It's no secret that in recent years Winooski has been a city on the move. On the food and beverage front, locals have enjoyed the additions of Blossom Whole Food Kitchen and Catering (in the former Misery Loves Co. bakeshop space) and Commodities Natural Market. Some have lamented the loss of Donny's New York Pizza & Sports Bar, which ended an 18-year run last November, and the subsequent closure of CK's Sports Bar. Kyle Tipson and Chris Coleman poured their final drinks at the latter establishment on the eastern end of Malletts Bay Avenue earlier this winter.
Now, both of the recently shuttered spots have new owners. Last month, Joyce Fong began renovations to turn the Donny's storefront at the corner of Canal and Main into a second location of her popular Essex Junction Chinese spot, Joyce's Noodle House. "There's a lot of work to be done," Fong told Seven Days via phone on Monday. "I think it'll take at least five months."
When the new restaurant opens, it'll be called the Mandarin — a throwback to Fong's original Chinese restaurant, according to its Facebook page. Its menu will resemble the one at her other shop, with a few updates. Along with Mandarin-style dim sum, pan-Chinese noodle dishes, saucy stir-fries and fried snacks, diners can expect healthy dishes that Fong hopes will appeal to students, young professionals and families. The restaurant will also serve beer, wine and cocktails.
Up the hill at 12 Malletts Bay Avenue, Shayla Ruland of Williston and Shannon Garrett of Essex Junction took over CK's around Christmastime. According to applications for liquor license and live entertainment permits filed with the city on December 28, 2016, and January 9, 2017, respectively, Ruland and Garrett plan to reopen the place as the Last Stop Sports Bar.
Those applications were on the agenda of a Winooski City Council meeting that took place after press time on Monday, February 6. Pending the city's green light, the bar will be open daily for drinks and host live bands on Friday and Saturday evenings. Neither Ruland nor Garrett returned calls for comment on Monday.
Finally, Main Street's Tiny Thai Restaurant is reportedly making a move to a new space at 293 Main Street, about half a mile north of its current location near the bottom of the Winooski traffic circle. While the restaurant's owners did not immediately return calls for comment, a worker at the restaurant confirmed the move and said it "wasn't happening anytime soon," declining to offer additional specifics.
A lot is happening in the Onion City — we'll keep you posted as we learn more!