Permitting underway for permanent outdoor venue at Lindy’s Tavern

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

NORTH SMITHFIELD – What began as a pandemic-friendly way to offer safe, public dining in 2020 is now on track to become the town’s newest permanent outdoor entertainment venue.

Lindy’s Tavern received the required state permits for its outdoor pavilion last month, and is now completing the town’s building permit process, with hopes to offer live music this summer.

The restaurant, first opened in Forestdale in a small space at 82 School St. in the 1950s, was purchased by Ronald Carter in 2006.

In 2016, Carter expanded the popular business, known for its impressive portions on both pub-fare, such as burgers and sandwiches, and high-quality steak and seafood dishes, into its current, larger location, just down the road at a former VFW building at 98 School St.

Carter began utilizing a pavilion behind restaurant during the winter of 2020 amid state-mandated limits on indoor capacity. With restaurant seating capped at 30 percent, the plastic-covered, heated outdoor space allowed Carter to make up lost revenue with a safer, fresh-air dining option. Last spring, Lindy’s pavilion, dubbed the “plastic palace,” had an outdoor bar, and also launched a full schedule entertainment, with open mic nights, musical bingo and bands every weekend.

But in April of 2021, former Building Official Kerry Anderson sent a letter to the business stating that the outdoor structure could no longer be used without a certificate of occupancy. The process would require a building permit, inspections and additional licensure, Anderson said.

While the pavilion could still be used without the plastic covering for entertainment in the warmer months, much of the schedule was halted.

According to an application obtained by NRI NOW this week, Carter instead began the process of creating a fully permitted addition to the business last August.

On a building permit for renovation to the existing outdoor pavilion, the restaurant owner states that, “non-structural 2 X 4 construction,” will be used as the framework, with plastic covering in the winter, and screens in the summer. The applications notes that Carter plans to complete the improvement himself, with an estimated $3,000 in labor and materials.

Town Building Clerk Dawn Fontaine said that the project has now completed all of the required state processes, and a building permit was issued for the project on Tuesday, April 5.

The venue has reportedly already begun booking bands for the coming summer.

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