The Studio Restaurant & Bar Returns to Gloucester for the 2022 Season

Smith Cove hangout returns with new chef team, management

The Studio Restaurant & Bar –Gloucester’s landmark hotspot overlooking Smith Cove – is set to make its long-awaited seasonal debut on Thursday, June 2. The neighborhood favorite will operate under new management, led by longtime Gloucester resident and restaurant industry veteran Shawn McQueeney, with many of the same waitstaff and bartenders locals remember season after season. Additionally, The Studio will debut a new culinary team overseen by Neal Maver (Tonno) that is comprised of Cape Ann standout Doug Papows (Feather & Wedge; Foreign Affairs) and celebrated Boston sushi chef Desmond Chow (PABU) that will showcase locally-sourced seafood classics and a live sushi bar feature.

The Studio has been a crown jewel of the Rocky Neck Art Colony for nearly 70 years. Undergoing minor cosmetic updates but with all the same charm, this indoor-outdoor hangout accommodates 380 guests with traditional dining room seating, sprawling bars inside and out complete with HDTVs, as well as lounge-style setups. The restaurant, encased all in glass, offers unobstructed views of Smith Cove from every seat in the house. For boating enthusiasts, The Studio boasts several slips for private docking and this season will introduce an unmatched “cocktails to-go” program with sips like canned prosecco, stateside hard seltzers and frozen “adult juice pouches.” Additionally, The Studio is the only venue to offer a boat shuttle directly to and from St. Peter’s Square in downtown Gloucester.

Helming the kitchen, the tag-team of Papows and Chef Chow will bring fun twists to New American cuisine and signature sushi creations. Papows – who first worked at The Studio at age 14 – returns as a leading chef bringing his passion for local sourcing, working closely with Cape Ann-area fisherman and farmers. Restaurant-goers can expect to see an all-day menu with seafood delights – including Papows’ signature lobster rangoons – complemented with casual pub fare. New this season, sushi chef Desmond Chow will feature a raw bar, tucked in the back corner, where sushi-masters will be on display executing their craft. The sushi setup – dubbed XoXo Bar – is a prelude to a new restaurant concept Chow will head up come fall in Chestnut Hill. 

To quench the insatiable summer thirst, the beverage program will boast something for everyone’s palettes. New to The Studio is frozen drinks, including a Stoli Doli with a choice of fresh purees and a margarita, as well as a rum bar featuring Kenny Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay. There is a rotating selection of eight beers on draught in addition to 20 beers available by the can. While the classic pours are available, local producers take centerstage with options from the likes of Great Marsh Brewing Company (Essex, MA) and Rockport Brewing.

The Studio Restaurant & Bar is located at 51 Rocky Neck Avenue in Gloucester. Beginning June 2, The Studio Restaurant & Bar’s initial operating hours will be daily from 4:00pm-12:00am and shortly following the operating hours will be daily from 11:30am-12:00am. The Studio Restaurant & Bar also will debut live music programming featuring local artists in the coming weeks.

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