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Aug 6, 2011 02:21 PM

August Opening, Closing, and Coming Soon in PVD/RI

I thought I'd try to resuscitate some (any) PVD chat by attempting a feature that someone posts that seems popular on the Boston board.

What have you seen opening, closing, or coming to your area in PVD or RI recently?

In Wayland Square, McBride's Pub is open and that outdoor patio seems popular on most nights. That, plus people outside at Haruki, Farmstead, Red Stripe, L'Artisan, and Starbucks gives Wayland Square a nice, mildly vibrant, pedestrian, cafe-culture feel.

What else have you noticed?

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  1. The Ugly American has closed its Fall River location and will be moving to Providence, in the space formerly occupied by George's Deli on Ives Street. They were planning on opening in July, but are still waiting for the board of health.

    Also on Ives, McCurdy's Junction House is now full service (instead of primarily take-out/counter service) and is open just for dinner. (it was my favorite lunch spot. boo.)

    I've also heard that there is going to be a tapas spot opening on Westminster downtown, but I'm not sure of the time frame.

    4 Replies
    1. re: pork_chop

      A burger place should do well in the old George's spot (George's, sadly, in my experience, is no great loss).

      I've heard wildly diverging things on McCurdy's and really need to try it myself. Where is their table service? Off to the left when you walk in? I was actually quite shocked the Wings place failed in that location (although their prices were a tad high). In that student heavy neighborhood, I thought that would have been a gold mine. Where do local students buy wings?

      Tapas (along with the recently filled Ethiopian genre) is one of Providence's gaping food holes. If that is filled with a place downtown, what would we be missing at this point? (Aside from a truly good Chinese place)

      1. re: Garris

        As to the wings, Wings & Things is on Brook having relocated from East Providence.

        Wings & Things
        218 Willett Ave, Riverside, RI 02915

      2. re: pork_chop

        Ugly American is a great addition. We used to trek over to Fall River periodically to visit.

        Also on the burger front, Rare opened in Centerdale. It plagiarizes Luxe down to check off the box ordering system (which I am sure Luxe borrowed from someone whereelse). While the portions are generous, the burgers were just plain bad. Completely under seasoned, no beef taste whatsoever and not cooked to requested temp.

        On a much more positive note, North Side Pockets opened on the corner of Mineral Spring and Douglas. Outstanding middle eastern wraps, kebabs, dips and salads. Seems to a family run place, with several young women wearing the hijab working the front.

        Side Pocket Cafe
        1066 Poquonnock Rd, Groton, CT 06340

        1. re: Frobisher

          Just want to chime in about North Side Pockets. Absolutely amazing! Possibly the best falafel I have ever had (its the spice combo)! The meat samosa are also fantastic, along with the gyros & shawarma. For me it is the falafel and the samosas that keep me coming back. They also have a bunch of great specials and combo deals if you are buying for more than one person. Very nice group of folks too!

          Also last time I was there they had really added on to their grocery section. (And I just saw in a quick web search that they are all halal, fyi).

          Wow, just realized I have not had lunch yet...wish I was not trapped on the other side of PVD right now...want falafel...

      3. I was zipping by the block on Wickenden with Taste of India, Brickway, Amy's, etc and thought I spotted an empty storefront, but it was late. Did something close there?

        Wickenden seems to be the only area of the East Side that hurting right now. Almost the entire retail blocks flanking both sides of the Governor intersection are empty.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Garris

          The Antiques Co-Op next to Taste of India closed recently. That may have been what you noticed- or the empty space across the street where O-Cha was. There was activity in the former O-Cha spot, but it seems to have ceased. You're observations are indeed correct- Wickenden Street has a large number of empty storefronts right now.

          McCurdy's has evolved quite a bit in the 10 months they have been open. I work in the neighborhood and went there for lunch quite a bit, but haven't been in since the focus shifted to dinner. I found the soups and daily specials consistently good.

          1. re: pork_chop

            Working in the neighborhood, do you have any idea why the street is doing so poorly when the rest of the East Side (upper Hope, Wayland Square, Thayer) seems to be doing relatively well? Is it the lack of a highway exit now? Landlords? Rents? Local students with more on-campus housing than in the past? All of the above?

            The building where Reflections Cafe used to be I don't understand. I had heard they were forced out and that a restaurant was tapped to move in to the renovated space, but that was a looonng time ago, that renovation is long complete, and the entire building is still empty.

            I heard Sakura was doing well and looking to expand further and that Ankor was doing OK as well. Hopefully McCurdy's and the new Ethiopian establishment are holding their own as well.

            Sakura Restaurant
            231 Wickenden St, Providence, RI 02903

            1. re: Garris

              I'm not sure exactly why Wickenden Street is suffering so. Probably a combination of all of the above- high rents are definitely a factor.

              It is such a shame that the building where Reflections Cafe was is still empty. The building is now for sale (and I guess it has been for sale a number of times over the past several years). One of the neighboring business owners said that someone was interested in buying it and reopening the space as Reflections, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.

              Farmstead in Wayland Square now serves sandwiches at lunchtime, since the downtown location closed.

              The Ugly American on Ives Street is officially open!

              1. re: pork_chop

                Please let us know how the Ugly American is... I had heard about a possible "new" Reflections as well, but I guess we'll see... Sad as they apparently didn't want to close in the old space... I would have imagined it would be easier to sell a building with a successful, stable, paying renter than without, but what do I know?

        2. Is the Farmstead downtown closed? I walked down Westminster St. recently, and I think so. If so it's a loss for downtown because that was a great place to get fabulous sandwich.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Zabalburu

            Not sure. I don't see it listed on their website (I don't know if they ever did list it, however). That would indeed be sad :(.

              1. re: Garris

                I just read in East Side Monthly that the Flan y Ajo Tapas bar will open in the space formerly occupied by Farmstead Lunch. A small space for small plates.

                Also, there was an article about this in the phoenix at the end of June. Just found it now.


                1. re: pork_chop

                  jacky's waterplace, the flagship restaurant by the owner of jacky's galaxies in bristol, cumberland, and north providence, is now open with an amazing view of the river and downtown.

                  1. re: pork_chop

                    That is wonderful news. Tapas has been a gaping hole in the Providence dining scene. Curious as to how they will use that space, which was pretty small.

                    1. re: Frobisher

                      I'm curious on that as well. Tapas has been a huge hole in our dining scene.

                      As for Jacky's, it's an awesome space, and I can't wait to see how they treated it. I must say I haven't been too impressed by the other Jacky's outlets' food. The one I tried the most (the North Providence branch) was very average.

                      1. re: Garris

                        For a preview of Jacky's just look at their website.

              2. I'm not sure if this was noted before, but Wings Over Providence on Hope Street looks closed. Monday night it was dark, there were no hours displayed on the door, and the soda machines looked unplugged. The phone number was busy and the national Wings website still displays the address but won't let you order online or see a menu.

                A tough year for WIngs everywhere in Providence... That entire building's restaurant space is now empty with this plus the empty Cafe space adjacent...

                1. Anything new in PVD for October?

                  1 Reply