As I was walking down the street one day, I got to chatting with someone about #allthingsbeacon, and they asked me if I knew about the new Italian restaurant going into the former karate school space next to Mr. V's Deli. I had not yet heard about this development, but was intrigued.
"Can you believe it?" they asked, "an Italian restaurant right across the street from Amarcord? The nerve." If you didn't know already, know now: Cafe Amarcord is one of Beacon's favorite restaurants, lauded for its fresh, Mediterranean menu. (Check out this review from Hudson Valley Magazine, who really liked the pan-roasted mussels in a white wine garlic sauce, bucatini Amatriciana, pappardelle with black pepper ricotta and dried tomatoes, as well as "a skewer of rosemary-infused lamb served on creamy polenta with a sauce of lemon.") Beaconites are very protective of their local businesses, so they care about what opens where, and whether a new Italian food business would be opening across the street from a longtime business. Amarcord has been open in Beacon for eleven years, so it has quite a following.
Paper went up on the windows of the short building across the street from Amarcord, and construction began, building out a kitchen and transforming the tired space. When the decorative faux windows and new shingles went up on the roof, Rifo Murtovic, owner of Cafe Amarcord, stepped out of his usual perch in the doorway of his restaurant to stand on the sidewalk of the other side of the street, surveying the construction.
#sameteam! Pizza or Fine Italian
Our investigation began immediately, seeking confirmation from Rifo that he himself was the one opening the rumored pizza restaurant. "It will be brick oven pizza," he described. "More casual than Amarcord." The heat source of the oven? Wood. As for making changes to the facade of a building he does not own: "I just want it to look nice," he marveled, while looking at the building seeing in his mind's eye a vision of post-renovation perfection.
The owner of Royal Crepes was also outside on the sidewalk during the interview for this article, and enthusiastically interjected more detail: "The pizzas won't be like most Mediterranean around here. They will each be personal pies, and the meat for the toppings will be cut right in front of you. It's part of the experience." Personal, flat pizza pies of the freshest ingredients are the norm in Italy, and they are about to become an option in Beacon as well. Wine and beer will also be available. As of now, there are no plans for delivery.
Flavors from Tuscany? Yes, please. Congratulations to Rifo on the new addition.
This article is the first in our series covering businesses in Beacon who have opened second or more locations in Beacon. We are currently brainstorming names for this series. Got any? Submit ideas here in the Comments!