TRURO — After close to 36 years at the helm of Montano’s, a beacon for pasta lovers and Truro’s only deep-winter dinner spot, Bob Montano is selling the restaurant that bears his name.
The buyer is Ed Medeiros or, rather, his Frankie’s Hospitality Inc., through which Medeiros also owns Frankie’s International Bistro, a restaurant on Route 1 in Plainville, about halfway between Boston and Providence.
Medeiros’s family trust owns cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries in Dartmouth, Plainville, and Athol — businesses run by his four children, he said. And in addition to his two houses on Mary’s Way in Truro, he owns a real estate business, San Miguel LLC, with 20 mostly commercial properties in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.
Medeiros, a part-time resident of Truro who otherwise lives in Seekonk, where he grew up, said he plans to change very little about Montano’s. He said he’s a long-time fan — his family dined on the restaurant’s homemade pasta to go on New Year’s Eve — who spurns the idea of unnecessary change.
The transfer of ownership of the restaurant license was approved by the town’s board of health on Jan. 2, and the annual all-liquor license transfer was approved by the select board on Jan. 9. The sale will now go to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission for final authorization.
According to listing agent Richard Catania of the Realty Advisory, that final step is “a rubber stamp” formality. “Once the town approves it, it’s pretty much a done deal,” Catania told the Independent after the select board’s Jan. 9 meeting.
At hearings on the license transfers, members of the board of health and select board said they were relieved that Medeiros seemed committed to changing very little about the establishment. “I’m just happy that it’s going to stay the same,” said Jason Silva, vice chair of the board of health, “because I eat there about eight days a week.”
“When you have something that’s working really well, why would you try to fix it?” Medeiros told the Independent.
The restaurant building occupies 6,426 square feet on the 4.1-acre property, and according to the real estate listing has the capacity to seat 188 customers. It “boasts two large dining rooms, an outdoor seating opportunity, a bar with a full liquor license and very adequate parking available in the new parking lot,” and the building’s roof, deck, and septic system have all been recently upgraded, the listing says.
The property includes a two-bedroom unit of 1,400 square feet that is currently used as workforce housing, Montano said. It houses two to four people depending on the season, he said.
Included in the sale are the real estate, business, equipment, and furniture, as well as the restaurant’s recipes. The asking price was $2,395,000. The ultimate sale price, according to Catania, was $2.2 million. “I was very happy with what I got,” said Montano.
When the sale closes, only the real estate transaction of $1.6 million will be posted, Catania said. The balance, $600,000, was the price of the business.
Medeiros had been looking to buy and pounced on the listing when it was first posted in August, leaving little time for other offers. “It happened so fast,” Catania said, and having a property listing move from active to pending “pretty much stops anyone else from looking at it.”
Medeiros said he built his Plainville business from the ground up. But he didn’t start out in restaurants. The youngest of 12 and a graduate of Bridgewater State University, he founded East Commerce Solutions, a software and payroll processing company, which he sold after 30 years in 2021. Running it gave him ideas about the logistical and financial side of restaurant ownership, he said.
Medeiros has been enjoying the homemade pasta and ambience at Montano’s for 16 years — the same number of years he’s been visiting Truro. He said that were it not for his two grandsons, whom he takes care of on Mondays and Thursdays, he would be in Truro full time.
For his part, Montano said he is looking forward to turning over a new leaf. “As much as I love my business, my staff, all of my clientele, it’s time to step back and take a break and then come back and do something different,” he told the Independent.
When Montano bought the property at 481 Route 6 in 1988, it was a Portuguese seafood place called Cap’n Josie’s. He was 26 at the time, and the purchase jump-started the dream he’d had since he was 16 when he worked as a dishwasher and squid cleaner at La Strada, a now-closed Italian restaurant in Hamden, Conn.
Decades later, he still has a hand in creating the menu, but he’s no longer the cook, thanks to “a nice, steady, dedicated staff that has made my life a lot easier,” Montano said.
Some of his staff have been around “since day one,” while several more have been with him for 20 or so years, he said. Though Montano’s is open year-round, they still need to add staff for summer, and several of their seasonal employees have been around for three to five years, said Montano. According to the real estate listing, the restaurant has 35 employees.
Medeiros’s intention to preserve Montano’s extends to the staff, all of whom, according to Montano, plan to stick around. “As far as I know, 100 percent of them are going to give him a try and see how it goes,” said Montano, who looks forward to seeing Medeiros’s spin on the place.
“I lived a dream,” said Montano, a resident of Eastham. “I’ve raised a family here, been here with my wife for all these years. We’ve just enjoyed every moment of Cape Cod.” His kids, post-college, live in Washington, D.C. and New York City. “Since they don’t want it, it’s time for me to move on while I’m still young enough to do something else,” he said.
“Not a restaurant,” he added — then, after a beat, “or just chill out.”
Medeiros is thinking about ways to expand the restaurant’s offerings, perhaps adding lunch and Sunday brunch to the Montano’s repertoire. He’s also considering adding vegan dishes to the menu. “I think that’s always been shortchanged in restaurants: they think vegan is you just take the meat out and serve it that way,” said Medeiros. “That’s not how it works.”
Otherwise, Medeiros looks forward to finding local nonprofits to support. He describes himself as “a philanthropist-meets-entrepreneur.”
“Part of my business philosophy is to always give back in the community that you profit from,” he said.