Former Penny Candy Shop in Riverside to Re-Open Feb 22 as Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee

Ada's on New Year's Day 2016

Ada’s at 122 Riverside Ave, nearly complete, January 1, 2016. Credit: Leslie Yager

As anyone renovating an old house knows, the process can be lengthy and complicated. We first learned of the Romaniello family’s plans to renovate 112 Riverside Ave, the home of the longtime penny candy and newspaper store run by Ada Cantavero, back in July 2014 at a Greenwich Town Hall meeting.

Since then we’ve chronicled the progress of a painstaking renovation by Jeff DeLuca of Moonlit Construction, starting in August 2014 with an invitation from Jeff. All along the way, Greenwich residents devoured the updates and rejoiced that the building was spared from the wrecking ball.

In November 2014, we interviewed Chef Mike Pietrafeso, who shared his dream of running his own restaurant. Mike brings great culinary credentials and a concept for healthy, locally-sourced home cooked fare to Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee.

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Flanking the original cash register Ada used to ring up penny candy and newspapers are her grand niece Alison Romaniello, nephew Ron Romaniello  and contractor Jeff DeLuca of Moonlit Construction, LLC.  August 2014Credit: Leslie Yager

inside Ada's

Left to right: Ali, Ron and Debbie Romaniello, Mike Pietrafeso, next to his sister Jessica Lazzo, mother Angie, Dominic Lazzo (holding shy baby dressed as a Skunk Gemma, and Mike’s dad Charles Pietrafeso. Credit: Leslie Yager

Ada's Halloween Oct. 31, 2015 Credit: Leslie Yager

Halloween at Ada’s in Riverside, October 2015. Credit: Leslie Yager

Having worked with the likes of both Frank Carpentieri Senior and Junior, as well as Bill Taibe of The Whelk and Le Farm in Westport, Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee will be Pietrafeso’s first restaurant venture.

The Romaniello family, who own the property, along with Pietrafeso celebrated not one, but two Halloweens in the tradition of Ada during the long renovation.

Just when we gave up asking Mike and the Romaniellos when Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee was going to open, the day is finally here. The doors of Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee will officially open Monday, February 22nd.

Chef Mike Pietrafeso

Chef Mike Pietrafeso with his daughters, Ella (3) and Josie (9 months)

Located next to the Riverside train station within the newly renovated historic building, Mike will offer artisanal coffee and locally sourced scratch-made foods.

“Anyone that stops by mentions their fond memories of Ada and her store. I appreciate keeping the nostalgia alive and at the same time adding a new chapter to it,” said Mike, who grew up in Greenwich, attending WMS and GHS.

English Muffin sandwich

English Muffin sandwich

“Many people will come in here looking for candy, which we have in honor of Ada, and then they can try great coffee and be wowed by the food,” Mike said.

Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee will offer locally-sourced ingredients and a seasonal menu. Customers can pair their order with a variety of locally roasted artisan coffee from Path Coffee Roasters in Port Chester.

“Featuring local and fresh ingredients is what I do best. We’re pulling our own mozzarella, curing all the meats and even making the ice cream that will go into the ice cream sandwiches.” – Chef Mike Pietrafeso

The current Ada’s menu includes two-dozen breakfast, sandwich and salad options in addition to scratch-made treats.

More information is available online

See also:

Sprucing Up Ada’s in Riverside

Halloween at Ada’s: The Tradition is Alive and Full of Surprises

Ada’s to Reopen Soon: Meet the Chef, Mike Pietrafeso, Greenwich Native

Spared from the Wrecking Ball in Riverside: Ada’s Variety Shop

Peeling off Layers of History at Ada’s: A Family Project


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  • Linda Pedwano

    What a wonderful heart filled article…Pedwano family of Bible St Cos Cob send great congrats…we spent many a days on the sweet porch eating candy through my childhood…This article not only warmed my heart but brought back a smile to my face…Living in Canton Tx. now 20 years later will be sure to visit during my return in August 2016…Best wishes & God bless

  • Noëlle Devlin

    I was so excited to see this article! It too warms my heart, and I’m sure many other people who grew up in Old Greenwich, Greenwich, Riverside or just anyone passing through, who had the opportunity to go to such a wonderful place. It was a child’s dream store I must say. It brought back so many wonderful memories. I remember it as clear as day. I remember walking down the road to Ada’s from Eastern Junior High before school, to get a bag of candy. It was the highlight of my day. My favorite, was the long thin pack in a plastic cover, with the little tiny chocolate covered malted chocolate, (sixlets). I planned to go take my son there this November when I came home for the passing of my mom and I found out they had been closed. So, even though I am still mourning the death of my mother, it brings joy to the my heart to know Ada’s is open again. Although it will be technically a new place, it will still have the memories. According to the article it will still sell candy and have some of the original things such as the register ect… Truthfully, it really felt like family. They were so kind. I don’t remember either of the ladies ever getting upset. I am going to make sure that when I come back to visit during the holidays next year I stop in the new Ada’s and have breakfast or lunch. Thank you again for sharing this with all of us who are adults but children at heart I hope God blesses your business and your family and your finances.
    Noëlle Devlin Jr