Joe and Debbie Ribeiro stand on the deck of their new restaurant, The Clydesdale Pub & Grill, which will be opening in early May. The deck overlooks the Byram River.
Jananne Abel|Westmore News
Joe and Debbie Ribeiro stand on the deck of their new restaurant, The Clydesdale Pub & Grill, which will be opening in early May. The deck overlooks the Byram River. Jananne Abel|Westmore News
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The restaurant scene in Port Chester and Rye Brook is vibrant and ever-changing, and thank goodness for that. There are always new places for residents to eat and for me to critique.

As it stands now, one new place will be opening soon, another in about a month, another sometime in the future. Sadly, two longtime restaurants closed unexpectedly. The tacos and tequila joint I wrote up last month has suffered a setback but will hopefully be reopening in the near future. Heartland Black + Gold at the train station reopened in March as promised, Citta Wine Bar & Restaurant’s name has been changed back to Il Sogno and bartaco, which has only had a temporary certificate of occupancy since it opened, is now going for a permanent one. That has required appearances before the Port Chester Planning Commission for site plan approval and the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances.

The Clydesdale Pub & Grill

435 North Main St.

Port Chester

935-1234

www.theclydesdalepubandgrill.com

Opening: May 5-10

River House Bar and Grill closed in mid-January at 435 North Main St. after starting out like gangbusters in September 2014 with three partners who had worked together at restaurants in Greenwich. Now one of the three has joined with his wife to create a whole new vibe at this location which has been home to many different restaurants and bars over the years.

Greenwich residents Joe and Debbie Ribeiro, who have been married 23 years, will be opening The Clydesdale Pub & Grill somewhere between May 5 and May 10. They have signed a 10-year lease with landlord Brian Smith, and work to transform the former River House into their own place with an English village pub look is in full swing. A new wood front and doors have been installed and two planters with bright-colored flowers, signs of a woman’s touch, welcome interested parties to peek inside even before opening day.

Joe has run restaurants as general manager since 1992, most recently Sundown Saloon in Greenwich where he worked until a month ago.

“The partnership didn’t work out,” Joe said about River House.

“I have been involved indirectly in the restaurant business the whole time Joe has been in the business,” said Debbie, who was born in Scotland but raised in England. She also runs a dental office which she plans to continue to do part-time as well as working at The Clydesdale Pub & Grill.

“For quite some time now we’ve looked for someplace low key and inexpensive and have not been able to find one, so we decided to open one,” said Debbie. “We always spoke about having a restaurant together,” said Joe.

Their website describes the Ribeiros’ new venture as “an American bar with a British twist.” Besides brick oven pizza, which has been made at this location since the owner of JT Straw’s installed the brick oven, they plan to serve English staples like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and bangers and mash. American specialties will include macaroni and cheese, steak sandwiches, chili dogs, chili, sliders, chicken wings with a variety of sauces, and salads. There will also be fried calamari with cherry pepper remoulade and, of course, some Mexican specialties like quesadillas, tacos and a steak platter with rice and beans.

While the menu, like the pub, is still under construction, “we plan to serve simple things well done,” said Joe.

“It will be very well priced and family oriented,” said Debbie.

The signature drink will be mojitos, with a different fruit flavor served each day.

The Ribeiros plan to continue River House’s tradition of serving food till 2 a.m. The pub and grill will open at 11 a.m.

Three clocks hang above the bar, one showing the time in New York, one the time in London and the third the hour in Sao Paulo, Brazil where Joe is from.

Debbie and Joe both came to the U.S. in 1991 and met in Port Chester at 7 Willow Street, which was an upscale bar with live music.

When I visited the emerging pub and grill on Monday, Apr. 25, three oil paintings, two of Clydesdales and one of a Scottish fishing village, were ready to be hung.

Additional TVs will be installed for a total of 10 that will air all sporting events.

The Ribeiros plan to apply for a cabaret license which will allow live acoustic or house music like jazz and bossa nova, and they have gotten approval to open the rebuilt deck off the back of the restaurant overlooking the Byram River for al fresco eating and drinking. Debbie plans to plant sea grasses to provide a more attractive view along the riverfront.

“We’re going to listen to the customers” as to what kind of music or anything else they’d like, said Debbie.

They both want to be involved in the community and participate in local events.

Patsy’s Pizzeria

23 North Main St.

Port Chester

Opening: May-June

Patsy’s Pizzeria of New York City fame is still in the midst of refurbishing the location where Spadaro Ristorante had been in Neil Pagano’s newly renovated building on Abendroth Avenue. When I stopped by on Apr. 25, it was obvious that a lot of work had been done, including relocating the bar and changing the décor to a warm Italian look created by rustic wood paneling and brick compared to the more stark look Spadaro was going for. According to the building permit that was taken out in July 2015, other alterations will include creating a service counter and changing the entrance on the North Main Street side of the restaurant which Spadaro did not use.

The construction manager onsite confirmed my analysis that nothing remains the same except the shiny 6,000-pound oven from Naples that heats up to 900 degrees and cooks a pizza in less than two minutes. He estimated that it would be another month before construction is complete.

Wingstop

17 North Main St.

Port Chester

Opening: Unknown

In the same building as Patsy’s, Wingstop, a national restaurant chain that is seeking to establish its first location in Westchester, is looking to convert retail space to a restaurant on the Abendroth Avenue side of the structure to the left of Patsy’s.

The 2100-square-foot restaurant will have 54 seats plus an outdoor seating area and a to-go counter.

Wingstop, which has 800 locations, serves classic chicken wings, boneless chicken and crispy chicken tenders in 13 different flavors plus fries and sides.

This application was before the Port Chester Planning Commission on Mar. 28, and it was determined by the Building Department that there was no need for it to go back before them in April.

“We question whether or not the Planning Commission has authority over this application,” said attorney Anthony Gioffre at the Mar. 28 meeting.

I assume construction will start on this new restaurant as soon as all the permits are received.

Banditos Tacos & Tequila

139 South Main St.

Port Chester

481-5151

Reopening: Uncertain

Not long after my review last month, Banditos Tacos & Tequila was cited by the Village of Port Chester as an “Unsafe Structure” with a red notice taped to the front window, and it is now closed.

The notice states that no building or plumbing permits were filed for the work that was done and there have been no inspections.

In the meantime, variances that were previously granted to allow the restaurant to be constructed expired and a request for an extension was on the agenda at the Apr. 21 Port Chester Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Restaurant owner Luis Perez characterized the issues as miscommunication between himself and the village. He said he had to pay $1,000 and hopes everything can be resolved within the next month.

Sichuan Pavilion

480 Westchester Ave.

Port Chester

939-8889

Closed Apr. 15

I heard from various people that Sichuan Pavilion had closed, then went by on Apr. 25 and saw the sign in the window from Ricky Chan alerting customers it would be closing on Apr. 15.

Chan had rejoined the business in 2010 to help his mother Marianna out. His dad started the restaurant as Chef Sung in 1990, later changing the name to Sichuan Pavilion, and his mother took over its operation when her husband died around 2005.

Ricky downsized and upscaled the menu so it was by far the best Chinese restaurant in town. I join many other local residents who are upset by its closing.

I have fond memories of eating at Sichuan Pavilion so many times with my in-laws who are now deceased and our children who are now grown. My husband and I continued to frequent the restaurant, but we never ordered takeout from there. The food was so much better eaten in where we could enjoy endless cups of tea.

The letter in the window and the recording when you call the telephone number say the decision to close after 26 years was bittersweet. “It has truly been an unbelievable ride and a great pleasure to serve the neighboring towns of Port Chester, Rye Brook, Harrison, Purchase, Rye, Greenwich, etc.,” Chan wrote.

I tried to contact Chan via email to find out more, but the address no longer works. Suffice it to say that it was time for his mom to retire, and maybe longtime manager Johnny Chu as well, and Ricky didn’t want to go it alone.

The bamboo shades are now drawn at Sichuan Pavilion, and I’m sure a new restaurant coming in would require the creation of a handicapped accessible bathroom, and maybe other upgrades as well, which might not make it feasible. Just like the former Piero’s on South Regent Street, that location may never be a restaurant again.

Nessa Ristorante

325 North Main St.

Port Chester

939-0119

Closed week of Apr. 18

As we went to press, I discovered that Nessa Ristorante, located diagonally across the street from the Port Chester police station, had closed the week of Apr. 18. The upscale enotecca or Italian sandwich shop, which opened in 2007, had undergone a rebranding last fall to add more flexibility to the menu. That transformation apparently didn’t help bring business back to what it had been in the restaurant’s heyday as one of Port Chester’s finer dining spots.

When you call Nessa’s telephone number, the message does not indicate that the restaurant is closed.