Known for drawing eager brunchers lining the sidewalk every weekend, Julian’s on Broadway will soon be adding more seats, a new bar, and an inside waiting area. In 2020, owner Brian Oakley secured the space adjacent to the restaurant formerly occupied by Broadway Cleaners. “The plan was to expand into that space,” says Oakley. “Then the pandemic hit. With the shutdown, there was no staffing, no seating; we literally put in the order for the windows we just installed over two years ago.”
The expansion is expected to be completed by the fall. “When the pause happened, we started closing at 8pm and went to an all-day brunch menu. [In May], we reimplemented our dinner program. That will be a part of the expansion.” That daily brunch menu, served from 9am until 4pm, features traditional entrees along with unique dishes like the Nova Scotia Eggs Benedict, Tofu Scram, and the popular Special Oakelbowl: “poached eggs laying majestically across a bed of Homies kicking it with smoked bacon and kimchi cuddling under a blanket of sriracha hollandaise with pillows made of scallions.” 318 Broadway, Providence, JuliansProvidence.com – Ken Abrams
Known for serving traditional Native American entrees, Willie’s Place recently reopened at a new location in Peace Dale. Owned and operated by William Johnson, a member of the Narragansett Tribe who grew up in Charlestown, the restaurant had previously only sold local favorites through a take-out window. “We now have indoor dining, a deck, and a bigger kitchen,” says Johnson.
The menu features creative comfort food. “I call it Native American fusion. That way, I can pretty much bring anything on and off the menu,” explains Johnson. “We’ll be doing a lot of traditional Native American meals, fresh lemonade, and weekly specials.” Willie’s signature dish is The Gansett, named after the tribe. “We take a traditional Native American fry bread and put taco toppings on it. Instead of a bean chili, I changed it to a three-meat chili with chorizo, beef chuck, and ground beef with beans served over fry bread with lettuce and tomato.” Top it off with house-made hot sauce and sour cream and you’re good to go! 1283 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, WilliesPlaceRI.com – Ken Abrams
Recently renovated and under new ownership, Del’s Depot not only carries on the tradition of one of Rhode Island’s most beloved summertime beverages but also pays homage to its Warren location’s roots. The former train depot is now a popular stop on the well-traversed East Bay Bike Path and mere steps from the East Bay town’s many eateries.
“We are four friends, family really, who stumbled upon the opportunity to be a part of this timeless and beloved RI frozen treat,” says co-owner Aliya Johnson. With backgrounds in interior design, the group purchased Del’s from former long-time owner Marsha Matteson and gave the space a facelift, inside and out. New touches like patterned wallpaper complement classic details, including the stacks of green-and-yellow cups – sure to solicit joy. Along with lemon, expect a full line of Del’s flavors – watermelon, blood orange, peach mango, and blueberry – plus shelves on shelves of must-have merch. 65 Child Street, Warren, @dels.depot – Abbie Lahmers
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