Freestones City Grill in New Bedford has been a destination for Syrian nacho lovers and exquisite cocktail connoisseurs for years.

The downtown location that sits proudly upon a cobblestone corner has recently been sold and is under new ownership. Albert Santos, a New Bedford businessman who is well known for buying up restaurants and improving them, has become the newest owner of Freestones. His past financial investments include The Black Whale, which was then sold to Steve Silverstein, and Carmine's at Candleworks.

Howie Mallowes, co-owner of Rose Alley Ale House, The Vault Music Hall and Pub, Carmine's and Cork, will be taking the reins of the new and improved Freestones once it reopens.

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"There's a great partnership between us," Mallowes said of his relationship with Santos. "He gives this opportunity to make something even better and it's worked out well between The Black Whale and Carmine's. I'm looking forward to this next project."

According to Mallowes, the kitchen will be getting an upgrade to increase space and improve working conditions for the kitchen staff. The bar will also be expanded to fit more people.

As for Darwin, the brass-colored monkey that once hung high up above the bar, he's also included in the final sale but is currently being mended following a great fall he took this past year. Nothing to worry about, though his whereabouts have been a recent concern on social media.

Renovations such as new flooring and the removal of the giant mirrors and menu boards were completed not long before the deal was made from the former owner to Santos, who will officially be the new owner as of December 20.

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