What’sUpNewp brought you the news first on October 12th that the Rhumbline had been purchased by Larry Silverstein and Patrick Kilroy, co-owners of Midtown Oyster & Surf Club (formerly Perry Mill Tavern).

The closing date for the sale of the  property was November 4th and reports indicate that the property at 62-64 Bridge Street was purchased for $635,000.

Silverstein and Kilroy have gotten approval for victualing and the transfer of the liquor license, their next move in the process is an application for an annual entertainment license (Class A – Indoors).


UPDATE: November 18th – The Newport City Council on Wednesday night unanimously approved an entertainment license that would allow background music at the Rhumbline.

Facing a petition signed by more than 200 neighbors on the “Point”, that was asking Newport City Council not to approve an entertainment license or allow the restaurant to have a tv , the new owners withdrew their request.

The new owners will not be allowed to host live piano music, live music or any other kind of entertainment.

The new owners will be allowed to have a tv with “background music”.

Rhumbline plans to reopen in Spring of 2016.


Entertainment History At Rhumbline

Before closing, Rhumbline had an annual Class A- Indoors entertainment license and hosted live music every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm – 9pm with musicians such as Lois Vaughan, Joe Godfrey and Bobby Ferreira.

The great debate of 2001 at Rhumbline occurred when Rhumbline wanted applied for a pool table license. Neighbors, lawyers and City Council members argued that allowing pool tables to be placed in the Rhumbline (in a residential neighborhood) would be against zoning laws, would change the clientele of the restaurant and would have negatively change the neighborhood. The pool table license application was denied.

Moving Forward, Support, & Opposition

At their regularly scheduled meeting on November 18th at 6:30pm at the Pell School, Newport City Council will host a hearing for the new Class A-Indoors Annual Entertainment License.

The public is invited to this meeting to show support or opposition for their license. If you can’t make it to the meeting, you’re encouraged to contact the Newport City Council with your opinion before the meeting.

Any application for a public entertainment license shall identify the specific types and nature of entertainment intended, as well as specifically delineating and defining through an attached plan, the location of the proposed entertainment.

Many neighbors in the historic “Point” neighborhood have come out publicly opposing the entertainment license and have begun to circle a petition asking Newport City Council to reject the application for the entertainment license. One local home owner, who asked to remain anonymous, believes that if the application is approved that entertainment at the property would get out of hand and “become like having Pelham or Blues” in our backyard.

Many are concerned by just how much is “asked for and included in the entertainment license.”

An excerpt of the entertainment license that has been submitted for Rhumbline by Kilroy;

Supporters of Rhumbline and the “entertainment seen”e see the application as reasonable and that Rhumbline is making their good intentions known, reportedly Kilroy has spoke with neighbors regarding his plans with the business.

One business owner we approached, who requested to not be named, stated that “almost anything you put in front of City Council these days gets negotiated, they just don’t approve anything anymore and they love to tweak things. PK probably knows to ask for more than he needs because they are going to give him less than what he wants no matter what”.

What City Council Can Do

In all  instances where a Class A public entertainment license is issued, the hours of entertainment and number of musicians can be determined by the city council, having due regard for the public convenience, welfare, health and safety.

The city council, pursuant to Title 5, Chapter 22, of the General Laws of Rhode Island, may place reasonable conditions on the issuance of a Class A public entertainment license having due regard for the public convenience, welfare and safety of its residents.

The approval of a public entertainment license shall allow for those specific types of entertainment for which an application has been completed, and no other.

The annual entertainment license year shall be from June 1st through May 31st.

Application Process

Upon receipt of an application for a new or an expanded Class A (Indoors) or Class B (Outdoors) public entertainment license, an advertisement shall be placed in a local newspaper by the city clerk, at the applicant’s expense, providing notice to the public of the two consecutive council meeting dates on which the application will be heard. Notice of the hearing dates shall also be mailed, at least two weeks prior to the date of the first hearing, by the applicant to the abutters within a two hundred (200) foot radius of the premises at which the new or expanded entertainment is to occur. Certification of such mailing and a list of the abutters is to be submitted to the city clerk prior to the council’s consideration of the application.

Upon receipt of an application for a new or an expanded Class A or Class B public entertainment license, the city clerk shall also notify the police chief and fire chief, who shall make such determinations and notify the city clerk accordingly.

If the application is denied by the council at the first hearing, there shall be no second hearing; an affirmative vote of the council at the first hearing shall result in a second hearing at the next regularly scheduled council meeting.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.