Aquidneck Island sandwich maker Marco Polselli, owner of Marco’s Subs in Portsmouth, has been busy. During COVID he took over Middletown’s Pickles-A Deli in February while building out the old Rosemary and Thyme coffee shop into Marco’s Cafe. “It was the pandemic,” he says. “Opportunities happened.” After some hiring delays, his handcrafted sammies are ready for Marco’s first Newport outpost, but with a breakfast-forward twist.
The mostly to-go menu features plenty of baked goods, a stocked coffee bar, and Nitro brew on tap. Favorites from Marco’s Subs (including the Italian, the steak and cheese, and homemade meatballs) and Pickles (like the Thanksgiving and Cuban) are featured items at the cafe. Bread from Marzilli’s, the Fall River bakery owned by Polselli’s family, and bagels from Newport newcomer Jamo’s Bagels, bring the carbs. “We’re putting a new face on breakfast and lunch,” says Polselli. Newport
CP’s Catering & Sandwich Shop is just a short walk along Bristol’s Wood Street from sister restaurant and neighborhood mainstay, Common Pub & Grill. “The Pub was getting a lot of catering requests,” owner Courtney Poissant says. Between the catering gigs and the in-dining customers, “things were getting tight in the kitchen.” So when the owners of the Wood Street Bakery decided to retire, Poissant saw an opportunity that was too good to pass up: establishing CP’s Catering & Sandwich Shop.
Along with fresh salads, seasonal soups, and inventive sandwiches – like the Hot Honey Jamma (grilled chicken tossed in hot honey habanero) – CP’s features grab-and-go prepared items like stuffed peppers, shepherd pies, and stuffed shells. The simple and quick nature of the kitchen means they can rotate seasonal items, like a maple-rosemary-cranberry chicken thigh for the holidays. Bristol
Bywater, and their pandemic pivot The Bakeshop at Bywater, has re-opened for indoor seating. “It’s been a bit of an adjustment,” admits owner Katie Dickson. “Since we are so small, we used the dining room for prep during the day.” Now they share space with their patrons. Dickson says she digs the more casual, community-focused vibe as prep cooks mingle with customers.
Dickson always planned to open a bakery, but “a five-year plan became a five-month plan,” she says of opening The Bakeshop, a feat accomplished through an adaptation grant for companies shifting business models due to the pandemic. Their fresh baked goods, including flakey croissants and an orange cardamom spiced bun, proved a hit.
Dickson waited to reopen until her staff felt secure, noting they still mask up and the restaurant is well ventilated. “We feel good about this,” she says. “It’s crowded but we feel like we are finally back in the business of hospitality.”Warren
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