Heidi and Benjamin Sukle, owners of popular two-year-old Providence restaurant Birch, will open a new restaurant called Oberlin this December in downtown Providence (186 Union St.) Described as a "relaxed, neighborhood restaurant" in a press release, Oberlin — named for the Pennsylvania town where Benjamin's father grew up — will seat 49 (compared to Birch's 18) and operate from Thursday through Monday, 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. The restaurant will not take reservations.
"We felt a genuine desire and obligation to create an outlet that would give us the means to utilize ALL of the product our friends and purveyors grow, raise and catch," said Benjamin, via press release. "Birch has a specifically focused cuisine, a shorter menu and a very curated list of produce, whereas Oberlin will be a utilization and celebration of the whole farm and boat."
Edward Davis will also be part of the team as chef de cuisine. Davis, who has been at Birch for the last couple of years, has also worked with Benjamin Sukle at The Dorrance and at Matt Jennings' now-shuttered Farmstead, according to the Providence Journal.
The menu will include both small and large plates of "simply prepared local produce" as well as pastas made in-house and raw and cured seafood and shellfish. The team is putting a lot of focus on the beer and wine selection, which general manager Victoria Canel will help oversee alongside the Sukles.