It’s getting harder to find a hot breakfast on Main Street. Audra’s Cafe closed its doors during the summer and now Jigger’s has closed for the second time in a little over a year. Meanwhile, Twisted Dogs - formerly The Sweet Nest, Angelina’s and Pick Pockets - closed last week after only two months in business.
What’s up with Main Street? According to Jigger’s proprietor Iva Reynhout, it’s a tough time to be in business.
“There’s only so much you can charge for breakfast,” said Reynhout, noting that the costs for all the items that go into that breakfast kept rising.
Reynhout faced tax problems last year, prompting the state to close the diner in August 2010. The eatery reopened for three days a week in December - much to the relief of customers - then added a fourth, but mortgage holder Centreville Bank repossessed the property last week.
“We tried, and we appreciate all the support from the customers and all the publicity,” said Reynhout. “That’s all appreciated - that’s from my heart.”
Reynhout said she’s not sure what she’ll do next except that she’s actively looking for a job, ideally as a chef.
It’s not all doom and gloom on the breakfast front. Anne Steger has taken over the lease of the Twisted Dogs space and plans to open it as the Village Cafe sometime in December. In an interview on Saturday, she said that the cafe would serve traditional breakfast and lunch items like eggs, pancakes, waffles - “comfort foods and great coffee.”
Steger, who lives in Warwick, said she’s worked in restaurants her whole life. “I had the money and I wanted to try this,” she said. “I’ve wanted this a long time.”
As for why East Greenwich, Steger said, “I love East Greenwich and love this quaint little area.”
The restaurant will be small, with only six or seven tables along with a small counter. For now, Steger envisions it will be open daily from 6:30 to 2 p.m. but that maybe when the weather warms up she will stay open into the evening.
Steger took over the lease from Steve Filippou, who owns Filippou’s Twisted Pizza right across the street. He said that adding the new restaurant - even right across the street - turned out to be too much.
“Between the other restaurants and that, it’s just too much,” Filippou said last week. “I want to spend a little time with the family.” In addition to the Main Street restaurant, he owns restaurants in Warwick (Oakland Beach), North Kingstown and Exeter. “It’s all family run. We have to focus on them and it was just too much.”
Filippou said he hopes to possibly reopen Twisted Dogs in back of the pizza restaurant.
As for Audra’s - which closed in late July - its fate remains a mystery. Messages left at the phone number listed on the sign in the window have gone unaswered.
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