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Porto Restaurant Coming to LaPrete's Old Location

Duo ownership hopes to open at 369 Washington Avenue in early September

To those who looked at the closing of LaPrete’s Italian Table’s with chagrin, fear not. Another eatery is popping up in its place, at 369 Washington Ave., and should be ready in a few weeks. 

Porto Restaurant and Bar is the creation of Belleville resident, former Mayor and retired captain of the Belleville Police Department, Bill Escott, and his partner, Portugal-born Carlos Lopes. Both hope to open the establishment, which will offer authentic Portuguese and Italian cuisine, in early September.

“I managed a restaurant in Nutley the past nine years,” says Escott, “while Carlos has been in the restaurant business his entire life.”

The duo had been discussing opening a restaurant together for some time, and had been looking for a good location to do so. The now-vacant LaPrete’s spot became available in March, and the fact that it is located on a main tract in Belleville – and sandwiched by Nutley and Newark – makes it advantageous. The eatery is named for the town in Portugal where Carlos Lopes grew up.

And the eventual opening of Porto Restaurant and Bar fills an even bigger concern: filling an empty storefront on a main road, a malady and concern to all neighborhoods, cities and townships. “I'm sure everyone is concerned about vacant storefronts,” claims Escott. “I personally feel many towns are having the same problem. I think that internet shopping and large malls have had an impact on many small businesses, but that generally does not affect the restaurant and bar business. Even in a poor economy, people find a way to go out for dinner and a drink, but maybe not as often as they do in a thriving economy.”

He does, however, believe that Porto Restaurant and Bar may be the answer for those hesitant to dine out more often, “We hope to provide the township with a nice looking, moderately priced restaurant to socialize and have dinner and a cocktail.” 

Porto Restaurant and Bar, 369 Washington Avenue, Belleville

Marco October 11, 2011 at 07:11 PM
I am sorry but is only one Portuguese restorant in town Solar do Minho and as the best food( try Porto is not comperacy whit Solar do Minho)
Giants October 19, 2011 at 06:29 PM
I already tried Porto and most say the food is extremely good and well presented. I am not saying Solar Do Minho isn't good because I have dined there a couple of times as well but Porto is right next to it on quality of food if not better. The place looks absolutely beautiful and the staff is very polite and welcoming. Plus as far as I know Mr. Lopes was the creater of Solar Do Minho so that alone shows that Porto is going to be a success being that he is the owner of it as well.
Maria S. October 26, 2011 at 06:26 PM
I went there last night for my birthday. I was pleasantly surprised. I've been to Solar do Minho every year for my birthday , as I love their food as well. This year I wanted to try Porto and I'm so glad I did. The wait staff was very polite, always tended to our needs. The place is very elegant, the food AMAZING. You have your choice between Portugese and Italian, and great combinations.. not your run of the mill Chicken Parm, but rather a very well selected menu to compliment the fantastic Portugese side as well. We had the Jumbo Shrimp in White wine sauce topped with melted Mozzarella, very appetizing... just divine. For dinner the Zuppa Di Pesce, Fish so fresh and broth so tasty. Pasta perfectly cooked. Dessert was the Pumpkin Cognac cheesecake which was on the plate no longer than 30 seconds. Great establishment , I wish them great success. Both Mr. Lopes and Mayor Escott came to the table to great the guests.
david November 02, 2011 at 11:29 PM
I was surprised. the food was ok but Solar do Minho is amazing better
jane smith November 23, 2011 at 09:59 PM
solar do minho and Porto have the same owner. Carlos Lopes owns both of them...
James Luther February 25, 2012 at 08:04 PM
not anymore , Mr. Carlos lost solar Manor.He does not own Solar do MInho anymore.
Theresa May 14, 2012 at 09:52 AM
I LOVE Porto!!!!! The BEST skirt steak ever!! Melt in your mouth DELICIOUS!!! The sangria is FANTASTIC too!! The Staff is AWESOME!! :D Two thumbs up from me!! <3
jess October 14, 2012 at 03:31 PM
A very pleasant place with good quality food.

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