Pictured: The Newport Reading Room
There are a number of Newport restaurants are hard to get into, not because they are too busy or “too cool for school” but because they require referrals or special memberships to enter.
As you’ll see, some of these private establishments make their membership requirements and information about them very public, and others you can’t find a thing about!
The following sixteen “private” establishments operate with a Class D liquor license (full privilege of beer and wine), which authorizes the sale of beverages to members of the licensed club or their guests.
The state maximum number of Class D licenses allowed in Newport is 16.
Members only at these 16 Newport establishments…
In no particular order.
2 Wellington Avenue
AOH Division 1 is Newport County’s Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. We are one of the largest and most active Divisions of the Hibernians in the US. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City May 4, 1836.
Membership is confined to:
- men 16 years and older
- who are practicing Roman Catholics
- of Irish birth or descent, and
- who are citizens of United States of America,
- or who have declared their intentions to become citizens of the United States of America.
Ida Lewis Yacht Club is located on Lime Rock in the eastern part of Brenton Cove. Lime Rock was the location of the Lime Rock Light Station in Newport Harbor whose lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis was famous for the rescue of 18 seaman. The ILYC club burgee has 18 stars representing each of these lives she saved. The buildings at Lime Rock were sold for $7200 in 1928. Ida Lewis Yacht Club was founded that year. A 300′ long walkway was constructed to connect the club to Wellington Avenue.
Membership is confined to:
- Members are earnestly requested to endorse only candidates who
are well known to them in a social context, who have an interest in
yachting, and whom they can enthusiastically recommend for
- Application for membership must be sponsored by a Proposer and a
Seconder, who must be voting members. A Proposer and a Seconder may initiate no more than one proposing and one seconding action each Club Season.
- The completed application by the Proposer, Seconder and three (3)
letters of recommendation along with the Candidate information form
(including photo) shall be submitted to the Chair of the Membership
Committee by the Proposer. Addit
3 – Irish American Athletic Club
642 Thames Street
5 Halidan Avenue
The New York Yacht Club’s headquarters is located on 44th Street in New York City in midtown Manhattan. The NYYC maintains a second facility: Harbour Court, an on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, RI.
This clubhouse enabled the NYYC to host a variety of competitions and reaffirm the Club’s leadership role in Corinthian yacht racing. The original clubhouse, which served 23 years in Hoboken, 45 in Glen Cove as Station 10, and 50 on exhibit at Mystic Seaport, made its final voyage in 1999, to Harbour Court, where it stands as an important artifact and reminder of the Club’s origins.
280 Harrison Avenue
Newport Country Club, founded in 1893, is a historic private golf club in Newport, Rhode Island, that hosted both the first U.S. Amateur Championship and the first U.S. Open in 1895.
141 Pelham Street
This Fraternal Order was founded “To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”
The Order is a non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American fraternity. Proposal for membership in the Order is only by invitation of a member in good standing. To be accepted as a member, one must be an American citizen, believe in God, be of good moral character and be at least 21 years old.
29 Bellevue Avenue
The Newport Reading Room (also known as The Reading Room), founded in 1854, is a gentlemen’s club located on Bellevue Avenue. The Spouting Rock Beach Association owns the building and also owns the famed Bailey’s Beach
110 Long Wharf
From its inception in 1894, the Newport Yacht Club has been heavily involved in yachting on Narragansett Bay and the surrounding area. The members support sail training for area youth and adults, power and sail cruises, PHRF and one design racing, seamanship courses taught by the US Power Squadron, and also provide a friendly Club house and marina for members and visiting yachtsmen from around the world.
Membership in NYC requires the sponsorship of Club members.
110 JT Connell Hwy
Not enough info made public
10 – Oak Street Partnership/Kerry Hill Club
95 2nd Street
Not enough info made public
11 – Spec’s Protective Club
596 Thames Street
The Protective Club, (“Speck’s” aka Speck Harrington’s Protective Club) was founded in 1904 and currently occupies the Jeremiah Crowley House (596 Thames St., 1893).
12 – Pyramid Club
32-34 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd
34 Ocean Ave
Bailey’s Beach (officially named and owned by the Spouting Rock Beach Association) is an elite private beach and club. They also own the Newport Reading Room on Bellevue.
14 – IYAC Club
536 Thames Street
Where sailors and friends from around the world meet to swap sea stories over a cold one. Captains and crew; marine professionals; whether it be power or sail, runabouts, dinghies to mega-yachts, are all welcome at the IYAC!
A one year membership to the IYAC, which includes all membership privileges, is $50.
15 Fenner Avenue
First organized as a fraternal and religious organization focusing on the Portuguese community, it has evolved into an organization with a membership dedicated to the betterment of the community and extends to include all ethnicities regardless of religious or social beliefs.
Membership inquiries encourage and welcome.
16 – Friendly Sons of Newport Social Club
5 Farewell Street
This story was originally published on November 15, 2015.