Mike Roman is bringing a family history rich in successful restaurants to with a new venture opening this June on Ardmore Boulevard.
“Roman Bistro & Boulevard Bottle/Cigar Shop” will feature American cuisine with Italian flair, a separate bottle shop featuring 500 different beers, wines and 4,000 cigars, a full-service bar with 30 drafts and a separate dining area that doubles as a space for showers and events.
Signature dishes will include jumbo lump crab cakes, pasta entrees, burgers, a fresh catch of the day and daily homemade soups. The menu will be priced in the high-teens.
Thirty seats will be at the bar, while 150 people can eat in the dining areas. Twenty TVs also will be on the bar side. The total size of the space is just under 7,000 square feet.
Roman of McCandless is aiming to open the upscale, casual dining restaurant in mid-June—prime season for the outdoor seating on the patio. He said people will be able to get a great burger at any time of the day, whether it’s lunch or dinner.
“With the economy, people are looking for great food at a great value and a really nice atmosphere,” he said.
Roman finalized the last building permits about a week and a half ago. Construction on the parking lot and interior of the building will be completed by Repal Construction starting this week.
“I think creating a great space with fresh food at a great price and a great atmosphere is perfect for people coming from a five to 10 mile radius to have a good time,” Roman said. “I like to entertain people—that’s really what I do.”
Roman started out in the restaurant business at the age of 12 when he helped at his father’s restaurant in the North Hills called, “Chick’s Copper Mug.” Later, he opened “Romans Ups and Downs,” a combined restaurant and night-club. Most recently, he co-opened “Barcelona at River’s Edge” in Verona in 2011.
“Once you get it in your blood, it’s hard to get out,” he said of the restaurant business.
Located in a space previously occupied by Bacchus Bistro and Wine Bar, Roman said he immediately fell in love with the building, located at 2104 Ardmore Blvd., when the current owners, Action Housing, approached him.
He said he loves the small neighborhoods surrounding the space and its close proximity to the Parkway.
“People will come in and know everyone—that’s what we are going to try to do,” Roman said of the space and ambiance he wants to set. “This will be a local gathering place with great food.”
Roman currently is looking at two different chefs to run the back of the house, while he will be the general manager who runs the front. Craft, seasonal beers brewed locally, including options from Full Pint Brewing, will be featured on tap regularly.
The parking lot across from the restaurant is being redone, while overflow parking will be available at the Forest Hills borough municipal lot across the street.
A baby grand piano will be located on the bar side of the restaurant for entertainment purposes as well, where patrons will be able to enjoy small plates and drinks.