Newton foodies may have missed by now Pie Bakery, a neighborhood hangout revered for its Granny Smith apple pie and other treats. However, a new restaurant is arising from the ashes of Pie -- B Street Restaurant, which owners say will open soon in Newton Centre.
Construction will be finished shortly "and then we'll start getting everything ready and open a few weeks after that, " said Ely Kaplansky, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Ellie. The two of them opened Pie in December 2007.
"Originally, B Street was the kind of place Ellie and I wanted to open," Kaplansky said. "A great, neighborhood restaurant, not a pub but not a white tablecloth type place either, where people could enjoy great food and liquor."
However, a series of concept meetings turned the neighborhood restaurant idea into a bakery where everything was made fresh on premises. Kaplansky said he and his wife enjoyed running the business, but that it was never profitable.
"We gave it three years, but we opened just as the recession started and were never really able to turn a profit at that location," Kaplansky said. "We knew we needed to make a change."
That change will mean a new, 48-seat restaurant with a full liquor license and a very different ambiance. Kaplansky said they started putting their plans into motion after closing Pie in November.
"We thought getting the liquor license would be difficult, but it turned out adding the seats was what required jumping through the most hoops," Kaplansky said. "But in the end, I think everything will be worth it."
One mistake Kaplansky says he won't make with B Street is by seeking too much publicity too soon, a strategy he said backfired at Pie.
"We had a publicist from day one at Pie, and a lot of play in local press. It meant we never really had a chance to get our bearings, and I think it hurt us," Kaplansky said. "Here we're planning to do a soft open, start with just a few family and friends, and not make a big fanfare until we know what we're doing."
B Street will have a new head chef, Simon Robinson, as well as a full-time pastry chef. And yes, Kaplansky said the Granny Smith apple pie will be on the menu, along with other Pie favorites like the egg white frittata and bran muffins.
"The response we've gotten from the community as we've gotten ready has been really fantastic," Kaplansky said. "We can't wait to get started."
Sarah Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.