The cedar-shingled building on Boston Neck Road in North Kingstown has been a restaurant for decades, under various owners. This is a place for a menu that requires no explanation, a place for families, value and family service. It’s a place that needs locals who prefer a certain table and make it a routine. Bob Finocchiaro, its new owner, gets all that. He opened Suzie Q’s Eatery on March 3, and wants to be that new, old local fixture.
Westerly born, and a graduate of Johnson & Wales, he said he’d “had enough” of upstate, and just “likes the people, the family, the area.” If you are going to do a homecoming in restaurant form, an unpretentious breakfast and lunch spot is a pretty good call. Running it with your family is an even better one,. When asking for their positions, instead, Bob explains his sons “do what needs to be done,” and “hopefully they’ll run the place one day.”
While he speaks affectionately of the “old building, with a coziness to it,” he also recognized that it needed a little sprucing up. Over the last six months he has refurbished the interior with new tiling, paint, flooring and awning outside, which was in a sorry state. The restaurant has always enjoyed traffic and historically has had a good reputation. He wants to build on that. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, it’s what I’m best at,” Bob says, matter-of-factly. Owning several different restaurants and delis over the last 35 years, he was fated to the profession as so many have been: “my mom was a really good cook.”
The place oozes family-style New England diner, with emphasis on big breakfasts, stacks of French toast, burgers, home cooking and sandwiches to eat-in or to go. Their hash and eggs has been going down well with locals, who Bob says have been “very welcoming.” Speaking of good neighbors, the restaurant shares the building with Borelli’s Bakery, with whom they’ve been working hand in hand. They certainly don’t have to go far to get their bread, and they’ll need lots of it, with a weekly special at $5.99 for a ten-inch grinder.
It wouldn’t be a New-England diner without clamcakes and chowder, and on Fridays they extend their normal hours (6am-4pm) to 7pm instead, in service of fish and chips for dinner. Bob clearly learned some valuable life lessons in his Poughkeepsie exile. His last restaurant was named after himself. This one is named Suzie Q, after his wife.
820 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown. 294-2122
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