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After months of planning, a new tapas-inspired restaurant and live entertainment venue is open for business in downtown Williamsburg.
Triangle, a small plate dining bar and restaurant, celebrated its grand opening Friday in the city-owned Triangle Building at the corner of Armistead Avenue and Prince George Street.
The restaurant’s food menu is “tapas-inspired,” incorporating the small appetizers and snacks meant for sharing often found in Spanish cuisine.
Mayor Clyde Haulman said the new restaurant would be a good destination in the downtown area.
“The Triangle restaurant is going to be a terrific addition to the growing Prince George area we’ve got going here,” he said.
The restaurant was launched by proprietors Matthew Black, Tyler Eason and Anna Krouse, who together have more than 30 years of restaurant experience. Eason previously worked as a chef with Colonial Williamsburg, and Krouse worked as a bar manager in Scotland. Black came to Williamsburg from Mississippi four years ago.
Black will serve as Triangle’s bar manager, and said the new restaurant will combine small plate dining, live music and craft cocktails.
Krouse, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of William & Mary, said the restaurant would have something to offer to a wide range of patrons, including students, tourists and residents.
“It’s a current concept with a lot of appeal for a lot of people,” she said.
Krouse said the restaurant’s diverse food menu and prices — which range from $4 to $9 per plate — would be an attractive option for college students uninterested in buying a large, expensive meal.
The small plate menu, which Krouse said encourages conversation, would appeal to tourists wanting to take a break during their trips, and local professionals would be attracted to another nighttime location.
Beyond the food menu, the restaurant also offers “classic cocktails,” along with a specialized whiskey bar, featuring 25 single-malt whiskeys.
“Anna came up with a list of these 25 whiskeys that we could have, and she said, ‘I kind of want to have all of them,’” Black said.
Black said the design of the whiskey bar, featuring a sanded wood bar and dark colors, was meant to emulate the design of a whiskey barrel.
The ribbon cutting was the culmination of a two-year effort by Black, Eason and Krouse. The trio developed the idea in 2013 and looked into leasing in the Triangle Building, but the space ultimately went to The Jewish Mother restaurant.
The Jewish Mother and its owner, Scotty Miller, defaulted on its lease with the city in August 2014, leaving the spot vacant. Triangle’s proprietors restated their interest in the building to the city and worked out a new lease.
The restaurant had originally eyed a May 1 opening date, but Black said construction delays pushed back Triangle’s launch to mid-June.
Triangle had a soft opening last week geared toward friends and family. Black said those who came by had left with rave reviews.
“The biggest comment we had last week was, ‘Seriously, you’re only charging this much for food this good?’” Black said.
The restaurant’s hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. but Black said he is considering opening earlier on Sundays to appeal to the brunch crowd.
Triangle will also feature live music four to five times per week. DoG Street Rhythm Band performed last week to celebrate the restaurant’s opening, and Black said a wide variety of artists would be featured.
“It could be everything from a big band to a punk band, acoustic or a Prince cover band, if we could find one,” he said.
With Triangle’s opening, the Triangle Building is fully occupied for the first time in years.
Triangle is the third restaurant to open along the Prince George Street corridor in 2015, along with Oishii Japanese Ramen and Hibachi Grill in the Griffin Arms building and Rick’s Cheese Steak Shop in the Triangle Building.