April 9, 2019

College Street's new South Bay a family affair

PHOTO | New Haven Biz
PHOTO | New Haven Biz
Diners enjoyed a mix of Mediterranean and Latin cuisine this week at the official opening of a new restaurant, South Bay.

Restaurant Week in New Haven (April 7-12) opened to an energetic start Monday with the official opening of South Bay, a gleaming new College Street boite that serves creative seafood fare straddling the intersection of Mediterranean and Latin cuisine. South Bay occupies the space that previously housed Oaxaca.

South Bay is a family affair, owned and operated by the Siguenza family, which came to Connecticut from their native Ecuador 15 years ago, and since then have kept busy — opening nine restaurants in the Nutmeg State over that span.

South Bay is the family's second Elm City eatery. The first was Chapel Street's Harvest, which opened five years ago next to the Yale Center for British Art.

Doing business as the JS Restaurant group, the Siguenzas (three siblings and a cousin) have "truly figured out the secret sauce to operating restaurants in Connecticut," said Lauren Zucker, Yale's associate vice president for New Haven affairs and University Properties, the Blue Mother's real-estate arm and South Bay's landlord.

Vincente Siguenza says his family plans to employ a staff of about 13 since their new restaurant's "soft" opening about 10 days ago. For now, the Siguenzas appear to have unlocked a key to culinary success in the Elm City: According to Steve Fontana of the city's Office of Business Development, "Food is our city's sustainable competitive advantage."

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