Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 01-13-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 PAWTUCKET JANUARY 13-19, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION PAWTUCKET – Rhody Hen, a small but wildly popular restaurant in a tightly populated neighbor- hood near McCoy Stadium, won permission last week for a perma- nent expansion of premises, with a new 10-foot by 20-foot outdoor area approved for customers to use. Owner Tiffany Barrera was pre- viously ordered to take down a temporary wooden structure after having it erected without permis- sion too close to the property line at 350 Prospect St. New District 4 Councilor Alexis Schuette asked the questions lead- ing up to the council's vote to approve the expansion, noting Rhody Hen's ever-increasing popu- larity and emphasizing that it will be important going forward for the restaurant to work well with the neighborhood as lines get longer, including keeping aspects such as waiting customers and parking in mind. Schuette compared the restaurant to the compact eatery Kitchen in Providence, saying many people will wait a very long time for a good brunch. "I like solving problems of suc- cess," she said. Attorney Michael Horan present- ed the proposal, saying Rhody Hen was looking for nine new tables, five in the new outdoor area and four in the area immediately adja- cent to the building. Abutting property owners Mario Rosario and Tereza Pereira expressed some concerns about parking in the neighborhood and safety related to where and how customers would be allowed to park, particularly related to the safety of those living in the area, but said ultimately that their ques- tions were answered. Rosario said his letter to the council was meant to promote neighborhood conversa- tion, saying he wished the owners would have a conversation with neighbors. Barrera, who first opened in November of 2018, said she's had about half of the 10 employees on the staff prior to the pandemic. If there is any covering of the out- door area, it will only be a tent with metal poles and vinyl siding and no larger than the allowable space, she said. She confirmed that there will be no outdoor lighting. Councilor Mark Wildenhain voted against the permanent expan- sion. Barrera said many people are parking in legal spaces previously used for Memorial Hospital permit parking. She said double parking is happening behind the restaurant, but it's not from her customers. Some customers are waiting 90 minutes to get in, she said, and the restaurant is working hard to move them in and out as fast as possible. Pereira disputed that it is resi- dents doing the double parking. She also disputed Barrera's asser- tion that some people are parking at McCoy Stadium and then walk- ing up, saying it's a COVID-19 testing site where people aren't allowed to park. Barrera said peo- ple were parking there prior to the pandemic. Barrera doesn't plan on adding the new tables right away, saying she expects to open the new space when the weather gets a bit warm- er, in late March at the earliest. Rhody Hen restaurant wins expansion By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com PAWTUCKET – An outside expert would say that this break-up is well past the point of no return. City officials are suing the outgo- ing Pawtucket Red Sox baseball team in Superior Court, alleging that the team has failed to live up to its obligations to maintain and repair McCoy Stadium. The action seeks unspecified damages related to the team's fail- ure and refusal to fully perform required maintenance, repair and other obligations under its lease. "This is another unfortunate piece of the Pawtucket Red Sox saga. The city of Pawtucket worked hard to keep the Pawtucket Red Sox here, but the long-standing team will no longer be playing here in Rhode Island," said Mayor Donald Grebien in a statement. The team, which is departing for a new stadium in Worcester, Mass., for the 2021 season, responded with its own statement on Tuesday. "The Pawtucket Red Sox were stunned to learn of this unfounded lawsuit from our friends and long-time partners at the city of Pawtucket," said spokesman Bill Wanless. "We will now allow the legal process to run its course, and therefore have no further comment In lawsuit, city seeks substantial payout from PawSox By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See LAWSUIT, Page 8 Navigant grant will help fix Cogswell Tower clock CENTRAL FALLS – Mayor James Diossa announced that Navigant Credit Union has pro- vided the city of Central Falls a $50,000 grant to help fix the Cogswell Tower, the iconic land- mark in the heart of Central Falls' Jenks Park. The first phase of the Jenks Park Renovation includes Navigant's contributions, which will go to fix- ing the clock in the tower and to light the newly refurbished tower once it is completed. The project will include a complete restora- tion of clock by Antique Clock Restoration and the new lighting proposed will be able to change color depending on whatever event or holiday might be happening in the city through Partnership for Rhode Island Streetlight Management. "It is because of the involvement of organizations like Navigant and their investment in this community that we can tackle these types of large projects," said Diossa. "It will be so great to have the clock fixed in the tower that is the icon for our city." The work is set to begin shortly with an anticipated end date in the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, the ongoing overhaul of Jenks Park continues beyond the tower itself. The city received approximately $470,000 from the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development to continue working in the park on the tower's interior and exterior structure. 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