The place was almost called “Renegade.” They laugh about it now. Of the many names considered, Renegade is the only one they remember. But at the time, Revival’s owners drove themselves crazy deciding what to call their new restaurant. Never did they imagine that “Revival” would one day grace a doorway in East Greenwich as well.
“Coming up with a name – and coming up with a color of paint – were the two hardest decisions in the whole process,” quips Peter Lowre, co-owner of The Revival Craft Kitchen and Bar. “We would meet, and we would hash out all these names, and we would turn out empty.”
But “revival” had the most significance, and on several levels. For all their years in the dining industry, Peter Lowre, Stephanie Ruggiero, and her fiancé Keegan Dunson had only dreamed of owning their own restaurant. When they stumbled into a vacation venue in Warren, the choice was practically made for them.
“We really fell in love with the building,” says Stephanie, a longtime bar manager. The structure had previously been home to eateries Stella Blues and Bullock’s. Once they installed the bar and (eventually) picked the right paint, the name just felt right. “The place looked so revived. It just has such a multi-dimensional meaning to us.”
Peter comes from Boston, Stephanie from Rhode Island, and Keegan from Virginia. They met in the fine-dining kitchens of Cranston and became close; Keegan and Stephanie have been engaged for several years and have a young daughter, Ava.
Opening The Revival was a major milestone, allowing them to create farm-to-table meals in a rich, down-home environment. Keegan serves as head chef, and critics have praised the mix of comfort food – burgers, paninis – with rotating, high-end entrées, such as the Pan-Seared New Bedford Sea Scallops.
“We are doing really good food and service and drink program,” says Keegan, “but we’re making it accessible to people. It doesn’t feel all stodgy. You can relax. It’s a fun atmosphere.”
“[Keegan] had the creativity of his own menu,” says Stephanie. “It was really exciting. We’ve done dishes that might seem standard, but he puts his own individual twist on them. I try to do the same thing with drinks. I love classic cocktails, but I love putting my own individual twist. I think it’s a real draw.”
The decision to move across the bay felt natural to Peter and Keegan, who weren’t averse to a 35-minute drive from one location to the next. Like Warren, East Greenwich has a robust dining scene, and they felt comfortable nesting among fellow foodies.
“Everybody talks about East Greenwich, how it’s a dining mecca, and there’s a lot of activity here,” says Peter. “The thing I always say is, you can’t get people from East Bay to go to West Bay, and vice versa. So instead of trying to get them to come to us, we came to them.”