CHOP Now Open — Prov Public Library

Walking into CHOP, the new cafe in the Providence Public Library, is a bit disorienting. Like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, it is clearly bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. This “dimensionally transcendental” space easily accommodates a food counter with stools, community tables as well as four-tops and deuces, and (not visible in this photo) a full long bar, as well as a seating area where friends can sip drinks and reminisce about the Dewey decimal system.

CHOP — an acronym for Culinary Hub of Providence — looks for all the world like the latest cool cafe/bistro, and locals will be quick to recognize the work of local design genius, Kyla Coburn. It’s really quite fabulous. And, as a hybrid restaurant/training kitchen, this eatery will provide a social good.

This new restaurant has evolved from the workplace development program begun decades ago at the Genesis Center. From the RI Monthly piece:

The restaurant is a project of Genesis Center, the long-established nonprofit that provides services for Rhode Island’s immigrant community. Students work at the restaurant as part of the center’s culinary training program, serving up dishes that often defy expectations.

We stopped in last Friday and spoke with Genesis Center culinary director, Josh Riazi, who emphasized that they are still in the “soft launch” period. For now weekday hours will be 10am to 3pm, with the goal of expanding into “a full-blown restaurant.” Follow CHOP on FB to keep up with new developments.

The ProJo’s Gail Ciampa elaborates further on the background of this worthy organization, but also covers the current menu:

To open, the menu is focused on breakfast pastries and sandwiches including butter, chocolate and hazelnut croissants, and ham and cheese croissants. Avocado Toast and egg dishes including Shakshuka are on the brunch menu . . . Salads include a Caribbean Cobb with jerk chicken, mango, avocado, jicama, black beans and a hard-boiled egg.

Entrees and sandwiches include spicy Chicken Tikka, Bombay Eggplant Parm in a roasted red pepper curry, an open faced BBQ pulled pork sandwich with pickled onions, a similar BBQ Pulled Shiitake sandwich and the Cubano with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. Most of the lunches come with a nice mixed green salad. A side option are the delicious roasted Garlic Confit Potatoes.

The international offerings reflect the backgrounds of the immigrants and refugees the Genesis Center has set out to educate and train. Talk about win-win.

CHOP brunch/lunch, 10am to 3pm, Monday thru Friday, 211 Washington Street, (directions)


Chef Josh Davis is also manages the instructors.

The entrance is on Washington Street.


2 thoughts on “CHOP Now Open — Prov Public Library”

  1. All I had to see was not one but 2 Doctor Who references and I am totally gonna yell, “Geronimo” as I run up Washington St. to get there. I already loved that library!! Sweet idea!!!

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