It's been a long time coming, but the official word on Freestones City Grill in New Bedford has been spoken.

The legendary place finally has a re-opening day.

The beloved downtown staple announced its return in May after closing in December 2021. Until recently, it was anyone's guess when the place would be open for business again.

In late November, Freestones took to social media with this welcome message:

Thursday, December 15th will be our official GRAND OPENING. Thank you for your patience while we finish some last-minute renovations and staff training.

Owner Howie Mallowes appointed Debby Seguin the restaurant's head of hospitality. Seguin was a founding owner in 1978.

"It's nice to be back," Seguin told us earlier this year.

Get our free mobile app

To add to the already good news, Darwin the Monkey will also return to the New Bedford restaurant. The unofficial Freestones mascot, which used to hang over the bar, looks better than ever after he was restored and polished by New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School students.

Renovations such as new flooring and the removal of the giant mirrors and menu boards were completed will create a different look for customers.

The team is already pushing out gift cards for the holidays in anticipation of the official grand reopening.

While some former patrons hope the Oriental turkey salad and French onion soup will make a return to the menu, foodies will be happy to know the original recipe for Freestones' popular Syrian nachos will make a comeback.

25 Mouth-Watering Southcoast Dishes to Be Grateful For

From chicken parm to turkey dinners to BBQ ribs to cookies, here's a cornucopia of delicious dishes from local SouthCoast restaurants we can all be grateful for on Thanksgiving and every day.

20 SouthCoast Massachusetts and Rhode Island Dishes That Deserve to Be Featured on the Food Network

Take a dive into the freshest seafood dishes, Italian specialties, Portuguese favorites and much more for these signature SouthCoast dishes that are so good, they deserve to be featured on the Food Network.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420