2013-03-01 / Front Page

Family: the key ingredient to Cornerstones

STORY BY TARA KERRIGAN CUCCHIARA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN BOUDREAU


Head chef, Ryan Marshall, is new to Cornerstones, and is helping restaurant owners Joe and Danny Monteverde with a fresh new menu. Head chef, Ryan Marshall, is new to Cornerstones, and is helping restaurant owners Joe and Danny Monteverde with a fresh new menu. When carpenters Joe and Danny Monteverde bought the property at 616 Central Street in Leominster thirty-five years ago, it was just a small bar on a large lot. For eleven years Joe and Danny operated their business as a nightclub called Spatz. When the brothers felt it had run its course, the building took on another life.

“Life takes you in different directions you didn’t know you were going in,” Danny Monteverde reflected. He knows this well since his family history goes back three generations in the construction business, yet he now finds himself 35 years deep into the restaurant business.

Danny and Joe never left construction y behind. Their family built

Cornerstones from the ground up after tearing down the original structure. a Since then, they have built the bar, painted, replaced floors, and recently replaced the roof.

Most recently the whole family nworked on a new house for Danny in Leominster. Danny lit up as he talked about spending time with his relatives on his house project.

He also proudly declared he and his brother as Leominster Natives.

While some things may never change, many changes are under way at Cornerstones. Remodeling is yin the works, a new menu is debuting, a new head chef started just a month ago, and Tracy Sladen has joined the team as the Bar Manager/ r Marketing & Entertainment Director/ Pastry Chef. Tracy may have a lot on her plate, but has 20+ years of experience to guide her.

Like several other employees at Cornerstones, Tracy transferred from Lidio’s when they closed in 2012.

“I am happy to be here, “ Sladen said. “I have a good rapport with the local customers and some have followed us from Lidio’s.”

Tracey is very excited about the live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Already they’ve received positive feedback from customers who are enjoying the weekly entertainment, as well as the food.

“We want to offer what others are not,” Danny added. “You can’t compete with the chain restaurants and their advertising budget so we want to go in a different direction.”

Ryan Marshall is one new direction Cornerstones is taking. This young head chef has a strong background in seafood. Originally from this area, Ryan spent most of his life in Florida. “We used to get the fish right off the boat in Florida,” Ryan said. “And New England is the best place to get seafood.”

Ryan says he is “big on freshness” and his new menu does not use anything less. “You gotta love what you do. I put love into my work,” Ryan added.

Cornerstones will be offering a chef attended omelet station with their Sunday brunches. On Thursday nights you may watch the chef prepare your pasta dish “as you like it” in the main dining room. And when the warm weather returns, a lobster bake or two will be sure to draw a crowd.

The staff’s enthusiasm is refreshing, as is the willingness of the owners to allow brand new employees to initiate ideas for their 35-year-old business. Danny and Joe are savvy men to realize that the economy and clientele are ever changing. They see the value in bringing in fresh ideas in order to achieve a wonderful blend of familiarity and exuberance.

Check out the New Cornerstones during Restaurant Week March 2-9th. The special menu is available on the website at www.cornerstonesleominster.com. You can also visit their facebook page for updates on specials and events at facebook.com/tracy.sladen.9.

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