- Wit & grit. co-owners Hannah Arias (left) and Ericka Grygowski
On January 2, Hannah Arias and Ericka Grygowski opened wit & grit., a daytime eatery in downtown Randolph. They added indoor dining and brunch cocktails on January 22.
The restaurant serves up healthy sides of humor with menu items such as Parfait for the Course (yogurt layered with fruit and housemade granola), What the Fructoast (fruit-filled puff pastries), and Steak Your Claim (a grilled chicken-and-cheese wrap).
Arias and Grygowski took over the space at 29 Merchants Row that was previously occupied by Black Krim Tavern. That business closed in July 2021 after more than a decade, when chef-owner Sarah Natvig became a culinary arts instructor at Randolph Technical Center.
Grygowski's father is from Bethel, and she visited Vermont regularly while growing up in Connecticut, she said. She has a business management degree and a decade of U.S. Navy service under her belt; her husband is still in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Originally from Bennington, Arias has an MFA in theater, which naturally led to many years working in New York City restaurants, she joked. She returned to her home state from Napa Valley when her wife landed a job as Randolph's recreation director.
That was four years ago, the same year that Grygowski and her family moved to Randolph. With four daughters between them, the two met through their 5-year-olds, who were in preschool together. During the pandemic, "we podded together, hung out and brainstormed," Grygowski said.
"I always had a spark to go back into the restaurant business," Arias said. "I'm a small-town girl. I like knowing who's in the post office, who all the local teachers are. I decided I wanted to do it here."
The pair consider themselves lucky to have landed local chef Peter DiNardi to help develop and cook their menu, which is gradually expanding. Wit & grit. is currently open Friday through Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
While there is plenty of wit to be found at the restaurant, the grits are still to come, Grygowski said. In the meantime, customers can dig into breakfast burritos with house salsa fresca or buttermilk-cheddar biscuits smothered in sausage gravy made from scratch. That menu item is called Mind Your Biscuits and Life Will Be Gravy.