WALLINGFORD — A new restaurant is set to open in the former Natalie’s Pizza location at 23 South Colony St.
Six One Nine Supper Club, which features American cuisine with a creative West Coast flair, is expected to open in late November.
Co-owner Anthony Fiorillo says the restaurant will offer a different culinary experience. Dana Mora and her husband Michael Mora and Shawn Ruggiero, Dana’s brother, are the other owners.
“The concept and the menu is a little bit outside of what we’ve kind of been exposed to in this area,” Dana Mora said. “With it being called Six One Nine, that’s the area code of San Diego and is where I met my husband, who will be the chef of the restaurant.”
Mora said they have been exposed to the California cuisine by working in the food industry there. Michael was previously a chef at Rustic Root, a New American cuisine restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.
“Over there, they are playing into a lot of different cultures,” Mora said. “So that’s what we want to do, even though it’s American cuisine. We are going to pull in a little from Japanese, a little from Mexican, Italian, and kind of have something on the menu for everyone.”Atmosphere of a supper club
Fiorillo said the group was looking to open up a restaurant in town with a different flair.
“We want to go a little chic, not your typical hangout spot,” Dana Mora said. “That’s also why we went with calling it a supper club.”
Mora said years ago, the experience was more than just going out to eat.
“We also want to have a social scene, too,” she said. “Yes, please come for the food and drinks, but with how it looks in here, we want people to feel like they’re going out.”
Mora wants people to get a little dressed up and thinks that post-COVID, that seems to be lacking a bit.
A supper club is typically a traditional dining establishment that also functions as a social space. It may also mean that the establishment may appear as high-class, even if the price is affordable to all.
Mora said that supper clubs go back to the 1920s and ’30s.
“We wanted to feel more, not necessarily like a club, but intimate,” Mora said. “We want everyone in Wallingford to want to be a part of it. I think this town has its own culture and personality that we want to bring into it.”What they hope to achieve
Mora said she wants Six One Nine, placed in a 1,200-square-foot building, to be more than just a restaurant, an eatery or a bistro. She said everyone now goes out in jeans, a backwards hat, and very casual.
She wants to see people get dressed up to go out for dinner.
“We want to bring a bit of that classiness back, but not in an upscale way,” Mora said.
A few weeks ago, Six One Nine participated in Celebrate Wallingford and had a booth sampling some of the foods they will feature.
One of the dishes featured is macaroni and cheese, but Mora said they will use three types of cheese. A favorite salad of hers is called Green Goddess, which has shaved egg and tarragon vinaigrette. Mora said the salad is not featured in many restaurants in the area.Late-night spots are hard to find
Mora said that the goal is for Six One Nine to be open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner.
“We also want to have a late-night vibe,” Mora said. “Maybe not 2 a.m., but if it’s in demand, we’re happy to be that place.”
She hopes to at least be open until midnight. Mora said people in their 30s and 40s, like her and her partners, often have a hard time finding a place to eat late at night.
“Kitchens are closing at nine and we can’t get food,” she said. “We don’t want that to be the challenge here.”
Mora said among the many Wallingford restaurants, she hopes that Six One Nine is where people come to hang out after work.
Among the benefits, Mora said, is a good-sized parking lot. Some of the businesses in the plaza will close on the earlier side, opening up some of the parking lot for their customers.
The owners are still trying to decide about incorporating live music or just having music playing.
“We are trying to attract from every aspect of this town, hopefully,” Fiorillo said.Group of friends work toward a dream
Fiorillo said they are looking to open in late November, but it all depends on how much they get done with the physical aspect of the building.
Mora said that although they could have just opened right away, they wanted to gut the space and start fresh, molding it in the vision they had for it.
Ruggiero, Dana Mora and Fiorillo grew up together in New Haven, and all four owners worked at a lot of the same restaurants in New Haven, Hamden and North Haven. Throughout recent years, they have become reconnected.
“We all just kind of hit it off, and this was something we talked about doing,” Fiorillo said.
The restaurant, Mora said, represents who they are and where they come from. The restaurant will feature American cuisine with a creative West Coast flair, and it pays homage to San Diego, where Mora’s husband, Michael, began his culinary career. The restaurant also evolved with support from families, decades in the restaurant industry, and a passion for hospitality.