CHESHIRE — Two lifelong friends are planning to open Bone in Prime Steakhouse at the former location of Perfectly Prepared on Highland Avenue, transforming the building from a business where customers could shop for pre-packaged meals to an upscale restaurant.
“We’re very excited to be in Cheshire,” said co-owner Enzo Beskovic. “We’re investing a lot to make that place nice and welcoming again.”
Beskovic and business partner Fico Cecunjanin aim to open in mid-March, pending the approval of a liquor license and the finishing touches on about $700,000 in renovations to the building.
The interior renovations and a new patio expected to be completed in the summer will allow up to 500 to be seated. They’ve brought in new kitchen equipment and built a bar.
“The biggest thing is also the wine room,” Cecunjanin said. “We’re going to start off with 200 different bottles of wines.”
Both Cecunjanin and Beskovic have a long history in the restaurant business. They grew up together in Montenegro and moved to the United States as teenagers in 2001 to work in their families’ restaurants. Cecunjanin recalled coming home from school to rush through homework so that he could go to the restaurant in the evening to help out.
He kept that family focus when he branched off to open Red Fox Restaurant in Middletown with his brother, Alex Cecunjanin, in 2015. They expanded seating capacity from 80 to 300 within a few years of opening. He also now runs Fox on the Green in Portland with his brother.
The menu and atmosphere at Bone in Prime will be comparable to the Red Fox Restaurant, which has a menu centered around steaks, seafood and Italian dishes.
Though this will be Beskovic’s first time as an owner, he has worked in the restaurant business for decades and is excited to be able to create his own recipes and sauces. He specializes in steaks and fish.
Through his time working at other steakhouses, like Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in West Hartford, he’s learned that the most important part of cooking a good steak is being able to identify the best cuts of meat.
“It’s the best quality of meat. A steakhouse doesn’t use low grade meat, they use the top grade meat which is prime and that’s what we’re going to use … they will all be prime grade,” he said.
Cheshire Economic Development Coordinator Jerry Sitko said he’s excited to see a business quickly move in to take the place of Perfectly Prepared, which opened in 2018 and went out of business at the start of the pandemic.
“We’re really excited to have them come here. They have a good reputation where they are in Middletown,” he said.
Since the renovation will include a banquet hall, Sitko is also looking forward to having a destination where locals can hold large gatherings.
Bone in Prime will add diversity to the dining options along Route 10.
“You want to diversify your business community and you want to diversify the number of offerings in the restaurant sector,” Sitko said. “It’s good for Cheshire consumers and also … it’s good for the restaurants.”