Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, February 16, 2017
Hello to Stonecutters Kitchen; goodbye to Fisherman’s Friend
From left, owner Tony Bray and crew members Kristian Burrin and Brad Rice convert Fisherman’s Friend dining room into Stonecutters Kitchen.
by Anne Berleant
The name was the last piece to come, weeks after owner Tony Bray decided to close down Fisherman’s Friend restaurant, and re-purpose it as Stonecutters Kitchen, a year-round concern aimed more at locals than summer folk.
“We wanted to do something year-round, with more options, in Stonington,” Bray said. “The locals are what keep us going all year ’round.”
No more table service. Instead, customers will order from a long counter at the back of the Harbor View Store, walk straight through to the dining room, perhaps grab a drink at the bar, and carry it to a table or eating bar, or outside to the deck in fine weather.
Stonecutters Kitchen will combine with Harbor View Store into one business, Bray said, with all customers entering through the store’s current doors, and dining patrons heading to the back to order in a new, large counter constructed in space not currently in use by the store. The change will add 1,000 square feet to the Harbor View Store, Bray said, with more ready-made food to go, and a larger take out menu.
The offerings will combine the best of the Fisherman’s Friend—a sit-down, full service Stonington summertime tradition that spanned two locations for over 40 years—and the store’s take out menu, with “old style, traditional” fried seafood, chowders and stews, beef, fish and chicken burgers, plus “nice salads,” and pizza, subs and sandwiches. Steamed mussels, clams and lobsters, and lobster rolls, will be added for summer time.
Customers will still be able to grab a couple of slices from the pizza warmers but may choose to sit down in the dining room to eat.
The restaurant space will feature a long eating bar and tables, a wood floor, and several wall-mounted televisions. The beverage bar will be walk-up-and-order style, with no table service.
“You order, get a pager, when it goes off, you pick up your food and sit anywhere you want,” Bray said. “The one challenge I think is [customers] are entering through the store. It’ll take a little while to catch on.”
Still under construction, Bray plans to open Stonecutters Kitchen—named as a tribute to Stonington founders, he said—some time in April.
“I think people will like what we have to offer,” he added.