Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery Owner to Open Third Location: Ellie’s Bistro
The new restaurant will craft a French bistro-style dinner menu created by Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga, and desserts by Gracie’s executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark.
Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery are getting another sister. Ellen Slattery is opening her third establishment, Ellie’s Bistro, at 225 Weybosset Street, across from the Providence Performing Arts Center. The new, Parisian-inspired eatery, coming this spring, will craft a French bistro-style dinner menu created by Gracie’s executive chef Matthew Varga, and desserts by Gracie’s executive pastry chef Melissa Denmark.
The idea for a third location came about when Ellie’s Bakery started running out of space to keep up with the needs of its customers. The Ellie’s Bistro space will seat forty, and includes 1,500 square feet for the restaurant and an additional 1,500 square feet downstairs. Baking operations for Ellie’s Bakery will move into the Ellie’s Bistro location, while the café on Washington Street will continue to serve customers freshly baked products, coffee and other offerings made with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. The third location allows the team to expand offerings to French-influenced lunch, dinner and brunch items.
“We had at one point considered closing Ellie’s Bakery on Washington Street and reopening as Ellie’s – an evolved ideation in the much larger space at 225 Weybosset Street, but then we quickly realized how ingrained we are in the community and how much area businesses and residents depend on Ellie’s Bakery at its current location,” Slattery says in a recent press release. “The key driver in establishing Ellie’s was the need for more space to evolve in all the ways that we’ve dreamed of. We can now expand our offerings to include a dinner program and brunch, as well as baking classes during regular business hours – while conducting all of the baking for Ellie’s and Ellie’s Bakery under one roof.”
Both Varga and Denmark have been heavily involved in the concept, design, layout and menu development of the new bistro, which will offer “distinctly French, seasonally-created, simple but interesting bistro classics that are reasonably priced.” With plans to open in the spring, it will be the first time the space will be occupied in more than a decade.
The address, 225 Weybosset St., is home to twelve residential apartments and five retail spaces, owned by ASH NYC, a Brooklyn-based real estate development and design firm founded by Providence native Ari Heckman, who is the CEO. “The historic corner space right on PPAC Square is full of light and will be activated day and night for the first time in a generation,” says Heckman. “Ellen and Ellie’s are the perfect partner to reanimate this important Downcity intersection and cater to residents, workers, theater-goers and tourists.”