Ocean State Sandwich Company is a collaborative effort of two generations of the Handwerger family. The Handwergers have been feeding Rhode Islanders since 1975 when father, Alan, built his first restaurant, Left Bank, on the riverfront in Providence and managed to convince the then-salad girl/Johnson and Wales culinary student, Lorrie, to marry him.
That was thirty-seven years and four children ago, years that found the Handwergers owning and operating casual and fine-dining restaurants in Massachusetts, Florida and Vermont before returning home to Rhode Island where, with son, Eric, they’ve decided to abandon the nighttime kitchen and its grueling hours in favor of a daytime operation.
“Our goals,” says Eric Handwerger, “are to provide lunch and dinner choices that feature local, quality ingredients, and to accommodate the desires both of customers who are looking to eat healthy and those who are looking for an indulgence. So while you’ll find an abundance of hearty, healthful items, soups and salads, you’ll also find a braised beef or meatball sandwich on a Buono’s Bakery sub roll.
“We’re food people,” he concludes. “And opening a place in a part of Rhode Island where we’re surrounded by an abundance of farms on the one side and dedicated small food producers on the other, it’s just a perfect situation… We’re really looking forward to the daytime hours too.”