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Gatehouse Providence/Waterman Grille? Anyone have the scoop?

JaneRI Jan 17, 2007 08:33 PM

If you go to the website for the Gatehouse, it reverts to a barely-there website for something called the Waterman Grill....anyone know what's going on? This is my favorite spot in Providence so I'm thrilled to think a restaurant might be going in there.

  1. c
    cajuntoast Feb 7, 2007 07:50 AM

    Not much more, but in today's Projo:
    Waterman Grille, a new Newport Harbor Corp. restaurant, will open at the site of the former Gatehouse in Richmond Square, Providence, late next month.

    1. m
      Moonpie1 Feb 7, 2007 08:54 AM

      Wow, I live near that location and had no idea----hadn't been to the Gatehouse in years. Agree though, that it's the best location.

      1. j
        JaneRI Feb 7, 2007 11:05 AM

        Hmmmm, Newport Harbor Corp....nothing exciting, but reliable and will probably stay in business. I can live w/that. Thanks!

        1. h
          hummingbird Feb 7, 2007 05:55 PM

          I'm supposed to be going to a wedding reception at the Gatehouse next October! I'll have to check with the B&G.

          Last I heard they were closed for renovations. So now I see why.

          1. m
            Moonpie1 Feb 8, 2007 05:32 AM

            Oh, maaan. Imagine booking a wedding (and the Gatehouse was great for rehearsal dinners and small weddings) and then they close.

            Disappoing that it's a Corp that's taking over the space. Maybe it'll be good, but eh. Hopefully not another Pinelli joint, right? That's too good a location----it should have been an independently owned place.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Moonpie1
              Bob W Feb 8, 2007 07:34 AM

              Moonpie: Check out the Newport Harbor Corp. Web site. It's an employee-owned corporation. I'd say give em a chance.

              Since I haven't lived in RI for a long time (pre-dating the Gatehouse), can someone tell me if this place is on the site of the old East Side Diner? When I was a wee lad I loved their broiled swordfish topped with melted butter (this was when swordfish was not a luxury item and was therefore getting overfished to a fare thee well).

              1. re: Bob W
                JaneRI Mar 21, 2007 05:17 AM

                I can't say for sure, but I'd have to guess this was NOT the site of the East Side Diner.....I'm saying that because the Gatehouse buillding is a lovely (and LARGE) building that I can't imagine ever housing something called a diner.

                1. re: JaneRI
                  Garris Mar 21, 2007 09:02 AM

                  I was just in here recently for a special dinner event. It still appears the main space is under renovation, but the changes appear mild at most.

                  - Garris
                  Providence, RI

                  1. re: Garris
                    JaneRI Mar 21, 2007 10:35 AM

                    Glad to hear it - I've always loved the look of the Gatehouse.

                2. re: Bob W
                  Blondie NE Mar 21, 2007 10:52 AM

                  As I understand it, the Red Bridge at one time spanned the Seekonk River along Waterman St, which turned into Waterman Ave as soon as one entered East Providence. The building where the restaurant is located housed the controls for the bridge, as well as the “bridgemaster” (?). The bridge was demolished several years ago. (Compared to the fanfare of the Jamestown Bridge demolition, it seems to have happened when no one was looking.) The building was apparently ignored for years until it was purchases and converted into a restaurant. I think the East Side Diner was located very close to that bridge, but I’m not sure.

                  So is it open for functions as the Waterman Grill? I do miss the gatehouse, and really like that view. Newport Harbor Corp. sounds about OK to me.

                  1. re: Blondie NE
                    sarahbeth Mar 21, 2007 04:47 PM

                    I heard from an insider there that they are opening the week of April 8th.

                    1. re: sarahbeth
                      Blondie NE Mar 22, 2007 05:33 AM

                      That's great news.
                      And they now appear on Open Table:

                    2. re: Blondie NE
                      Bob W Mar 22, 2007 02:58 PM

                      Blondie: Yes, the East Side Diner (later the East Side Restaurant) was basically right next to the "old" Red Bridge. And just a block from the other end of the bridge in EP was another old-time favorite called Crawshaw's.

                      OK, I guess it's time for me to be shipped off to the old folks' home.

                      1. re: Bob W
                        Blondie NE Mar 24, 2007 05:30 AM

                        Old folks' home? Don't go! The food can't be very good there.
                        So the East Side Diner was pretty much adjacent to the current building, which has been turned into a really nice space. Maybe you'll have a chance to take a look at it on your next visit to RI, and maybe by then someone will have posted a good review.

                        1. re: Blondie NE
                          sarahbeth Mar 29, 2007 03:27 PM

                          Looks like the menu & details are finally online at www.watermangrille.com

                          1. re: sarahbeth
                            JaneRI Mar 30, 2007 11:51 AM

                            A few of us at work got invited to some sort of cocktail reception on April 27th. My company held a lot of dinners and events at the Gatehouse, so I guess they've kept the old mailing list.

                3. a l i c e May 21, 2007 08:28 PM

                  I don't consider Waterman Grille a "chowish" kind of place, but I needed a restaurant with a broad menu - the kind of place where mom and dad would be happy. We (three of us came in from out of town for the occasion) were there this past Saturday night, right on time for a 7pm reservation that I made a week in advance on opentable. The waiting area is non-existant and awkward. Several minutes go by - we are told that our tables are being put together. Then we are told that the party we are waiting on has their check. 15 minutes into our wait, the hostess speaks to my mom in a patronizing way, that we are getting a "better" table for our trouble. After another 5 minutes or so, we are finally told that we could wait in the downstairs bar and get a drink...downstairs bar? Thanks for telling us sooner. We are told that someone would come down and get us as soon as the table opened up. We order drinks and wait some more. Finally, at 7:30pm, I go upstairs to find out what is going on. The hostess acts surprised and says, oh, the table has been ready. We have been waiting for you to come back up. Huh? I expressed my displeasure and told her that we were clearly told that someone would get us when the table was ready. My brother had already settled the bar tab by the time I got downstairs.

                  Food was what I expected. Nothing innovative, but everyone seemed either happy or really hungry (one of us wasn't too happy with the portion side, which was on the small side, but I didn't mind). Entrees are a la carte, so in addition to our 5 mains (2 grilled salmon, grilled rare tuna, chicken pot pie, and grilled pork chop - the kitchen did a really nice job with the grilled seafood..not dried out at all), we ordered 4 sides (ordinary mac and cheese; grilled asparagus, which was rather pathetic on the plate - a few stalks on a plate; wild mushroom fricassee - a little salty, but tasty; and steak fries - on the mealy side and didn't seem "hand-cut" as advertised). No beer on tap, but the guys were happy with Otter Creek Lager and Trinity IPA. I found the wines by the glass a little pricey, so I stuck with the cheap local Sakonnet Vidal Blanc.

                  It was an okay evening otherwise, venue was right for the type of dinner we were seeking. It's too bad it was marred by such bad customer service right off the bat. I emailed the restaurant on Sunday and have not heard anything back. I will follow up with a call or a letter. We are not looking for a free meal - we all agreed that at the very least, the bar tab while we were waiting should have been picked up by the restaurant.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: a l i c e
                    JaneRI May 22, 2007 05:07 AM

                    Alice, in another thread I posted about a so-so experience at Gracie's this past Saturday night. The funny thing is, after that dinner we stopped in at Waterman Grille for a drink. I was always a huge Gatehouse fan and have been wanting to see what they've done w/the place. Upstairs bar was pretty full, so we went down to the downstairs bar.....just full enough to give us pause....we could've asked a few people to rearrange to be able to find seating, but there was something blah and unappealing about the place that made us both shrug and leave. Because of the menu type (tapas) and the fact that they have 2 bars, I expected a bit of a nightlife scene about the place (and this was about 10:30-11:00) instead it seemed sort of dull. Maybe I'll give it another shot for a drink after work one night.

                    1. re: JaneRI
                      Ladder45 Jun 11, 2007 05:54 PM

                      I couldn't disagree more I think the whole restaurant has such a cozy and relaxed feel to it, especially being on the water. My friend and I had a drink at the bar and than moved to our table right next to the window. The server was extremely attentive and gave us great menu recommendations. We started with the shrimp and lobster fritters which were excellent. I had the pan-seared scallops and my friend had the tuna which we were both very happy with. We both enjoyed our time at the Waterman Grille and will definitely be returning in the future.

                      1. re: Ladder45
                        JaneRI Jun 12, 2007 09:00 AM

                        "I couldn't disagree more I think the whole restaurant has such a cozy and relaxed feel to it, especially being on the water."

                        I'm very familiar w/the restaurant - it's long been one of my favorite spots in Providence....I didn't mean I disliked the bldg....on the night we walked in it was very unappealing, the clientele, the vibe, whatever you want to call it.

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