Bocce and Bulldogs: an Interview with Roscoe’s Restaurant Owner, Paul Vilord

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Vilord, owner of Chester’s new restaurant, Roscoe’s, located in the old Pioneer Grill/Wyld Thyme space on 30 Main Street. Roscoe’s is CTC’s season sponsor this year and we look forward to the cuisine and vitality they will bring to our town! Roscoe’s will be opening the week of June 23rd. For reservations or more information, call 413-354-1072. 

~Todd Trebour, CTC’s Marketing and Development Director

Roscoe’s has moved into the old “Wyld Thyme” space in Chester

What made you decide to move to Chester?

I have worked in all aspects of the restaurant business, originally owning a restaurant with my father and brother in Suffern, N.Y. Since moving to the Berkshires 15 years ago, I have worked for a few large venues (Red Lion Inn), MCLA’s food service (Aramark), and consulted for three individuals who have opened other restaurants. I have been looking for the opportunity to manage my own place again and found out about the former “Wyld Thyme” in Chester through my sister-in-law, Dee Zimmer, who is a patron of Chester Theatre Company. I love the location and the style of the restaurant itself, especially the welcoming front porch and bocce courts in the backyard! We are currently living in Lenox, but our house is on the market, and we are looking to relocate to Lee, Becket or Chester.

What is the story behind the name Roscoe’s? What will be the theme/decor of the restaurant?

Roscoe’s is named after one of our two rescued English bulldogs, Roscoe and Sophia. Roscoe is a good-natured, loyal and uncomplicated fellow, which is what we are aiming for with our new place. I have owned dogs most of my life and thought the tie-in to the restaurant would be fun. We are painting the restaurant subdued shades of “dinner party red”, “scenic drive”, and “stonington grey” and it will be on the manly and cool side – ruffle-free. We are thinking a “pub”, in the sense of being chosen for its proximity to home or theatre, the availability of favorite foods and beverages, and friendship. We’re hoping you’ll see Roscoe’s as a congenial spot to have a bite to eat, a cold beverage, and a game of darts or bocce. Our walls will showcase two artists that are avid dog lovers and protectors, Carol Lew and Dean Russo. We are jokingly naming the backyard area “Lola’s Cantina” after Roscoe’s neighborhood girlfriend, who is as colorful as the bocce area will be!  Patrons will be welcome to decorate one of our chalk walls and our dog lovers’ bulletin board as they see fit.

What kind of cuisine will you serve at Roscoe’s?

Roscoes LogoRoscoe’s will be serving classic and casual fare. We are favoring local produce (blueberries, all kinds of vegetables, salad greens, apples, milk, and lots more) and products (cheeses, ice creams, liquors and craft beers, maple syrup, breads, and sausages). Our basic menu will be on the small side and change with the seasons, also featuring many specials to take advantage of seasonal produce. Some of my favorites include braised short ribs, build your own macaroni and cheese, flatbreads, hand cut potato chips with warmed cheese spread, apple/nut/field green salad, chocolate/cherry bread pudding…and for my wife, Laurie, beet/goat cheese salad over local field greens.

Are you open for all the performances at CTC?

We are, indeed! We will be open for all the performances of Chester Theatre Company and remain open year-round; probably taking some weeks off in February for a much needed vacation.

What is your favorite dish at Roscoe’s?

My favorite dish is the Chicken St. Louis. It is a chicken breast filet, sautéed then baked, with sliced Roma tomatoes, gruyere cheese and mushrooms – a classic.

Note: Roscoe’s may not have their liquor license in time for the opening of MADAGASCAR, but they will be able to accommodate BYOB. Call 413-354-1072 for more details.