Sunday, April 14, 2024

Aromas Owners to Open New Restaurant in Downtown Williamsburg

The Hound's Tale will occupy a streetfront spot in the Griffin Arms building on Prince George Street. (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)
The Hound’s Tale will occupy a streetfront spot in the Griffin Arms building on Prince George Street. (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)

A new restaurant is opening on Prince George Street with connections to a Williamsburg institution.

The Hound’s Tale of Fresh Bites and Great Spirits is opening at the Griffin Arms building in downtown Williamsburg. The business is being developed by Don and Geri Pratt, who own and operate Aromas coffeehouse and bakery on Prince George Street.

Don Pratt said the Hound’s Tale will combine elements of a bar, restaurant and tavern, with food and drinks in an affordable price range.

“It’s going to be a fun, casual environment that is going to, I believe, address a need in the community or a niche in the community that isn’t being served right now by the many fine existing offerings,” he said.

Pratt said he hoped the Hound’s Tale would be ready to open by mid-October.

“We want to have a good value proposition,” Pratt said, explaining affordability would be a major factor in the restaurant’s offerings. “One of the things we’ve tried to do with Aromas is keep the price point at a level where the majority of the population can come in on a daily basis, regularly.”

Pratt said the restaurant would serve a variety of functions and would complement the existing Aromas operations on Prince George Street and in the College of William & Mary’s Swem Library.

In the morning, Pratt said the restaurant’s kitchen would be used to prepare food for the Swem Library location. The floor space would be available for activities, like financial or educational seminars, Pratt said.

In the afternoon, Pratt said the Hound’s Tale would open for happy hour before sliding into the dinner and evening hours.

The restaurant’s operation will be handled by Stevie and Monique Sowell, both of whom were trained in the culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America. Pratt said Stevie Sowell was returning to Williamsburg after 12 years and had previously worked at Aromas.

The Hound’s Tale is the latest restaurant to come to the Prince George Street Corridor, which has seen significant growth in the past year. Several new buildings and businesses have opened on the downtown street.

The Griffin Arms building opened in July 2014, offering mixed-use residential and commercial space. Prince George Commons, another mixed-use building adjacent to Griffin Arms, is currently under construction. Triangle, a tapas-inspired bar and restaurant opened in the city-owned Triangle building in June, following the opening of Rick’s Cheese Steak Shop in February.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for us, and I’m sure some others that will be coming in,” Pratt said. “We’ve always wanted to contribute to the growth and development of the downtown area.”

Pratt said the influx of new businesses was positive for the downtown area, and the Hound’s Tale would fit well into the area’s growing restaurant scene.

“There are going to be others on the street … that will bring in something different,” Pratt said. “It’s all going to help grow, I think, the commercial aspect of the downtown community.”

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