When I first heard that the bistro at the Naval and Servicemen’s Museum was not moving forward (see story), I was completely disappointed. How had we gotten so far as to announce that it was coming, just to have the project pulled out from underneath us? After regrouping, we looked forward to the opening of Clinton’s Dish, which was ultimately a good thing, but the broader missed opportunity – the bistro – was a disappointment that overshadowed many of the positive advancements. Since day one, the Naval Museum buildout was intended to have food and beverage on the first floor. When the park first re-opened without even a cafe, many of us scratched our heads in dismay. I remember running into Larry Quinn on this day back in 2008, when he mentioned to me that it would be nice to have a place down there to get a cup of coffee. I thought to myself, “Wow, here’s the guy who’s in charge of a lot of this and he’s wondering where to get a cup of coffee at Canalside… we may be in trouble.” Looking back, it was six years ago when I first posted that there was a cafe coming to the Naval Museum. How time flies.
It’s been a long wait for sure, but thankfully we can once again look forward to having a bistro in the Naval Museum… this time it’s really, really official. Earlier today, City officials along with the members of the Naval Park and the ECHDC, announced that Jason Davidson (of Magnolia Catering and Waterline Cafe) and Mike Shatzel (of Blue Monk and Coles) will be opening a restaurant and work will begin this season. The concept has yet to be officially announced, but as Jay [Davidson] puts it, “It is intended to be a bit of Coles, Blue Monk and Waterline, all mixed together to create a casual eatery that will help to fill the void between The Hatch and Templeton Landing. The restaurant will have a nautical theme with creative, good quality food at an affordable price. We will have a full liquor license, and during peak season we’ll be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Despite the initial setback in 2007 and subsequent setbacks in 2008, 2009, 20010 and even 2011… we’re going to get our cafe/bistro/restaurant in the Naval Museum. Now, what’s next?