New Ownership: Tony Valentino and Bayside Betsy’s
177 Commercial Street * 508-487-6566 * baysidebetsys.com
“I loved this place ever since my ex brought me here in 1998,” says Tony Valentino. “Betsy was so sweet, almost like a grandmother, she had this warm maternal welcoming feeling. I loved the energy, loved how the staff treated people.” In many ways, it was a dream come true when he was able to buy Bayside Betsy’s this year, “continuing her legacy connecting guests with good food, good views, and good people.”
He is no stranger to food service. “I worked at TGI Friday’s for 10 years,” Valentino says. “Some people dismiss it, but in that time I held every position in the restaurant, I could function literally anywhere.” It was a good background to bring to Ptown where he ran the Martin House for two years, managed a hardware store (Conwell’s) and a campground (Adventure Bound), and settled in to owning and running the Top Mast catering company—the latter of which he will continue.
How will he run two restaurants? “With good people,” Valentino answers. “Betsy’s has housing and is year-round, so my Top Mast people now have a place to work in the winter. The isolation of being unemployed all winter is rough, and this gives them more opportunities.” He is certainly all-in, as he had to sell his home in order to finance the down-payment on the restaurant.
At Betsy’s as at Top Mast, Valentino sources his food “greater-Boston-and-Cape locally,” he explains. “Linguica from Fall River, Portuguese muffins from the Lopes family, coffee beans from Rhode Island.” The menu has choices for those with special dietary needs, and the cooks are very careful about cross-contamination. “My former partner has 17 food intolerances,” Valentino says. “I know what it’s like to watch people struggle, and I want there to be more than just one item on the menu they can eat.”
All in all, it seems Bayside Betsy’s new ownership was meant to be. Stop in and see if you don’t agree!