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Cove Surf and Turf’s proposed terrace will give diners a better view in New Bedford


Frank Mulligan

The Standard-Times


NEW BEDFORD – Cove Surf and Turf owner-chef Jesse DeSouza thinks an elevated terrace providing views of Clarks Cove will be an asset to his restaurant and the city.

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” he said of the plan, which he has been working on with architect Ricardo Romão-Santos for more than three years.

DeSouza opened Cove Surf and Turf at 1500-1502 Cove Road in 2014.

The terrace will be a second-story extension of the restaurant’s dining area with a seating capacity of about 90.

And the city Zoning Board of Appeals agrees that it would be an asset, voting unanimously to grant variances and a special permit for the project at its Jan. 18 meeting.

ZBA member James Clark said, “This project shows a superior grasp of creativity for the city. I think it’s an amazing project.”

DeSouza said he would love to break ground on the project by next winter, but there are a number of regulatory steps still to be taken, which will take time.

That will include Planning Board approval, and state approval from the Building Code Appeals Board. Because it’s in a flood district Conservation and FEMA will play a role.

The ZBA approval was contingent on no major changes being made to the plans during the remaining permitting process. If there are major changes, they will have to come back before the ZBA.

The variances were for the terrace’s height and parking.

Take advantage of the water view

Romão-Santos said, “We want to take advantage of water views for patrons. We have to go outside what’s allowed by the zoning, for the height of the building.”

That will allow diners to see over a single-story building across the street.

The deck will be about 25-feet tall, exceeding the 18-foot limit set by city zoning ordinance, and about 85-feet long by 23-feet wide. It will be attached to the east side of the existing restaurant with access to restrooms and a service room on the deck, according to the plans.

“Our city doesn’t have enough restaurants, in my opinion, that take advantage of the experience of the waterfront we have,” Romão-Santos said.

They are supposed to have 27 parking spaces, but will have 14. Romão-Santos said during the hearing there is ample parking on Cove Road, and Panadaram Avenue.

Parking will also be improved. No longer will some spots back out onto the road.

Garden area would be created

He said the plan also includes removing some of the asphalt, especially in the front fifth of the site, which will be turned into a garden area accessible to the neighborhood.

The lot’s permeable area will go from 24% now to about 40%. The plans are also designed to make water flow better in case of flooding.

DeSouza said hours will remain family friendly, with a 9 p.m. closing time, and there will be no live entertainment.

Romão-Santos said, “We feel we have a nice project, not only for improvement of the business for Jesse but for the neighbors. And this being a very visible corner, the improvement will aesthetically be nice for the city.”




New Bedford Restaurant Planning for Knockout Waterfront Views

Read More: New Bedford Restaurant Hopes to Provide Waterfront Dining Soon


Cove Surf and Turf in New Bedford has been serving up scratch-made recipes for the past 10 years alongside Clark’s Cove. The attention to detail and high-quality menu have kept families coming back, but the only thing missing was an unobstructed view of the cove.

Jesse DeSouza, the proud owner and operator of the restaurant, is excited to bring an idea to life that has been years in the making.

By the start of next year, DeSouza hopes to add an upper deck to Cove Surf and Turf and take full advantage of his prime location by the water.

The Story of Cove Surf and Turf

Jesse DeSouza has been immersed in the restaurant industry since he was in high school.

“I’ve been doing this since the 1900s,” he joked.

DeSouza always had big ideas for whatever restaurant he worked in and knew that one day, he would have a restaurant of his own.

In 2014, he opened Cove Surf and Turf, a family-friendly eatery serving up American cuisine, fresh seafood and juicy burgers.

“The Cove is chef-owned and operated,” he said. “I’m there almost every day from open to close, ensuring that my standards of quality are upheld in all areas of the restaurant.”

DeSouza and his team take pride in giving back to the community through nonprofit organizations as often as possible and they always aim to provide a memorable experience for their guests.

All That’s Missing Is Waterfront Dining

When DeSouza opened Cove in 2014, he envisioned an upper deck to take full advantage of the view.

“A lot of people come to Cove because it’s by the water, but we do have industrial views across the street,” he said. “Our water view is limited, so my idea was just to get above everything and get a complete view of Clark’s Cove.”

Three years ago, DeSouza enlisted the help of an architect and started forming plans. They have finally reached the permitting stage, and only a few hearings with local and state departments stand in the way of the bidding process for contractors.

DeSouza has also purchased two additional lots next to Cove to ensure extra parking when the renovation is complete.

In a perfect world, the upper deck will be complete by the spring of 2025.


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