Town asks for closure of Lindy’s ‘Plastic Palace,’ restaurant suspends use of venue

A picture from 2021 shows the "plastic palace," before owner Ron Carter was told the structure needed permits.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – It seems the addition of plastic walls to a covered pavilion triggers building code and licensing requirements, and as such, town officials have requested that the owner discontinue use of the outdoor pavilion at Lindy’s Tavern.

The pavilion was serving as a safe venue for guests to enjoy food, drinks and entertainment amid the pandemic as an alternative to indoor dining.

Building Official Kerry Anderson sent a letter to Lindy’s owner Ron Carter on Monday, April 5 informing him that the structure can no longer be used in its current state.

“As sympathetic as I am to your plight and that of other businesses in town, I cannot in good conscience allow the pavilion to be used as it is right now,” Anderson wrote.

The problem, Anderson said, is that the pavilion as it currently stands is classified as an “A2” use under state code – the same as the restaurant – and as such requires a certificate of occupancy.

To get that certificate, Carter would have to obtain a building permit, complete the required inspections and obtain any additional licensure required by the town.

“I suggest you obtain the services of a design professional to help you through the process,” Anderson wrote.

Carter had installed the plastic walls last year to provide extra seating for guests who wanted to stay warm, while avoiding indoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, the restaurant had also offered some entertainment in the venue, humorously dubbed, “the plastic palace,” on weekends, leading NRI NOW to highlight the business in an article on Thursday, April 1.

The business took advantage of the good weather last weekend and moved the events outside, hosting musical bingo Friday, April 9, live music on Saturday and an open mic on Sunday.

“Seemed like a chance to take advantage of some early summer weather and take the fun outside,” the business posted on social media.

Anderson pointed out that the letter was not a notice of violation, but rather a request for cooperation.

“Lindy’s has closed the pavilion and we certainly appreciate that cooperation,” Anderson told NRI NOW.

According to Anderson, the restaurant can either refrain from using the pavilion until all of the necessary permits are in place, or remove the plastic walls.

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