Chapel View development coming into focus

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Chapel View development coming into focus, March 7, 2008
 
Barber Steven DiLorenzo applies a hot
towel to Charles Blackman, of
Pawtucket, who is in for a shave and a
haircut at Gent’s Babershop and Spa.

If you haven’t been to Cranston recently, you might want to take a look at the evolving Chapel View development at the intersection of Route 2 and Sockanosset Cross Road. For the past few years, the hilltop site, just south of the Garden City Shopping Center and the flashy new Whole Foods, has been under construction by its owners, Carpionato Properties, as a high-end shopping and dining destination. In recent months, enough stores and restaurants have opened there to warrant a look around, although many holes remain to be filled. It’s an attractive-looking development, well laid out around several major buildings distinctively accented with stone, beige stucco, and glass. The development is named for a Medieval-looking stone chapel at its center, which is destined eventually to become a fancy restaurant.

The big players on the site at the moment are a Shaw’s supermarket and an REI outdoor recreation and clothing store. Three restaurants are open so far: Ted’s Montana Grill, Johnny Rockets (which also has restaurants on Thayer Street in Providence and in Providence Place mall), and Pei Wei, a Chinese restaurant. There’s also a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop.

Of the boutique-style shops that are expected in Chapel View, three are open so far, all in a row just a few doors from each other and all selling high-end fashion for women, particularly fancy dresses. The three are ZuZu’s, which also has a shop on Thayer Street; Kristina Richards, which also has a shop on Washington Square in Newport; and Villa de Moda. On a recent weekday visit, all three tucked-away shops were quiet, and the first thing one eager saleswoman said to anyone who opened the door was that almost everything is on sale, as much as 50 percent off.

For the men, there’s Gent’s, a men’s barbershop and spa that offers such services as beard coloring ($25), hair coloring ($45), anti-aging facials ($80), massages ($45 to $120 an hour), and chest waxing ($40 and up, depending on the chest).

Then comes a store for both genders: the only Rhode Island location for the catalog meat purveyor Omaha Steaks. (There is also an Omaha store in Burlington, Mass.)

Here, several customers are inside, inquiring about and purchasing frozen Midwestern 21-day-aged grain-fed hand-trimmed beefsteaks and other flash-frozen dinner entrees and sides at prices that are always at least 20 percent off the catalog prices and sometimes as much as 50 percent off.

In spite of its name, Omaha ( www.omahasteaks.com) offers lots of different entrees, including seafood (such as Tortilla Crusted Tilapia and BBQ Pulled Pork), vegetables (stuffed baked potatoes), appetizers (filet mignon spring rolls), and desserts (chocolate molten lava cakes). Sample sale prices for entrees last week: Chicken Cordon Bleu for two for $9.99 and four 8-ounce filet mignon or rib-eye steaks for $55.

Employee Laura Dewitt said that the shop has been busy, and that the frozen steaks and other meals are particularly popular with older people, who like the convenience, and with people purchasing for parties. She’s quick to offer advice on how best to thaw and cook the wide variety of foodstuffs in the shop.

kimbrie@projo.com