After six years of being nestled in the corner of Cochran Square, on the corner of Main Street and Broad Street in Middletown, the locally loved cheese shop Fromage has moved to a bigger, and hopefully better location.
Fromage, now re-named, Vino Vita at Fromage, has moved to 400 S. Ridge Ave., behind the Walgreens and Chick-Fil-A located off Route 301 in Middletown.
Co-Owner Christopher Pride explained that the lack of space and parking at the old location prompted the move.
“The location that we had on Main Street was only about 400 square feet,” Pride said. “This location is almost 2,200 square feet, and we wanted to offer more products. Also, as nice as the old place was, there wasn’t any parking. Now we have plenty of parking in front, and over 150 spaces in the back.
The “other services” that Pride refers to includes offering a wine bar and sandwiches. The new location also has enabled them to set up seating behind the wine bar, which also includes a lounge. They also have set up an outdoor patio on the side of the store. Pride estimates that there will be room for 10 seats at the bar, 25 behind the bar, and an additional 30 on the patio.
“We just had cheese retail at the old location, and here we want to do everything,” Pride said. “In addition to the cheese retail, the wine bar will have wine, obviously, along with Scotch and beer. We also wanted to offer crepes and sandwiches, basically things that we knew nobody else was offering in Middletown.
Pride mentioned that Fromage was only open for cheese retail and sandwiches at this time, and that the wine bar would be open once they received their liquor license.
“We should have our liquor license in a couple weeks,” Pride said. “Once we have that, we will get a date set for our grand opening, which we are hoping will be sometime in April.”
Once the grand opening is set, Pride plans to hold some contests and giveaways to celebrate the move.
“It won’t be anything outrageous,” Pride said. “It will just be more about getting our name out there, so people know we moved. We could do a ten percent off then entire store day. Just little stuff like that.”
Pride hopes that when customers walk in, they are able to relax, and appreciate the casual, yet reserved feel of the new location, noting that there will not be any music or T.V.’s to distract the guests.
“Another underlying reason for the move was that we just felt like this was the sort of place people would want to go to,” Pride said. “I’ve lived in the MOT area for 21 years, and there is nothing like this. We are laid back, but have a little bit of an upscale feel. You don’t get inundated with music or T.V. either. People will be able to sit and have a quiet conversation without having to worry about all the noise.”
On that note, Pride is hoping that the laid back nature of his restaurant will help him introduce the concept of “slow food.”
“Everything in today’s culture is about fast food. It’s just fast, fast, fast,” Pride said. “The idea is to teach people to slow down and enjoy the food. We aren’t going to tell you how to eat, we are just suggesting that you sit back, take your time, and enjoy it a little bit more.
“We aren’t in the business of turning over tables. We don’t want you to feel pressured to leave. We want you to stay and enjoy the experience.”