Local restaurants begin outdoor dining


NORTHERN RHODE ISLAND – As the state entered Phase I of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s reopening plan this week, restaurants in Burrillville and North Smithfield announced the intention to take advantage of the option to accommodate outdoor diners.

According to the new rules announced last week, reservations for all outside restaurant dining must be made in advance, and diners should arrive wearing masks. Parties are limited to five people or less.

And with tentative hopes to begin the slow approach to “normal,” restaurant owners have begun the limited service, calling back staff laid off in March.

In North Smithfield, Lindy’s Tavern is making use of their deck, and offering limited seating. Gator’s Pub began offering take out service and drink service on their deck, with management stating they hope to get full deck service rolling as of next week.

More options are available in neighboring Burrillville.

Crystal Lake Tavern will open up their patio on Thursday, May 21, and weather permitting, it will be open through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cow’s Tail Deli, which already specializes in take-out meals and ice cream with window service, is setting up an outdoor seating area.

After a nearly two month closure, Bella Restaurant opened for takeout last weekend, and starting on Thursday, outside dining will be available through Saturday, from 4-8 p.m., and on Sunday, from 1-7 p.m.

Uncle Ronnie’s Tavern is also utilizing an outdoor deck, with limited seating offered Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m.

And Johnny’s Victory Diner will offer dining at their picnic tables on Friday from 4-7 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and Memorial Day from 9 a.m. – noon.

Many local restaurants, meanwhile, were also among the more than 170 across the state to call on Raimondo to resume indoor dining by June 1.

Among them were Johnny’s, Gator’s, Lucky Dog Tavern and Lotus Garden.

“The restaurant industry has been one of the most severely impacted by the closures related to Covid-19,” the letter stated. “We have done all that has been asked of us to help flatten the curve. Many of us are now doing all we can just to get by while helping our team members and our community at the same time.”

“Takeout, delivery and outdoor seating with reduced capacities will not sustain us for long.”

The full letter can be found here.

A full list of local restaurants’ services, including addresses, phone numbers and updated hours can be found here. NRI NOW is in the process of updating the document with the latest changes and will have it revised by Thursday, May 21.

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