Charlottetown businessmen open new Italian restaurant in 2022


CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Two Charlottetown businessmen are opening a new Italian restaurant on the corner of Kent and Great George streets.

Hopyard on Kent Street co-owners Brett Hogan and Mike Ross hope to open Abbiocco by February or March 2022.

The two businessmen also own the Hopyard in Halifax and the Sugar Skull Cantina in Charlottetown.

Ross said his partner came up with the idea for an upscale Italian restaurant almost two years ago. They kept talking about it and decided it was time to take the plunge.

“The more we talked about Italian (restaurant), the more we felt there was a gap in the market, not necessarily for Italian food but for a fancy Italian place, an upscale Italian restaurant,” Ross said. .


Hogan said it will be a modern Italian restaurant, offering homemade pasta, dough and sauce.

Hopyard executive chef Alyssa Dignard is already putting together Abbiocco’s menus and recipes.

“We haven’t defined the menu yet,” Hogan said. “We’re still playing with it, but we’re testing everything and we’re excited. “

Hogan said he has been concerned about the idea of ​​a new Italian restaurant in Charlottetown since Hopyard opened in Halifax. He got to taste a lot of the Italian food there and loved it.

Hogan added that whenever they put Italian dishes on Hopyard’s menu, they were extremely popular with customers.

“When we opened (Hopyard) five years ago, we were the only place on the street until you came to the corner of Hunter. Now you have the Arts Hotel, Trailside and Dooly’s is renovating. It will become a street of entertainment. It will be good for the city. ” – Brett Hogan

“It only appeals to the masses. So after doing 10 menus with Italian (the Hopyard menu) and seeing that it was our best seller, we knew there was obviously a market here for Italian food, ”he said. declared.

Did you know?

The new Italian restaurant that will move to Charlottetown this winter will be called Abbiocco. It is an Italian word that means a feeling of drowsiness that tends to overwhelm people after eating a large meal.

Their intention is for Abbiocco to fit into the same cooking niche as high-end restaurants like Sim’s Steakhouse and Slaymaker and Nichols Gastro House.

However, Hogan is quick to add that people will still be able to choose from basic $ 15 items on the menu.

“And if you want to order some fine wine and a steak and dessert for $ 30, you can.” “

The building that will house the restaurant is the former location of Sealand, a contemporary art studio.

Charlottetown businessmen Brett Hogan, left, and Mike Ross knew an Italian restaurant would operate downtown after finding Italian cuisine the most popular choice on the menu at Hopyard, a restaurant that they also co-own. This Italian restaurant will open across the street this winter. – Dave Stewart / The Guardian

The Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Society also occupies part of the ground floor but is renovating a space on the second floor with the intention of moving.

Hogan said that means they will take over the entire ground floor of the building. The executive kitchen will be located on the ground floor while the preparatory kitchen will be in the basement.

Hogan said location was essential for them with Kent Street, from Great George Street to Prince Street, becoming a destination for arts, culture and food. Discover Charlottetown will soon be adding ceiling lights to the block to improve the ambience on the street.

“When we opened (Hopyard) five years ago, we were the only place on the street until you walked down to the corner of Hunter,” Hogan said. “Now you have the Arts Hotel, Trailside and Dooly’s is renovating. It’s going to become a street of entertainment. It will be good for the city. ”

The businessmen said they were shooting for an opening in February or March, but that depends on the arrival of the material. Due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, sourcing is a challenge for almost all industries. The pizza oven, for example, is still 14 weeks away from arriving.


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