Curate, a small plate restaurant and wine bar offering various ethnic cuisines, has opened at 2930 Plaza Drive in The Gables shopping center. Curate is located in the building formerly occupied by McCormick’s Smokehouse, which closed at the end of 2018. Owners Dan and Nickey Sperry, along with co-owner and executive chef Justin Richardson, also own VELE, a modern Italian restaurant in downtown Springfield.
In a February interview with SBJ, Nickey Sperry explained that although VELE was still fairly new, the group had decided to pursue a new venture as well.
“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,” said Sperry.
While the owners had originally hoped to open Curate over the summer, Sperry said there were several delays related to permitting and construction. She served as the general contractor for the last few months of the project and also handled the interior design. The space has been extensively renovated with an art deco theme and now features a serpentine bar as a centerpiece, courtesy of Woodhaven Woodworks. While the location has only been open since Nov. 29, the construction and interior design has been chronicled on social media for months.
Bask Properties, which had done work on the VELE remodel, also assisted with the new space. The owners worked with many other local businesses on the remodel, including Springfield Electric, Staff Carpet, Fehring Ornamental Iron Works and Pratt Woodworks. Evan Lloyd served as the project architect.
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.”
Curate offers cocktails and an abbreviated menu from 3-5 p.m., with full menu service beginning at 5 p.m.