When Belinda Quinn opened Le Bec Sucré, a Parisian-style boulangerie in Middletown, the response was overwhelming. Patrons regularly cue up for the bakery’s 7am start, since Quinn’s traditional croissants and unique charcoal baguettes sell out fast. So the self-trained baker, born in the South of France, created sister-cafe Le Bec Salé, a savory bakery that opens for lunch (around the time Le Bec Sucré’s shelves empty), just across the parking lot.
While Le Bec Sucré focuses on breads and pastries, Le Bec Salé features a menu of salads, quiches, and sandwiches like you’d find in the cafes of Paris, such as the Jambon Beurre (house butter, ham, comté cheese, and cornichon on a baguette). In a nod to Quinn’s Vietnamese heritage, a Banh Mi is also on the menu. All items are scratch made, including the mayo and salad dressings. “Everything I make, I enjoy eating,” she says. Middletown
Nick and Tracy Rabar, the culinary magicians behind Avenue N and The Pantry, are opening Honeybird Kitchen, featuring chef-driven fried chicken, in a repurposed Getty station on Massasoit Avenue in East Providence. “We had our eye on the gas station for years,” admits Tracy. The developer, who was set to demolish it, heard they were interested in rehabbing the building for Honeybird’s home, so he offered it to them to salvage.
Honeybird’s concept, inspired by frequent trips to South Carolina, launched as a Monday night take-away special at Avenue N. “It was a mob scene,” recalls Tracy. “We couldn’t keep up.” While fried chicken rules the roost, Honeybird also offers grilled and vegan options. Authentic Southern sides and snacks (like hushpuppies, homemade mac and cheese, and fried okra) fill out the menu, and Duke’s Mayonnaise is the condiment of choice. The craft cocktail-centric full bar features great bourbons and fun beers. East Providence, HoneyBirdRI.com
“I’m not a Patriots fan,” John Oliver, owner of East Providence’s newest sports bar The Local, admits sheepishly. “I wanted to create a place where you could go and enjoy your team, even if it’s not the local one.” The Local’s Front Row – a separate room with couches, an 80-inch TV, and its own dedicated audio – is available to book if you want to cheer on, say, the Giants. (Who even are you?) Don’t worry, Pats fans – the main bar, with its 16 screens, tunes into home team games.
The Local’s menu is sports-bar forward (think nachos, wings, and burgers), with everything locally sourced and house-made, including its BBQ sauce, blue cheese dressing, and their famous Local Sauce (also available in a vegan option). Oliver, an East Providence native, is a firm believer in Townie pride. “You treat the community right, and in return they’ll support you.” East Providence, TheLocalRI.com
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