9.23.2010

Maestro's move

Maestro’s chef and owner John LaPosta says his plans for expansion are official: The cozy Broadway bistro will move next door, into the 4,000-square-foot first floor of the Rip Van Dam building, next spring.

“It’s our fifth year and we’re busting at the seams here. We need the space so desperately,” said LaPosta, who opened Maestro’s in May 2006 at 371 Broadway.

The move will quadruple Maestro’s current seating space, giving the restaurant a 90-seat dining room and a full bar with about 20 seats, plus 50 seats outside on the building’s covered stone patio.

“Locals have been telling me they can’t wait to see people back on that porch,” LaPosta said of the pillared Rip Van Dam building. “It’s what the building should be. It’s just a magnificent building and a perfect canvas for us.”

He plans to start renovating the space in March, when the financial services firm that currently occupies the spot moves out. Renovations will last about 2-1/2 months, during which Maestro’s will stay open at its current location, LaPosta said. He expects to close the original restaurant and reopen in the Rip Van Dam in mid-May.

The location includes a basement where Speck Boutique is now, and LaPosta said that space could one day become a wine bar with live piano music.

Last fall, LaPosta had considered moving to the old Doc’s Steakhouse restaurant (now Pacific Grill) on Putnam Street, but said he heeded the advice of customers who told him moving off Broadway would be a mistake.

A more spacious restaurant won’t mean changes to the atmosphere, menu or prices his patrons enjoy, but it will add to everyone’s comfort — diners and employees — LaPosta said.

“We’re not changing the feel, we’re not changing the vibe, but you won’t have people sitting right on top of you,” he said.

For more information, call Maestro’s at 580-0312.

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