Bess’s Place is back in business, as the Newborn restaurant re-opened under new ownership July 12 after undergoing 4 1/2 months of renovations.
Covington-based corporation The Nacho Bar purchased the restaurant from former owner Andy Wilson, and the new owners went about revamping the restaurant’s look, feel and menu, aiming for a higher-level of cuisine.
Bess’s Place General Manager Bob Aiello said the restaurant focuses on steak and seafood entrees with a wide variety of fresh ingredients.
"We came in and brought an unprecedented menu to Newborn. All our beef is 21-day, aged Angus beef, hamburgers up through filets. We have all fresh proteins, nothing is frozen. All our seafood is fresh, all our vegetables are fresh, and we offer a menu that complements that," Aiello said.
The head chef is Harry Rowe, who brings with him a seafood background from Hawaii.
"We put an executive chef on staff to help come in and create flavors the new Bess’s Place would be putting out," Aiello said. "He taught culinary school in Hawaii, and has done multiple projects. He’s come in and been able to take the menu and put in the flavor we’re looking for, so when folks come in they get wowed."
Among the entrees are four steak options, along with crab cakes, salmon, tilapia, and shrimp and scallop skewers. The restaurant will also offer pizzas and hamburgers. Entree prices range from $8-$26.
Bess’ Place will also offer a wide selection of beer – including eight taps and 15 bottle selections – and wine.
Aiello said the owners had been looking to open a restaurant for some time and were considering opening something closer to Atlanta when an opportunity came along closer to home. Wilson was thinking about retiring, and the two sides reached an agreement.
The building, constructed in 1996, received a full makeover, including opening up and remodeling the dining room to make it bigger and give it more lighting; a new roof to stop leaks; remodeling the kitchen and installing new equipment; new air-conditioning equipment; and painting the building inside and out.
"We think that at the end of the day we will reap the benefits of a well-operating facility," Aiello said.
Aiello declined to disclose the purchase price or remodeling cost, but said the construction stayed on budget.
Aiello said he feels Bess’s Place fills a void in the area, as customers would have to go Athens or Atlanta to find similar-quality food.
"We know there’s a tremendous amount of people looking for a place like this, and we felt with all the growth coming toward this direction, it would be a great opportunity to come down and put great flavors out here to be able to attract more growth and clientele," Aiello said.
Aiello added that Bess’ would love to use more local vendors who could fit the restaurant’s needs and said the restaurant is committed to buying the freshest ingredients it can.
For more information, visit the restaurant’s website at besssplace.com or its Facebook page.