In the Kitchen: Strive Kitchen + Bar Opens Near Providence College

From dishes to decor, Admiral Street’s new eatery is a classy joint for networking and after-class apps


With Johnson & Wales University, Brown University, Providence College (PC), Rhode Island School of Design, and Rhode Island College all bringing students to reside in the heart of the city, our Creative Capital doubles as a college town – a fact that Joseph Colaluca, founder and chief operating officer of Strive Realty and now restaurateur, celebrates.

The vision behind his new restaurant, Strive Kitchen + Bar, germinated in his freshman year at the University of Virginia, where he enjoyed a community that offers shops, bars, and dining steps off campus. When he transferred to PC and began his brokerage, he found that the area lacked a tight-knit environment for young professionals. “My goal is to transform that area [around PC], to make that a more desirable and vibrant area,” he says. The restaurant is the first step in his plan to draw people in.

Since 2019, Colaluca has been working with JacksonCreative Group, an interior design firm on Sims Avenue, to rehabilitate the former Club Eagles into his restaurant vision of four distinct areas: a foyer, mezzanine, bar, and basement speakeasy. Colaluca calls the space “upscale-casual,” with high-level finishing softened by artwork and music (check out SKB Chill on Spotify). He wants to make Strive a place “where people come together as a community” and to “forge new relationships in a casual setting.” Open to everyone, he hopes the venue can be especially useful for young professionals who are in the odd stage of trying to start careers while also needing an affordable place to meet contacts and friends.

That same philosophy influenced the dishes. Colaluca worked with Antonio Franco, restaurant consultant and former executive chef at Basta in Cranston, to create an upscale-casual dining menu with a fun twist. Guests can enjoy “familiar dishes, elevated and reimagined,” with shareables like Arancini Mozzarella Sticks, Buffalo Cali (calamari), and a Butternut Waffle with hot honey and walnut vinaigrette. For mains, there’s everything from an Angus Rodeo Burger to Sicilian-style pizza and Tuna Tartar, and desserts include pure chocolate decadence and sticky toffee cakes.

Colaluca aims to “be unique” with the food. Not only is the Italian-influenced menu a nod to Providence’s Italian dining scene, but it’s also a tribute to his heritage. When Colaluca’s family emigrated from Italy to Providence in 1890, they had a bottling company in the same neighborhood as the restaurant on Admiral Street. Rather than recreating the wheel in a city with no lack of authentic eateries, Colaluca opted for dishes that fit eclectic and changing tastes, as well as spanning generations – the tartar may be better suited for formal networking, while a burger, pizza, and shareable apps are great for a hang-out with friends after class.

The meal that best encapsulates the brand’s philosophy would have to be the rigatoni. Says Colaluca, “It’s probably my favorite dish from the standpoint of incorporating Strive from across the board.” Served with fennel sausage, wild mushrooms, truffle, and cream, the pasta dish is comforting, classy, and unlike any in the city.


Strive Kitchen and Bar

383 Admiral Street

632-4141 •



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