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Grace by Nia opens at Foxwoods Resort

Jamyra Perry
Grace by Nia opens at Foxwoods Resort
Above, ribbon-cutting ceremony: (from left) Daniel Menihan Jr. and Crystal M. Whipple, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council members; Jason Guyot, president and CEO, Foxwoods Resort Casino; Ed Kane, principal of Big Night; Nia Grace, visionary founder and owner, Grace By Nia and Bar & Kitchen Hospitality; Randy Greenstein, co-owner, Big Night; Latoya Cluff, vice chair, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council; Michele Scott, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council member; Rodney A. Butler, chair, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council; and Merrill Reels, treasurer, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council. PHOTO: ROBIN WINCHELL/BIG NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Last week, the sounds of tribal drums beat at Foxwoods Resort Casino to welcome its newest tenant, Grace by Nia.

Hundreds of family, friends, Boston tastemakers and foodies gathered to celebrate the ribbon-cutting for the restaurant’s second outpost.

Nia Grace at the opening of her new restaurant at Foxwoods Resort. PHOTO: ROBIN WINCHELL/BIG NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Owner Nia Grace hopes this opening will be one of many to come.

“From the beginning, I thought this was going to be a brand that could go many different places. I have my desires and my targets set on additional cities as well,” she said.

The entrepreneur said Foxwoods was a natural fit for her to bring her Seaport area supper club to the state of Connecticut.

“The built-in audience, the attraction and the fact that the entire casino was built on, you know, multi-level experiences. You can come out here to shop by day and then have a great dinner at Grace by Nia,” she said.

The Grace Notes performing at Grace By Nia at the Foxwoods Resort. PHOTO: ROBIN WINCHELL/BIG NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

Grace is no stranger to being a trailblazer, and the opening of the Foxwoods location gave her a chance to chart new territory once again.

“With all transparency, it feels good, and yet at the same time, it’s a stark reminder that there’s more work to do. I have the first Black-woman-owned supper club in the state of Connecticut. I was the first Black woman to own a liquor license on the Seaport in Boston. I knew what I was fighting for at home in Boston and trying to get more people into the space. I just didn’t know that I was going to be the change in Connecticut, which then today makes me say, now I need to look in other markets and find out what’s going on,” she said.

With all that’s on the line, Grace said, it’s important to make the Foxwoods location just as grand as the Seaport location.

“The storefront of it is a bit grander. When you come inside, you’re gonna see that it’s a 190-seat venue with perfect sightlines throughout. Look at the menu. We’ve got some really cool new cocktails playing off of classics and playing into our location. There’s a ‘Casino Royale,’ which is a Vesper Martini, and you can get sexy dirty or straight. Exclusive to Foxwoods dining menu is the High Note Burger. You’ll also see familiar design elements. You’re gonna love this space,” Grace gushed.

Foxwoods Resort, Grace by Nia, Nia Grace