Student culinary arts training program offers low-cost breakfast and lunch favorites.

An old-time name reenters downtown New Bedford’s breakfast and lunch counter scene next week: The Lower Deck Restaurant, located at 455 County Street in the basement of New Bedford Public Schools’ Paul Rodrigues Administration Building (PRAB), will be having its anticipated reopening on Tuesday, January 29 to the public. Closed for 2 years since the retirement of Chef Brad Costa, The Lower Deck Restaurant is now under the direction of Chef Steven Miranda, who is serving as an instructor of the Whaling City Junior/Senior High School’s Culinary Arts Program.

Mr. Miranda brings with him 25 years of experience in local restaurants and institutions in a variety of capacities and is driven to demonstrate to his students the opportunities inherent in the culinary arts. "Vocational education can be a gateway to successful living for many of the students who attend Whaling City. However, many of them will not have the opportunity to attend Voc-Tech. This program furnishes them the opportunity to gain a life skill and a trade skill in the growing hospitality industry of greater New Bedford,” he said, noting “there are restaurants on the waterfront, in the downtown area and throughout the region. They all need staffing. We want to help provide that trained staff. Hopefully, our students will leave here with the experience and work ethic to get those jobs.”

Culinary arts student Dameon Faria (left) receives expert tips on creating a savory soup from Chef Steven Miranda, instructor at Whaling City Junior/Senior High School’s Lower Deck Restaurant in the basement of NBPS Paul Rodrigues Administration Building, located at 455 County Street. The Lower Deck Restaurant plans to reopen to the public, January 29. (Submitted photo)

Lower Deck Restaurant will be open on weekdays when school is in session, serving breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Like the Lower Deck Restaurant name, its traditional, low-cost menu is a throwback, too. The most expensive entrees run approximately $6.00. "The important thing is to give our students the skills they need. We just make enough in proceeds to cover our costs,” Chef Miranda said. “Staff of the PRAB building and outside guests alike can find a nice area to eat without leaving the building or resorting to fast food every day. Customers are educational opportunities for our students,” he said. "I want our students to realize, ‘I can do better, I deserve better’ …when better is possible, good enough is never enough. If they think that way, the possibilities are endless.”