PROVIDENCE — In 1948, Giuseppe Cipriani was standing behind the counter at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, which he owned, that was known to attract iconic figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart. Working with the region’s natural ingredients, he mixed two parts Prosecco and one part fresh white peach pureé, stirred gently, and served the refreshingly sweet cocktail in a chilled crystal flute. That simple mixture would eventually become one of the most influential classic cocktails ordered by bar guests for generations: The Bellini.
His great-grandson, Ignazio Cipriani, now owns Bellini in New York and Miami, and will be opening an outpost of his famous restaurant in Providence this summer. Named after his great-grandfather’s iconic cocktail, the restaurant and rooftop lounge will be located in The Beatrice, a new, 47-room boutique hotel opening in the historic 1887 Exchange Building. The hotel’s owner, Joe Paolino Jr., has made history of his own: He was the former mayor of Providence, former ambassador to Malta, and is the owner of the fourth-generation real estate company Paolino Properties, which opened in 1900.
On Wednesday morning, Cipriani and Paolino announced that their businesses are slated to open in “late August to early September,” according to Paolino Properties spokesman Ethan Hartley.
On The Beatrice’s website, guests can start booking overnight stays for Sept. 1, starting at $319 for a “Classic King.”
“There is a special magic about Providence, that draws upon my own nostalgia of growing up in Italy, with canals that flow through the downtown, similar to what you would experience in Venice. When that feeling is coupled with the charm and creative flair of this special New England community, the joy of conviviality completes the picture,” said Cipriani, who will serve as the president of Bellini Providence.
The Beatrice, which was inspired by Paolino’s mother Beatrice Temkin, a lifelong Rhode Island resident, will highlight the property’s “19th century bones.” The eye-catching lobby features a grand chandelier near the Westminster Street entrance, with a mosaic mural of Temkin on the wall.
Rooms and suites will range in size from 300 to 805 square feet and are outfitted with amenities like Mascioni linens and towels crafted in Milan, organic BeeKind personal care products, heated towel racks, Dyson hair dryers, and Nespresso coffee machines. ”Curated amenities” include in-room Fit Kits, book bags with a rotating selection of boots for guests to read during their stay, and mobile itineraries to explore downtown.
Complimentary onsite COVID-19 rapid testing, contactless check-in, keyless entry, and on-demand text request concierge service are all included with a stay.
“I have dedicated my life to making Providence a top destination for people to live and visit,” said Paolino on Wednesday. “The Beatrice represents everything I love about our city – its warm spirit, rich history, creativity and of course, our world-class restaurants.”
Paolino said while Providence is home to some of the top culinary scenes in the country, he wanted to introduced a restaurant that would add “a new dimension” to the city’s dining landscape. The Bellini brand, a fourth-generation family-run hospitality group, seemed like the perfect fit.
“Bellini... is a place where visitors and locals alike can truly connect with one another and share simple flavors,” said Cipriani.
The Bellini Restaurant will feature diverse and modern Italian cuisine with a regularly updated menu. It will be open seven-days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with such dishes as tagliolini with zucchini and scampi, straccetti with rosemary, and raw seafood platters. The restaurant’s name is a nod to Cipriani’s grandfather, but the design will have a mix of old-world Italian touches — such as Solimene ceramic plates decorated with hand-painted peaches and grapes — and a modern look from the high-gloss teak paneling around the dining room, the grey travertine floor, and onyx bar accents.
The rooftop Bellini Club will be a members-only venue for locals that is also open to hotel guests, offering an exclusive menu of dishes and hand-crafted cocktails overlooking Kennedy Plaza and the cityscape.
Alexa Gagosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.