Aloha Cafe at Seamen’s Church Institute has confirmed that they have permanently closed.
“The Aloha Cafe has closed after many great years serving local Newporters and visitors alike. Stay tuned for an exciting new chapter for Seamen’s we promise a great change ahead!,” the Cafe posted on Facebook on January 5th.
Before closing, The Aloha Cafe had most recently been open Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30 am-2:30 pm for “delicious, affordable, family-friendly breakfast and lunch”, sail lunches and catering. Customers were able to enjoy their meals in the mariner’s lounge, outdoor garden or by take-out.
According to its website, The Aloha Cafe supported Seamen’s Church Institute’s mission of serving the maritime community and their neighbors in need. The Cafe also participated n the Community Meal Program on the third Wednesday of each month, providing a hearty, free dinner to the community.
What’sUpNewp first learned on January 3rd that the Cafe was closed, we have been told that after renovations that the space will reopen as a coffee shop, cafe to serve the public.
Seamen’s Church Institute was formed in 1919 to “provide work for the moral and mental improvement exclusively of all of those who are employed upon or in connection with the sea in any part of the world or upon the inland waters of the United States, including men in the service of the United States…”.
In 1930, the daughters of RI Senator and Mrs. George Wetmore funded the construction of a prominent brick, Georgian-styled building in honor of their parents. This building was designed by Beaux-Arts trained architect Frederick Rhinelander King. In 1984, Seamen’s was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This landmark building is the only original structure remaining on Market Square and is one of the few buildings on the Newport waterfront still being used for its original purposes.
Almost 100 years after its founding, the organization continues to offer services and support to those working on the waterfront, to visiting and local mariners, and to those in need in the community.
Ever adapting to changes in a developing waterfront, SCI’s mission today is “to protect, preserve and enhance the maritime culture of Newport and Narragansett Bay by providing education, hospitality and a safe haven for those who work, live and play on or by the sea.”
The building is open 365 days a year from 7am to 4pm and serves approximately 50,000 people annually.