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PVD/RI * February '12 * Open/Closed/Coming Soon

A bit late to start the threat, but here it is. Have at it...

My news: It looks like the Vietnamese restaurant on Angell near Thayer closed and is going to be replaced by... Guess it now... A pizza place! And tapas too... Because if there's one thing you can't find at all near Thayer, it's pizza <heavy sarcasm>. Is that pizza place number 5 or 6 for that little strip? People can't get financing for any businesses lately, but someone's bankrolling pizza joint number 6 within a 4 block radius? Ooook...

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  1. Not a restaurant, but a new food truck will be roaming the streets soon (tomorrow, according to their web site) - Rocket Fine Street Food.

    http://www.rocketstreetfood.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: jomo9501

      Longtime neighborhood favorite "Mainelli's Restaurant" in Providence is gone; they apparently closed for good a few weeks ago. This restaurant was on the verge of closing in 2010, but then featured a year ago on 'Restaurant Impossible' on the Food Network to turn things around. Shortly after the ep ran a car drove through the side of the building. The most recent posting on their FB page says they may reopen at a new location in the future, in the meantime it instructs people to get refunds for gift certificates at restaurant.com. There was a 'property auction' notice in the ProJo recently for the restaurant.

      "Meatball Mike's" on Cranston St. in Cranston was also shuttered, and their assets were auctioned off just a couple of weeks ago.

      "Gauchos do Brazil" on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick is also closed, and the assets up for auction as well.

      "Angkor Express" on Smith St. closed right after they opened, it seems. I believe they opened in early January, and then closed about two weeks later. It looks like they cleared most of their stuff out the past week.

      "Europe Cafe" (or 'Cafe Europe'?) on Douglas Pike is also gone for good (re-opened and closed a number of times the past few months) and notices in the ProJo say it's up for auction as well.

      Tough times for restaurants, these days.

      On a brighter note, 'The Nat Porter Inn' is taking shape, and signs outside the historic building in Warren says they will be reopening soon. This comes shortly after the reopening of 'The Wharf Tavern' down the street from them.

    2. I believe the erstwhile 'pizza cone' store (that then branched into flat pizzas, calzones, gyros, and falafel) on Thayer has put up signs for "Sahara." No real indication, but the name suggests middle eastern flavors.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harmy

        That pizza cone place was one of of a few in my years living in Providence that had very public aspirations of branching into national franchises that saw the founding stores flounder on the tough Thayer Street.

      2. I posted this as a sep. thread, but could anyone report on the closure of La Poblanita and if Don Gallo is still in operation?

        1. Gem Ravioli's new store on Mineral Spring Ave. in North Providence opened I think a week or so ago. Haven't had a chance to stop in yet. Saw a sign out front saying that they were taking only cash or checks at this time (that was on Feb. 12, could have changed or be changing soon). It's sort of kitty-cornered across the street from Twins Pizza. Looking forward to checking the place out soon.

          1. According to my wife, Mad Ernie's ice cream and sandwich shop has closed in Wayland Square, Providence... Sad, because the people working there were very nice, but...

            If true, it kinda goes to show that Providence is becoming a bit like NYC. The dining scene is so good, you can't be mediocre or just "show up" and thrive because there's a half dozen interesting places within a few minutes of you competing at a high level. In Mad Ernie's case, they were selling some pretty simple sandwiches when you could walk 30 feet away to L'Artisan (or previously to the Edge before it closed) and get some pretty sophisticated ofterings for nearly the same cost. The ice cream, too, was nothing special.

            Retail spots fill slowly in Providence, and Wayland Sq. is no exception. I wonder how long it'll take for something else to move in... (By the way, why is retail filling so slow here? In the Mass communities where I work, a storefront becomes vacant and it's filled within a month or two, even during these economic times)

            1. The new Irish pub on Thayer St. is nice addition. I went once for a drink and once for dinner. They pour a good Guiness in my very inexpert opinion and the staff was very, very friendly. They seem to put some love into the food -- which puts it ahead of the other bars on Thayer St. Didn't try some of the more interesting sounding items, like Irish Spring roles, which I think involved corned beef. The food service was very slow but their friendliness made up for it. They're admittedly in the "soft opening" phase working out the kinks.

              1. The new Thai and Sushi restaurant on South Angell in Wayland Square is now open.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Garris

                  Oo, what is it called? Thai and sushi are two things I like.

                  1. re: Harmy

                    The name is "Lim's Fine Thai & Sushi Restaurant". I also heard that the owner also owns Tong-D in Barrington.

                    http://limsri.com/

                    1. re: Harmy

                      And I'm sure with menu "specialties" such as mango fried rice and cutesy-named maki with mayo and cream cheese in them, you'll get fine examples of both.

                      Seriously, we need another mundane "pan-Asian" place about as much as Thayer needs another pizza place.

                      1. re: Gin n Tonic

                        Or another hookah bar / middle eastern food shop...! I tried a banana-avocado-almond smoothie from Sahara today, and it was great, but I really worry for that location (previously, it was the third pizza place on Thayer, as you mention).

                        1. re: Gin n Tonic

                          But, wait... We *DO* have another pizza place opening on Thayer, so does this mean we do need another mundane pan asian place? ;-).

                          I haven't been to eat yet, but I ran in to grab a takeout menu and the interior redo, considering how bland the exterior and building are, is fairly impressive. Seriously, is that Wayland Square's worst commerical landlord? Now that Lim's is open, can they take the HUGE defunct "Public Sound" sign down? Maybe someone would know LIm's is there and open if they, you know, had their own sign or something. While they're at it can they replace the awning which looks like it broke off sometime during 1962?

                          Here is the restaurant's website: http://limsri.com.

                          Also in Wayland Square news, I don't know if it means anything, but the "For Rent" sign in the space where the Edge used to be came down and the blinds were lowered. I predicted this cafe site in the heart of the Square would fill quickly. We'll see!

                    2. Hot and Cold is opening on the corner of Smith St. and River Ave in Elmhurst.

                      Looks to be a cafe serving coffee and frozen yogurt. Hopefully both are as good as their website which is fantastic (even more so by the standards of resto websites). http://www.ilovehotandcold.com/

                      As a denizen of Elmhurst and the father of two little girls, I look forward to having an ice cream spot we can walk to on a warm summer evening.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Frobisher

                        Sounds nice. Did anything ever go in the Cac-tuz space nearby?

                        1. re: Garris

                          Angkor express - which closed within a few weeks, along with their Downcity location

                        2. re: Frobisher

                          Frob
                          It is actually a coffee / yogurt shop, it is a knockoff of "Pinkberry" to the point that they even formatted the website very similar. http://www.pinkberry.com/
                          Hopefully the pricing structure is a little better than pinkberry. I look forward to stopping by and checking it out.