As many neighbors know, the owner of the property at 244 Wickenden Street, the site of the former Z Bar and Grille, has been restoring and renovating the building to open a new eatery. Early this year, he requested a liquor license to stay open until 2am on weekends. Several neighbors objected to this license request due to fears of late-night disruption and a possible cascade effect if other businesses follow suit. Neighbors spoke out at the February FPNA Board Meeting and wrote letters to the Providence Board of Licensees.
Since then, the owner of the East End, Gil MacLean, rescinded the request for the later license, and replaced it with an earlier license request that aligns with other eateries on the street. The FPNA voted to endorse the new request enthusiastically, not only because of MacLean’s record of responsible, community-oriented business practices at his other East Side business, Bottles Fine Wine, but also for his remarkable willingness to revise his request based on neighbor input.
Several neighbors since voiced their support of the earlier license. One neighbor told FPNA that the East End would be “just the right venue for our neighborhood” and “a good replacement for the Rue.” Please join us in welcoming The East End to the neighborhood!
Compromise Reached for the Gano Gateway
In early March, the FPNA Board voted to accept a compromise measure with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to fund limited construction of the Gano Gateway and complete the work during 2017.
This vote marked the culmination of several meetings this past winter between the FPNA Gano Gateway Committee and officials at RIDOT. The Committee, along with other area stakeholders, asked RIDOT to restore funding for construction at the intersection of Gano Street and I-195, the east entrance to India Point Park and one of the final chapters of the massive I-195 relocation project. The meetings began shortly after the RIDOT diverted funds from the Gateway to build a pedestrian bridge to the nearby Jewelry District. In the meantime, the area has deteriorated, with large piles of debris and a dangerous 90-degree turn under the bridge.
The compromise measure includes repaving the south end of Gano Street, softening the 90-degree turn in the road, installing rudimentary gravel parking under the bridge, and removing the piles of dirt. It falls short of the original plan. But as FPNA decided in March, the compromise will go a long way in improving the appearance and function of this crucial intersection.
Updates to follow on the construction schedule for the Gateway and neighborhood efforts to fund incremental measures like lighting and basic landscaping.
We Met Up!
The FPNA held its first monthly Meet-Up at The Point Tavern this past March. The goal of this series, said FPNA Board member Bruce Millard, is to bring East Side neighbors together in a casual setting to brainstorm ideas for the neighborhood. “We hope for a time of productivity, creativity, fun, and above all, community,” said Millard.
The first Meet-Up succeeded on all counts. Fifteen or so neighbors joined the FPNA, including representatives from the Wickenden Area Merchants Association, Friends of India Point Park and the Friends of Fox Point Community Library.
Collaboration was the theme of the evening. “People were excited about the prospect of a future Farmer’s Market and combining other projects, like a used bike sale and a pie bake-off,” he said. “Our first monthly Meet-Up was a great success.” Please join us for the next Meet-Up, Monday, April 24 at 7pm, at The Point Tavern.
Fox Point Neighborhood Association, P.O. Box 2315 Providence, RI 02906, FPNA.net, firstname.lastname@example.org. –Amy Mendillo