A social dining experience

By Laura Barton, Tribune Staff

Good food and good company are the goals that Matt Woodruff has for his new restaurant, The Supper Club.

It opened its doors on East Main Street in Welland only a couple of weeks ago. It’s just moments away from Woodruff’s other restaurant, Matteo’s Ristorante, which he opened almost four years ago.

He said both he and his girlfriend, Lisa Badawey, run both restaurants and the goal for both is to offer quality food and a great experience.

“Dining should be a social event,” he said, emphasizing that he doesn’t mean just between the people seated at one table eating, but people throughout the establishment.

The menu in this new restaurant features continental cuisine as something different from Matteo’s, which offers Italian cuisine. He said he’s built the menu with his head chef and they’ll be offering what he calls “classic dishes,” such as Beef Wellington.

“These are classic dishes you don’t find anymore,” he said. “People have taken them off the menu.”

Although some people have told him he’s essentially going into competition with himself, he feels the different menus simply offer more options for people. He said there have already been instances in which Matteo’s was full up, so he sent people over to the Supper Club. Because the two businesses are owned by him, he said his customers know they can expect the same quality.

It’s for that reason it’s important to him for people to know the two restaurants are associated. He refers to The Supper Club as Matteo’s sister restaurant, and said he has the same insistence on quality food, environment and staffing as he does at his other restaurant.

So far the restaurant is only open for dinner hours, but Woodruff does plan on expanding to have lunch hours as well. At first his idea was to have his two restaurants to be open on opposite days and times, but he realized he would never get a break. Now he expects the hours will mirror each other.

He said he didn’t jump into doing that right away though, because he’d rather start out slow and make sure things are done right than jump in headlong and have things go awry.

Having two restaurants has been something he’s planned for a number of years, but this isn’t his first opportunity to have that. He said he’s turned down offers in other cities because he’d rather have a more hands-on approach to his businesses. Being able to be around the business gives his clientele the opportunity to get to know him, and that’s something he said he wants to continue doing with the new restaurant.

He said the restaurant is somewhat hidden in its spot beside the Rose City Kids building because of the old theatre marquee, but his solution to that is a gas flame fixture that he puts out on the sidewalk during business hours.

In the two weeks The Supper Club has been open, he said he’s been getting positive feedback and he’s hoping to continue to build the business.

Twitter: @LBartonTribune