Then life intervened — including two kids and the opening of Tio Flores — temporarily scuttling the plans.
Now, says Fetfatzes, they’ve taken a deep breath and taken on a partner to get Grace & Proper back on track, with a new focus. Opening is expected later this year. (The couple also is developing Wine Dive, a wine shop/bar, next to the Cambridge.)
He’s Jon Medlinsky, the mastermind behind Martha in Kensington, who jumped on board in part because he missed the Italian Market, where he had lived for 10 years. Also, the snug corner space reminds him of Chick’s Bar, a former stop.
They envision Grace & Proper as a neighborhood bar that will represent the current market, with what Medlinsky calls a “vegetable-driven, easy-to-turn out menu” of Italian, Mexican, and Vietnamese dishes, including various boards. Food will be served till 1 a.m.
“The real point is to connect with the vendors in the market,” Medlinsky said. They’ll source their ingredients locally, helping the vendors out in the process. “For example, let’s say one of them tell us, ‘We’re trying to get rid of blackberries,’” Medlinsky said. “OK. We’ll make a blackberry crumble that day.”
The wines and spirits will carry a price range of what Medlinsky called “inexpensive to spend-worthy.”
“Tired Hands to Miller High Life,” Fetfatzes said.
The space, a former Italian corner store/deli, will retain much of its charm, as it has high tin ceilings and a mosaic floor. Fetfatzes, who grew up in the neighborhood, said he wants to have hanging meats and cheeses to add to the atmosphere.
Two blocks away, Marc Vetri is taking that leave-it-alone tactic with Fiorella, the pasta bar he expects to open this fall on the site of a former butcher shop.