In mid-April, a sign went up in the vacant Belvedere Polish Restaurant space informing passersby that the Greedy Hamster would soon be moving in. And while the name evokes images of a fat rodent stuffing its cheeks with baby carrots, this Greedy Hamster will be a restaurant and bar from owners Tay Wilbanks and Jim Askins. They're calling the new place a bistro pub, with inspiration drawn from favorite hangouts in the many places they've lived, most notably London and San Francisco. The Greedy Hamster is opening softly this weekend from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with a limited menu and a full bar.
Wilbanks says much of the kitchen's regular menu will be available, other than a few items like the build-your-own sandwich and flatbread options. She plans to roll out the full menu on May 22, once the restaurant has had a chance to settle in and iron out any kinks. For now, the menu will cover four salads, burgers (one with ground lamb), a Greedy Cheese sandwich that's built like a croque monsieur, mac and cheese with green chiles, and several appetizers in the $3 to $6 range, like pepper bon bons (prosciutto-wrapped Fresno chiles stuffed with cream cheese), Parmesan crisps, plantain tostones and deviled eggs. The kitchen also plans to turn out its own ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings and sriracha.
A new exterior sign is on its way and in the meantime, Wilbanks says a banner should be up in time for the opening tomorrow (one was delivered but it came back with the wrong date). Customers familiar with the now-defunct Belvedere will still recognize the interior, although a new bar and spruced up paint and decor have been added. While former regulars looking for those missing pierogies might be disappointed, they'll find all-new food at the Greedy Hamster with which to stuff their faces.
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