With rumors rampant, North Smithfield restaurant owners tease customers about alleged purchase


NORTH SMITHFIELD – Rumors of the alleged sale of an iconic North Smithfield restaurant have run rampant on social media in recent weeks, but the owners of both establishments have remained largely silent on the issue – except for the occasional tease of their fans on social media.

Several locals have posted on Facebook that Lucky Dog Tavern had plans to purchase The Village Haven, and NRI NOW has also heard unverified statements regarding a sale from outside parties.

But neither Village Haven owner Rachel Narodowy, or Lucky Dog owner Gianfranco Campanella, have responded to multiple requests for comment.

The restaurant owners have, however, had a bit of fun teasing their followers about the rumor.

“Have you heard the rumors? Tell ’em you heard it here,” noted one post from the Lucky Dog – regarding the restaurant’s closure for Easter Sunday.

The business opened just two doors down from Village Haven at 82 School St. in 2019, in a small building previously occupied by Lindy’s Tavern. As Lindy’s expanded into a larger location, Campanella renovated the structure and began serving a different style of food to North Smithfield’s hungry patrons, with a focus on more modern cuisine, from cheese boards and gourmet sandwiches, to Mediterranean dishes.

Built in 1973 by Narodowy’s brother, the late Normand Branchaud, Village Haven has served up family-style chicken dinners and other classic comfort foods for more than 40 years. Rachel and her husband, the late David Narodowy, took over the business in 1977, and have long offered home-cooked fare to both walk in diners and private parties. David died in January at the age of 88.

The popular town business got in on the social media fun with a post on Friday, April 8.

“So yes, the rumors are true,” it noted. “We are fully booked for Easter. Call for Mother’s Day reservations.”

Not to be outdone, Lucky Dog posted, “We have big news that we’ve been waiting to share! We will be closed on Monday & Tuesday beginning April 18th. Our new hours will be Wednesday – Sunday, opening at 11 a.m.”

Several customers noted that they expected a different announcement, and Lucky Dog responded with a laughing emoji, noting, “We just want a couple of days off.”

NRI NOW reached out again Wednesday morning in hopes to finally dispel – or confirm – the rumors, but has not received a response.

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