The owners of VELE, a modern Italian restaurant located in downtown Springfield, have announced plans to open a second restaurant in the Gables Shopping Center. Curate will be located at 2930 Plaza Drive in the building formerly occupied by McCormick’s Smokehouse, which closed at the end of 2018.
Nickey Sperry, who owns VELE along with her husband, Dan, and Justin Richardson, said that the trio had always been interested in a west side location but was waiting for the right opportunity.
“We were approached by Jim Wilson with The Gables; after McCormick’s left he wanted to bring in another tenant. He was willing to help us out on updating the space, and when you’re presented with good opportunities you want to capitalize on them,” explained Sperry.
She said the concept for Curate is different than their existing restaurant. “It will be a small plate restaurant and wine bar. Part of our build-out is to bring in a great bar that will be the showcase when you walk in.”
However, there will also be some similarities between the two locations. Dan Sperry will serve as general manager and Richardson as the chef for both restaurants. Sperry said they also plan to offer a Founders Club for Curate, similar to what is offered at VELE. “We invite people who are like-minded in the culinary world who want to be the first to know what we’re going to do,” Sperry said. Members pay $500 and receive the equivalent in gift cards, in addition to invitations to special events. Sperry said there will be two different levels of membership for Curate, since the higher level will also include 12 bottles of wine throughout the year.
Sperry said, “Curate will offer a very different menu than VELE. It will be small plates, various ethnic cuisines that offer a diverse range for your palate. We want to create a great place to eat and drink and share with family and friends.”
An opening is planned for early June.