Bringing sexy back to New Haven, 1920’s style is ROIA Restaurant & Cafe…located on College St. next door to the Shubert (former Hot Tomato’s).

I heard rumors that the well-known grand staircase was being removed and had concerns that all the gorgeous features that make the building breathtaking would be destroyed. I am happy to report that nothing could be farther from the truth!

The new owners have restored the building to its original glory…. taking time to peel layers of wall covering and floor tile to reveal the original white oak walls and mosaic tile flooring.  Structurally, many other elements have changed for the better…no need to go to a back hallway for a restroom, the bar has been relocated to the  back wall with an upstairs bar added.

Seating on the first floor includes curved red leather banquettes, the furniture replicated from the original era – 101 years ago!  A private dining room provides the modern day A/V capability enhancements.

While the main staircase has been removed, it has been relocated and features polished wood handrails that guide you up a wide staircase to the second floor,  featuring lounge seating as well as private spaces, aimed at accommodating special events.

The owners replaced lighting fixtures with original period ones, similar to  those in Grand Central Station. The stunning light fixture, shedding soft light on the dining room, will certainly bring you back to the early 1900s.

The menu at this brasserie-style restaurant, named for the Rioa river between France and Italy, will offer a French and Italian wine and seasonal menu. Cocktail selection will feature vintage drinks from the time period as well.

Dinner reservations are starting March 28th at

ROIA Restaurant & Cafe
261 College St.
New Haven

Special Correspondent: Robbin Seipold