NEW PORT RICHEY — A new restaurant is in the works downtown that will offer fine dining and live music.
Dulcet Restaurant and Lounge will bring new flavors to the heart of the city when it opens in the fall in a long-vacant space at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Missouri Avenue. Expect amenities such as valet parking, an upstairs VIP lounge, a 10-foot-tall water wall and formally attired servers.
Dulcet will also be a venue for entertainment — the only establishment in the area that will offer live jazz, international music, and rhythm and blues, according to David Hall Jr., who is developing the restaurant with his Spring Hill neighbor and local pharmacist Nelson Ohihoin.
The restaurant will seat 170. An outside patio — where live Caribbean music is planned — will seat 80 more. The upscale atmosphere will be the perfect place to enjoy fine European, African and Asian food planned for the menu, Hall said.
"I would describe it as art," Hall said of the dishes he plans to serve.
Dulcet, which will create about 35 jobs, will be a new business model for New Port Richey's downtown, where the city has struggled to keep storefronts filled during a down economy. The location where Dulcet is planned was once a Moose Lodge and has been vacant since the closing of a nightclub there.
"The city is excited about the prospect of a new, upscale restaurant in the downtown," city development director Lisa Fierce said. "We have been working with the owners, architect and contractor over the past several months to get the business open."
Hall said the restaurant will draw from far outside the city, making it a destination point for residents from Trinity to Palm Harbor and beyond. So far, the Dulcet partnership has invested $500,000 in the 6,200-square-foot property, Hall said.
"We fell in love with the location. New Port Richey is a diamond in the rough, and the city is making economic development moves that I think will work, and work fast," Hall said. "We are not looking to be another neighborhood bar. We are catering to a younger culture, a younger mind-set: aggressive and progressive."