Meet Allison and “Skip” Rich (with 2-year-old son Zayne), new owners of Angelina’s in the Admiral District (map). When they took it over and shut it down for remodeling a month ago (previous coverage here and here), they said they hoped to reopen in early October, so we checked back – and found out it’s going to take a few extra weeks – they’re now targeting October 19th. We stopped by yesterday afternoon for a peek at some of what they’ve done to the space so far, with a lot of work left to do:
That short clip shows the 30-foot-long bar that dominates the northern half of the restaurant (right side, where the main entrance was); that side will be 21-up. But Skip says, “Our whole plan is NOT to be a 2 o’clock bar – we’re not going to kick people out, but if nobody’s here … We’re not here to be some crazy raucous sports bar.” See and hear about the rest of the renovations, ahead:
With three weeks to go, the booths are also in place on the restaurant side, which will be all-ages and decidedly family friendly – note this large booth that will be in the back corner on the south side (the tables and booths are natural wood, including reclaimed material from demolition of the prior setup – “we’ve been building the tables at our house,” Allison smiles):
They plan to have chalkboards available in all booths and at all tables – not just for kids to draw or write on (besides their 2-year-old son, they have a 4-year-old daughter, so they know firsthand what might interest the little ones), but also for grownups – “Maybe you’re on a date and you want to play tic-tac-toe,” Skip suggests. If you were an Angelina’s regular, this may bring back memories of the chalkboard in the tiny bathroom; that restroom was “grandfathered” into the building’s previous incarnation but they’re building big new ones now – this clip looks around the dining room starting with the area where the restrooms are going into the back:
Concrete for the floor in the restroom area will be poured by early next week. The monitors aren’t in yet but they’re planning two big TVs in the dining room – placed strategically so they’re not necessarily “in the faces” of all diners, they are quick to point out, but at least you’ll be able to keep track of a sports game if you come for weekend brunch, for example – and TVs over the bar. The rest of the decor will include “khaki” walls matching the wood booths/tabletops, with the ceiling in the same red that adorns the restaurant’s front exterior. Local artists’ work will be on the walls, Allison says, perhaps rotating every few months.
So what about the food, you ask? As reported previously, they plan to keep it Italian, with some extras. They’re also planning to keep Mondays as “kids eat free.” And they’re proud to say that the previous chef is staying on, along with previous staffers. So far, the couple says, everything with the remodeling has gone fairly well – liquor license, building permits, etc. They’ve been working intensively on the space for about three weeks, and that means the halfway mark till the hoped-for October 19 reopening (for the traditional friends/family preview, before opening to the public) – we’ll keep you posted.