PROVIDENCE — A little more than a decade after Cecelia Lizotte opened Suya Joint, an “all-African cuisine” restaurant in the Boston area, the chef confirmed Tuesday that she plans to open her second restaurant in downtown city of Providence in spring 2024.
Suya Joint’s Providence location will be at 320 Westminster St., where Lizotte said diners should expect Nigerian cuisine, with a vibrant bar and cocktail program that will highlight the flavors of West Africa.
Lizotte first opened Suya Joint in Roslindale in 2012. In 2016, she moved to a larger space on Nubian Square in Roxbury and has since launched a food truck that serves the Suya Joint menu around Boston. This year, Boston Magazine named Suya Joint the best West African restaurant in Boston.
Before moving to Boston in 1999 to pursue her studies, Lizotte grew up in a Nigerian village where she regularly helped her grandmother in the restaurant she ran there. Suya Joint’s menu focuses on the ingredients Lizotte grew up with, including Jollof rice; goat pepper soup; okra stews; and the Beef Suya, a Nigerian meat skewer and the restaurant’s namesake. Others include Nigerian stews offered with a choice of proteins.
Much of Soya Joint’s menu is anchored around fufu, a starchy side dish that resembles a dumpling but is made from pounded yam or cassava and used to soak up stews and soups.
The entire menu is dairy-free, Lizotte said, and most of the menu offers gluten-free and vegetarian options.
This won’t be Lizotte’s first time cooking in Providence. In late 2020, Lizotte briefly launched the “Abinchin Plateau” takeout brand from Bath Food Co., a ghost kitchen hub at 65 Bath St. where she operated a small commercial kitchen catering to delivery and takeout orders. (Bath Food Co. is a subsidiary of CloudKitchens, founded by Travis Kalanick, the former co-founder of Uber. The billionaire has purchased old warehouses across the country to turn them into ghost kitchen hubs.)
The Abinchin plateau closed its doors in mid-2021.
The ground floor of the historic Kinsley building where Suya Joint will open is under construction and will open next spring. When the restaurant opens, it will serve diners seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Lizotte said.
Alexa Gagosz can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Am here @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.