It’s got new floors, some new paint, new seating and finally, an opening date.
With approval from the state health inspector in hand, according to restaurant owner John Ruggieri-Lam, Bentleys restaurant will open Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m.
“We’re psyched, it really has come together,” Ruggieri said. “Wait until you see the place.”
The longtime Woodstock restaurant closed March 3, leaving a void downtown.
Shortly after previous owners, Mountain Trading Company, declared bankruptcy, a company called Stonewall, headed by Ruggieri (an attorney and part-time Barnard resident) and Maria Freddura (a Boston restauranteur), announced they were planning to take over theoperation of the restaurant.
The group also took over operations of shuttered Quechee restaurant Fire Stones, which it has renamed River Stones. The Quechee restaurant is getting a menu and decorating makeover and will likely open “some weeks” after Bentleys, Ruggieri said.
The restaurant’s seating has been rearranged, painting’s been touched up and the floors are new. Freddura offered some hints of some new menu options in an earlier interview.
“We want to do some lounge or bar bites to encourage more eating, not just drinking,” Freddura said. “I want people to feel comfortable that they can gather and have their one drink or two, but have enough food offerings for them that are price-point conscious as well as filling.”
Despite mud season, Ruggieri anticipates a full house. Bentleys has booked entertainment for the night of April 18 opening.
“We’ve gotten a zillion calls from locals, saying ‘When will we be able to come back?’” Ruggieri said. “We have absolutely every reason to believe we’re going to be very, very busy those first nights.”