It's been a little more than a month since Hungry Betty's Bar & Grille reopened at Village Plaza and new owner Jason Rakauskas is hoping that a revamped menu, a new chef and a focus on dish presentation will translate to an increase in business.
After the Board of Selectmen approved transferring all three of the restaurant's licenses into his name in July, Raskauskas spent weeks redecorating the interior of the restaurant and hired head chef Anthony Cornelisse in the hopes of "sexifying" the items on the menu.
The increased emphasis on dish presentation, Rakauskas said, is aimed at letting local residents know that they can get high-end food right here in Marblehead at a reasonable price.
"The menu is very similar to what it was but we've made a point of making it look like something that you'd pay a lot more for," Rakauskas said.
Cornelisse, who has worked at several fine dining restaurants in Boston and most recently at Marblehead's Jack-Tar American Tavern, said the response from customers has been excellent since the restaurant reopened.
"I'm just trying to bring that fine dining flare to Marblehead without making people spend a ton of money for it," Cornelisse said
Rakauskas has 16 years experience in the restaurant business, most recently serving as general manager at an Applebee's in Danvers and a Bertucci's.
The restaurant, located on the upper-level of 165 Pleasant St., has two dining rooms, a 16-stool bar, capacity for 168 and a recently-approved outdoor seating area for 20.
Hungry Betty's Bar & Grille's larger dining room, Rakauskas said, is also being made available for larger parties and holiday functions - and of course, there's still karaoke and trivia during the week.
The permitted hours of operation are the same as they were: Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.