PROVIDENCE — Just over a decade after Cecelia Lizotte initially opened Suya Joint, an “All African cuisine” restaurant in the Boston area, the chef confirmed Tuesday that she is planning to open her second location in downtown Providence in the spring of 2024.
Suya Joint’s Providence location will be found at 320 Westminster St., where Lizotte said diners should expect Nigerian cuisine, with a vibrant bar and cocktail program that will highlight flavors from West Africa.
Lizotte first opened Suya Joint in Roslindale in 2012. In 2016, she relocated to a larger space in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, and has since launched a food truck that serves Suya Joint’s menu around Boston. This year, Boston Magazine named Suya Joint the Best West African restaurant in Boston.
Prior to moving to Boston in 1999 to continue her education, Lizotte grew up in a Nigerian village where she regularly helped her grandmother in a restaurant she ran there. Suya Joint’s menu focuses on the ingredients Lizotte grew up with, including Jollof rice; goat pepper soup; okra stews; and beef Suya, a Nigerian meat skewer and the restaurant’s namesake. Others include Nigerian stews offered with a choice of protein.
Much of Soya Joint’s menu is anchored around fufu, a starchy side that’s similar to a dumpling, but made with pounded yam or cassava and used to sop up stews and soups.
The entire menu is dairy-free, said Lizotte, and most of the menu has gluten-free and vegetarian options.
This won’t be the first time Lizotte will be cooking in Providence. At the end of 2020, Lizotte briefly launched takeout brand “Abinchin Plateau” out of Bath Food Co., a ghost kitchen hub at 65 Bath St. where she operated a small commercial kitchen geared toward deliveries and takeout orders. (Bath Food Co. is a subsidiary of CloudKitchens, which was founded by Travis Kalanick, the ousted co-founder of Uber. The billionaire purchased old warehouses all over the country to turn them into hubs for ghost kitchens.)
Abinchin Plateau closed in mid-2021.
The ground-level of the historic Kinsley building where Suya Joint will open is under construction, and will open sometime next spring. When the restaurant does open, it will serve diners seven days per week for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., said Lizotte.