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New Restaurant Taking Over DownCity’s Location

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Not even Kitchen Magician Gordon Ramsay could save DownCity Restaurant, and now a new restaurant is moving in.

Ever since DownCity Restaurant, a downtown Providence landmark known for drag brunches, ample cocktails and most notably for being being featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's popular Kitchen Nightmares show, closed in December, rumors have been floating among Rhode Island foodies regarding what restaurant will open in its place.

Remodeling of the space has just begun and the rumor mill is in high gear. A bartender from Chow Fun Food Group's 10 Steak & Sushi is purported to be behind the new restaurant at 50 Weybosset St, slated to open by October. Although the restaurant's name has not been determined, Rhode Islanders should expect Italian cuisine. With a price range similar to Ten, they plan to attract an upscale urban clientele. Apparently, the new restaurant will have a Miami vibe, taking advantage of the location's heigh ceilings, in a similar way to Miami's Delano.

DownCity drama

When Abby Cabral and Rico Conforti bought DownCity in 2005, a kitchen fire burned down the restaurant and the whole building at 151 Weybosset St. Two years later, they opened in a huge space at 50 Weybosset.

DownCity Restaurant had a burst of fame in March 2011 when it was featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's popular Kitchen Nightmares show on FOX. Prior to Ramsay's arrival, DownCity admitted to financial troubles. Ramsay came to Providence twice as part of DownCity's makeover. He came first to rework the restaurant's appearance and menu. When Ramsay returned for the restaurant's relaunch, he invited an "influential" food blogger, who had a key role on the episode. She claimed to be a locally-renowned blogger who had 10,000 followers. In reality, at the time of airing, this food blogger only had 190 Twitter followers. Ramsay had been hopeful that the publicity and his lessons could help the restaurant get back on track. Later in the year, the restaurant closed its doors. 

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