the sushi bar, 50 on the deck and 150 in a downstairs function room and 100 in an upstairs function room. Mr. Santos said the sushi bar area of the restaurant will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for breakfast and light lunch and from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. for dinner. The main restaurant will be open for meals from 4:30 to 11 p.m., and the bar will be open until 1 a.m.
Matthew A. Morrissey, executive director of the Redevelopment Agency, said The Waterfront Grille is an important addition to New Bedford’s downtown and waterfront.
“Kevin has created a first-class family fish restaurant on the waterfront,” Mr. Morrissey said. “The Redevelopment Authority has invested a great deal of energy and oversight in moving this project forward. This is an essential piece of the downtown renewal planned by the administration of Mayor Scott Lang, which has made it a top priority for the past two years.”
The restaurant abuts the planned site of a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel and conference center. The 106-room hotel is not expected to have its own full service restaurant. Groundbreaking for the hotel is planned for late summer.
Contact Joe Cohen at
July 23, 2008
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