WHY Thames Street Kitchen Is Closing

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NB: I’ve heard “Mission Maui” tossed around a lot. (laughs)

JH: Mission Maui! (laughs) Yeah we’d love a Mission on Maui, but the right move would be to keep something close, Providence, Narragansett, who knows, that’s the smarter move. The fun move would be be to take it somewhere like Maui, but you know, when you run out of POS paper in Maui, and you’re in Newport, you’re gonna have a problem! (laughs) But that was definitely a factor as well. We are looking to expand and grow Mission, and you can’t do that if you’re constantly thinking about TSK. But it’s a good thing. TSK helped Mission to open in terms of our reputation, and the trust that we had built up with our customers, and now it’s just time for Mission to kind of take over, and we’ll see where that road goes.

NB: I think it’s carrying the torch pretty well for you guys. Now I know this may seem kind of corny, but I have to ask, what was your best experience owning TSK?

JH: Oh my god, I have to think about this. (pauses) I mean there’s so much (pauses) To be honest I’d have to say, the press we received. Just proving to ourselves and everyone else that we could do this. We were nervous opening a restaurant but took the risk. And the reception weve received has been great! I think that’s the biggest thing the best experience is that people really liked it. We weren’t sure, and I think it was a big hit, and that’s fun. It’s fun being in the dining room too, and you might have someone 60 years old tell you that was honestly the best meal they’ve ever had in their entire life! That’s super cool. It’s something Chad and Tyler never got to experience, I mean, as much as we can tell them “Oh the table loved the food, it was the best meal they ever had.” It’s not the same as the experience Anna and I had, because you hear that, and it’s just awesome.

NB: Ok. so on the flip side, what was the worst?

JH: The worst thing was, (laughs) probably year one of working with my husband. That was tough. I had never worked in the kitchen with him, and he came from that NYC background, and he was kind of the definition of serious intense chef. We were butting heads, but you know, I learned “Ok, you’ve gotta let that roll off your back, and we can’t bring this home with us,” and it only made us stronger. But all joking aside, what I really think the worst thing is the change in the season. I know that sounds so lame. The worst thing is being slammed in the summer, turning away 50-60 people a night, and them just not being there in the winter months when you’re slow, like, “Why aren’t they calling now?” You know? Just the seasonality of the town, that was the toughest thing.

NB: So I do have one final question for you, something that I’m sure is on everyone’s mind who has ever eaten at TSK, and that is, will we see the fried chicken again?

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Dennis Hofer was born in Newport Hospital. If you don't know him, someone you know does. He's a master of loading Pez Dispensers, self proclaimed connoisseur of chicken parm sandwiches, and always good for a joke or six. If you see him drinking a hefeweizen, please tell him to just go home. High fives for reading this far.