Chinched Bistro is Moving. And Morphing

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Chinched Bistro, a restaurant that helped invigorate the food scene in St John’s, is moving. And morphing. The new space they are leasing and renovating on Bates Hill will have 15 more seats than their current Queen St. location. The turquoise building, just up the slope from Piatto, which used to be home to Folly and, more recently, Wing ’n it, will house their restaurant and bar, but also a retail meat shop with full display cases.

With a mix of charcuterie, fresh bread, pickles, condiments, and a small selection of cheese, co-owners Shaun Hussey and Michelle LeBlanc plan on keeping 5 staple fresh sausages in the cases, like their stinging nettle chorizo verde, plus one weekly special.

They will have duck confit, country pâté, coppa, lonza, prosciutto, dry salamis. They won’t have fresh deli meats to start, though they may do seasonal picnic hams. They will also sell some select goods from other local makers and shakers like East Coast Glow Soap, Five Brothers Artisan Cheese, Newfoundland Seasonings, or Peter Burt’s Newfoundland Salt Co.

As they settle into the new spot, they may import more Atlantic cheeses from Nova Scotia and PEI.

Their charcuterie of the month club has been immensely popular and running at capacity. They have also watched their sausages and bacon sell like waffles at the St john’s Farmers’ Market this past year. In the new deli, you will be able to come in and order a full charcuterie board or a sandwich to-go and possibly a few extras (like soup in the fall), but for now the monthly baskets are on hold as they take this next step.

Actually Hussey and Leblanc are taking many next steps, with a newborn baby, this new location and the expansion into store front retail all rolling out at once. Long term, they may start up the charcuterie club again and Leblanc hopes to tackle more wholesale as well …. but, one baby and two grown up steps at a time.

Their whole staff are moving with them, plus a few new hires, the design of the space is starting from scratch with a full renovation.

In their first location, they had just 6 weeks between getting the keys to opening. This time they are able to execute a complete vision. Sam Follet of Plank Design is helping them achieve the feel of a “classic european butchery.”

LeBlanc, standing in the grey light falling through the bay windows on the second floor looks around the construction zone, past heaps of pink insulation and can clearly see their future and it is, “modern, fresh and unique.”

Though they will be bringing some of the feel of the old space into the new, “it will still be close quarters. And we aren’t losing the pig wall. That was an easy decision.” So pop in for the cases of charcuterie or linger over your cilantro margarita beneath the familiar collection of pig paraphernalia. Come for the pig, stay for the pigs.

The anticipated opening is the first week of July.

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Emily Deming

Emily Deming is involved in a love affair with St John’s so deep it extends to attending plays, poetry readings, and dance festivals.

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