Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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I MAG E CR E DIT G OES H E R E 64 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Ronsky's pop-up café brings Italian fare to Boston By Beth Karlin Small bite R on Suhanosky had grown weary of managing two elegant, successful Sfoglia restaurants — one in New York City and the other on Massachusetts' Nantucket Island — and he wanted to be with family in Boston. So the award-winning chef sold the restaurants and moved into a 425-square-foot, temporary breakfast-and-lunch café at The Street Chestnut Hill. Now suburban Boston diners can enjoy simpler, though still elegant, versions of Suhanosky's Italian fare, at Ronsky's pop-up café. "I was spending all my time managing the businesses before," Suhanosky said. "I felt downscaling was the right thing to do. I wanted to get back to my passions: cooking and interacting with customers." The Street, in the affluent, leafy village of Chestnut Hill, which is within biking distance of Suhanosky's home, has helped him ease into the market. Rave reviews of the café, meanwhile, helped the developer, WS Development, draw more traffic to the center itself. The pop- up concept "is like dating," according to Allison Yee, general manager of the Street. "Businesses can test-drive the tenant experience at our property and within the local community, while we also learn how well they fit into our mix." To be sure, Ronsky's is small — 10 seats and two bar stools (a far cry from Sfoglia) — but it possesses the intimacy that Suhanosky loves. "I have total control over everything and contact with everyone who comes through the door," he said. For breakfast he offers sophisticated options like pear and ricotta toast, zeppole (a ricotta cheese doughnut) and his favorite imported Italian coffee. Lunch offerings include ten panini variations and a vegan soup. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, he renames the space My Nonna's Table and serves dinner for private parties of up to 12. "Customers often end up engaging in wonderful conversations about food or travel or art with chef Ron himself," she said. "It's a combination that resonates well here and combines to produce such a gourmet taste." Apparently, the temporary lease "dating" experience has been delightful enough that an "engagement" is now imminent: A permanent space at the Street is in the plans for Ronsky's when the pop-up closes at the end of this month. "While we have yet to determine how Ronsky's will live here," said Yee, "there is a wonderful synergy between us, and we look forward to continuing our relationship." n S T O R E F R O N T S

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