Saint Monday Bar Opens in Providence
Coffee shop by day, restaurant and bar by night, Saint Monday Bar serves as a multi-purpose hotspot on the West Side of Providence.
Coffee shop by day, restaurant and bar by night, Saint Monday Bar serves as a multi-purpose hotspot on the West Side of Providence. We talked with co-owner, John Gray (business partner with Morgan Pearlman) about the New York City-style inspired space.
How did you get into this business? Why Rhode Island?
Both Morgan and I moved to Rhode Island about seven years ago from New York City, though we didn’t know each other before hand. I moved here with my wife for her job and then seven-week-old baby. Morgan came here to complete her master’s degree at Johnson and Wales. Eventually our paths crossed at the previous Cook and Brown which was located on the East Side. We had talked about our collective experiences back in New York City, where there were a few crossover places that we had both knew of and loved. We said, ‘If you were going to open a place what would it be?’ and it had us thinking… I have a background in bars and restaurants and Morgan has a background in coffee and bakery operations. So, Saint Monday Bar is the culmination of our collective experience.
Why both a coffee-shop setting and a bar combined?
We ultimately wanted it to be a place where people would want to come and hang out at any time of the day, so we decided to operate as a coffee shop during the day and a neighborhood cocktail bar at night. Right now, we are open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. to midnight, but we would like to eventually be open 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. We want to have the full stretch so that at any time on any day of the week, people can come in for great food, drink and service, and feel like it’s a place where they will want to come back to morning, noon and night.
Where did the name Saint Monday come from?
The name Saint Monday comes from an old, pre-industrial revolution term. People would work in the factories six days per week and they would get paid on Saturday night. Sunday’s were for spending time with the families but come Sunday night, they would hit the pubs. If they woke up on Monday morning with a little change rummaging around in their head but they still had some money in their pocket, they would take a personal day, which was called taking a ‘Saint Monday.’ It fits with what we’re doing here; we are a place where you can get away from it all, where you can come and work, hangout or have a drink, whichever you prefer, whenever you please.
The space is New York City-style – sleek yet modern. What can be said about the food?
We are trying to balance that sleek and modern look in both the atmosphere and our offerings. We are essentially creating comfortable and recognizable foods with a pop-of brighter, fresher ingredients and flavors. Everything from our menus are made in house.
What can be found on the menus both during the day and at night?
We are constantly adding to our menus. Right now, people can enjoy buttermilk biscuits and gravy, oatmeal with homespun apple butter, yogurt with fresh granola and more for breakfast. Plus, throughout the day, guests can also choose from a variety of pastries like cookies and muffins. During the evening we serve a full food menu alongside drinks. Some items include pigs in a blanket made from our homemade biscuit dough, topped with everything bagel seasoning paired with a spicy honey mustard on the side, or our Swedish meatballs which are more of a sweet and sour mixture rather than those of thick, brown gravy. Everything offered on the menu are recognizable dishes that if you come in you might say ‘I know what that is, I’ve had that before,’ but when the dish comes out it’s not exactly as you would have expected. We will continue to expand the dinner menu as well, with additional offerings including hors d’oeuvres, hot dish vegetarian items like casseroles and vegetables and family-style meals, too. We have a little something for everyone and want it to be a ‘choose your own adventure’ when you come to eat here.
What are the most popular food and/or drink items that are ordered on a daily basis?
A daytime favorite is definitely the buttermilk biscuits paired with the homemade apple butter. At night the Swedish meatballs seem to be pretty popular, though the burger we offer has become really well-liked, too. It tastes like a Big Mac and we’re not shy about it! I mean, that’s the point – you take a bite and you are like ‘I remember eating big macs!’ and it evokes that delicious flavor and a little bit of nostalgia, too. As far as drinks go at night, we focus on classic cocktails, but we also offer beer and wine.
393 West Fountain St.,Providence, facebook.com/saintmondaybar