The chef behind one of New Bedford's foundational culinary staples is taking his talents to Fairhaven Village.

Brandon Roderick, chef and owner of The Baker in Downtown New Bedford, is opening a restaurant near the Fairhaven waterfront in the space once occupied by the popular Elizabeth's restaurant.

The new restaurant will be called Olivia's and Roderick described it as a "neighborhood bar and eatery." Roderick told WBSM that it will be a from scratch kitchen with a focus on fresh seafood.

Brandon Roderick
Brandon Roderick

Roderick is working with a local designer who lives in the neighborhood to craft an aesthetic that he hopes will offer the same "good vibes" and inviting atmosphere that patrons experienced in Elizabeth's.

Originally, Roderick said he wanted to focus on a Coastal Italian menu, but then decided he didn't want to limit himself to one cuisine and compete with the other local restaurants that already do Italian well.

Roderick is instead opting for a "New American" menu. Roderick said that New American incorporates a "melting pot of influences" that will allow him to draw inspiration from countries he identified as the "powerhouses" of cuisine such as Italy, France, Germany, and regions of Africa.

Since establishing The Baker in 2016, Roderick has grown the business into one of the premiere bakeries on the SouthCoast. He said he wants to carry that success over to Olivia's.

"I think people have began to expect a certain level from The Baker and we hope to bring that expectation to the new restaurant." Roderick said.

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"We're just really excited to get this project underway, work with local officials, learn everything we can about this spot, and become part of the community," he said.

Roderick said in a social media post that they are targeting a "late summer 2023" opening date.

Jason Lanagan, who is managing the properties of the former Elizabeth's, Margaret's, and Brady's Ice Box that occupy a block of Fairhaven Village near the waterfront, said he is excited for what Roderick will do.

Lanagan has been behind the establishment of several popular eateries throughout the SouthCoast including Rose Alley Ale House and Cork Wine & Tapas in New Bedford's downtown, and Profile Tavern in Freetown.

For Lanagan and his partner Peter Cullen, finding new businesses for the the properties in that block is part of a broader vision to revitalize Fairhaven Village – a vision that is being realized with the establishment of Olivia's and the Ice Cream Cottage, an ice cream shop that will occupy the former Brady's Ice Box.

“The idea is to attract and enter into contracts with businesses that will be complimentary with each other on the block and be complimentary with the town of Fairhaven," Lanangan said.  

“We’re hoping these three buildings will prove be a catalyst for more development in the center of Fairhaven and that we can engage town officials to see how we can make the environment more inviting for local businesses," he said.

Lanagan also said it's "refreshing" to see someone with Roderick's culinary talents have a firm grasp on the business aspect of operating a restaurant.

"He’s doing all the right things," Lanagan told WBSM. "He's talking to all the right people and he’s consistently put out an outstanding product at The Baker. We’re really excited what he's going to do with a full bar and a full menu."

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