In January, I told you that the Cliff House was hoping for a late January or early February opening. Well, early February is here, but the Cliff House is not yet open. After a slowdown from the icy weather a few weeks ago it became clear that a late January opening was out of the question. Owner Giuseppe "Joe" Nappo put the brakes on rushing opening to avoid something that could be a disaster for a brand-new restaurant - a Valentine's Day opening. Instead, Nappo said he intends to open sometime after the busiest day of the year for restaurants. "... I don't think it is fair for the new employees or the customers to open a new restaurant on one of the busiest times of the year. I think once everyone gets to see what an extensive renovation we have completed, that it was well worth the wait," Nappo said by email. Fair enough.
Nappo also mentioned something by email that I was hoping for, but had not yet asked him about - the restaurant's accessibility. "At least we have had some nice weather so we were able to pour the concrete for the handicap accessible entrance that I feel will be much appreciated," Nappo wrote. Accessibility was a bit of a mess at the Cliff House. There really was no easy way for diners with mobility issues to get to the bottom level of the restaurant and bathrooms previously only were located on that bottom floor. The makeover included adding bathrooms upstairs, as well.
The Cliff House first opened as a tavern in 1925 and is a restaurant with a colorful history that includes reconstruction after a fire in 1958. It has suffered through revolving operators for the past two years and closed for the second time in as many years in January 2011.
Nappo said he intends to restore the restaurant to its long tradition as a destination for prom dining, waterfront views and regional cuisine. Both upstairs and downstairs will serve the same menu, and the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner. Click here for more menu details.