Pawtuxet ready for al fresco dining


With Gov. Gina Raimondo enabling restaurants to offer limited outdoor dining service, Pawtuxet Village was humming Monday.

Basta, which hasn’t done carry out until now, had a window open to the sidewalk for the sale of cocktails in mason jars. A sidewalk table with four seats was well outside the 6-foot distancing requirement for those who might care to linger. Outdoor dining will be available in the back of the restaurant with tables in the parking lot explained Michael Ciresi, general manager.

Basta is also doing carry out from its menu, including entrees and desserts. It will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Across Board Street, Kristy Knoedler spruced up the front of Fellini Pizzeria, one of two she owns. The village location, which opened five years ago, closed with the state’s March stay-at-home order. The East Side in Providence location, however, remained open for take-out, and Knoedler said if it hadn’t been for her loyal customers she wonders whether she would have made it. Like Revolution, which has erected a tent in the parking lot, Knoedler plans to put up a tent affording customers some relief from the elements – sun, rain or wind – as they enjoy their meals plus her selection of craft beers.

While it means the loss of parking for Bagels Express Deli & Café, co-owner Ray Verrocchio isn’t concerned. In fact, he’s delighted to have people returning to the village. Verrocchio has had a few tables and seats outside the café all along.

“This is the hub of the village,” he said. “So I lose some parking, but everybody needs to pay the rent.”

He noted the landlord even pitched in with the addition of potted trees and flowers, lending a courtyard affect to the parking lot.

Sides of the Revolution tent will be raised, Jenn Risho explained, to meet the governor’s al fresco requirement. Six tables of four were appropriately spaced. The tent has music and there’s a table at the front where customers, who are required to have reservations, will sign in.

Revolution will offer outdoor service Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Revolution started with takeout the day following the stay-at-home order, offering a limited menu that changed daily.

“There’s something for everyone,” Risho promised.

Verrocchio attributed Lori O’Rourke of O’Rourke’s on the Warwick side of the bridge with starting the tent trend. Even before the dining hour, three tables had customers with bartender John MacAndrew taking orders.

Anthony DiNardi, who lives close by, was excited to be among the first to get table service. He said it is a sign, albeit not a giant step, that things are returning to normal.

At the other end of the patio, Ashley Smith and Julia Meyette lowered their masks to nurse their drinks as they awaited their order.

And what might that be?

O’Rourke’s renowned nachos, of course.


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