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Closed by COVID, Roadhouse Café will reopen after four years

The new owner hopes to reopen this summer.
Patrick Flanary
The new owner hopes to reopen this summer.

Live jazz will return to the restaurant, which operated for almost 40 years until the pandemic shuttered it.

HYANNIS—Roadhouse Café, a Cape Cod institution for local jazz and seafood, was sold in April and will reopen this year for the first time since 2020.

Timing depends on how soon the South Street venue can secure its liquor license, new owner Ricky Conrado told CAI on Thursday.

Conrado, a real estate investor, is the general manager of Torino Restaurant and Bar, a short walk away on Main Street. He and Marcello Mallegni bought Roadhouse Café last month for $715,000, a sale that will revive the restaurant's jazz shows that went silent at the height of the pandemic.

Dave Colombo opened Roadhouse Café, his first restaurant, in 1981. A few years later it began hosting jazz performances featuring Colombo's father, the late trumpeter Lou Colombo. Tony Bennett was a frequent guest.

The place got its start as a small breakfast spot, transitioned to fine dining and went more casual during its final years. It boasted a massive menu—standing 18 inches tall—featuring local seafood and Italian classics. Conrado said he is exploring food options and hopes to hire staff this summer.

Colombo, who owns Colombo’s Café & Pastries and Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis, did not return a request for comment on the sale.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.