There are a lot of updates, upgrades and openings of new businesses that we should be looking forward to in 2016, and these are just the changes that we know about!

With a few bigger commercial spaces available around Newport, we look forward to seeing what new ventures come to town.

 1 – Cafe Zelda

It will be interesting to see what Patrick and Craig Kilroy do with the place, we’ve learned that Chef and Mark will stick around and the name will not change. Look for Cafe Zelda to return in February/March.

More Info: UPDATE: Cafe Zelda Restaurant Sold, Will Close Temporarily on December 11th

2 – Surf Club (Formerly Perry Mill Tavern)

Right now this ol’ Perry Mill Tavern and Rhino Bar is getting a complete facelift from stud to ceiling and is being called “Surf Club” by those working on it. Plans are for a spring opening.

More Info: Perry Mill Tavern Will Close on September 10th, Last Call For Members of Jameson Club

3 – Rhumbline

What will Patrick Kilroy do differently to revitalize this iconic property on The Point? While we know he won’t have an entertainment license, we’ve heard that he will add tv’s. It will be interesting to see how the “new” Rhumbline looks and feels when it reopens in the spring.

More Info: UPDATE: New Owners Of Rhumbline Apply For Entertainment License; Face Heavy Opposition

4 – Newport Beach House (Formerly ABC)

After almost 90 years of being in operation, it was announced on February 19th that LONGWOOD would be purchasing the Atlantic Beach Club and opening it as a new waterfront wedding venue, the Newport Beach House, in 2016.

This is Longwood’s second venue in Newport, following the success of Belle Mer.

While design work is already underway, the renovation and conversion of the iconic property will begin in early 2016. LONGWOOD will take over operations of the property in January, 2016.

More Info: End Of An Era: Last Weekend For Atlantic Beach Club Is Here

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5 – The Atlantic Resort/Newport

Many of Atlantic Beach Club’s staff and management will be heading to the The Atlantic Resort/Newport. Construction on “Newport’s Newest Hotel & Event Center”, located at 240 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, is well underway and moving along nicely and expects to open in June 2016.

The Atlantic Resort/ Newport will consist of 141 hotel rooms, 2 large & 1 small banquet room, a restaurant & lounge, indoor swimming pool, outdoor terrace, and amazing views of the Atlantic ocean and Easton’s Pond.

More Info: End Of An Era: Last Weekend For Atlantic Beach Club Is Here

6 – Sephora

What’sUpNewp has learned that International beauty and cosmetic giant Sephora will open a store in Newport, RI in 2016. The French Brand and chain of cosmetic stores currently has plans to open 100 stores over the next 24 months, Newport has landed on their radar. The store is expected to open at 1 Long Wharf Mall, formerly Coldwater Creek and Tina Stephens.

More Info: REPORT: Sephora Will Open Store in Downtown Newport

7 – Teas & Javas

It will be interesting to see if Carolyn Rafaelian, after purchasing the building, will keep it Teas & Javas or turn it into something else in 2016.

More Info: Alex & Ani Founder Purchases 282 Thames Street for $2.9 Million

8 – Foley’s On Broadway

What’sUpNewp has learned that Foley’s on Broadway, located at 105 Broadway, is now under contract. A binding contract has been signed, subject to meeting certain contingency conditions, and the seller wishes to solicit back-up offers. What will the new owner do with the building that sits on 7,156 square feet on a lot that is 13,500 square feet?

More Info: Foley’s On Broadway is Now Under Contract

9 – The “New & Improved” Bucci Liquors

A reliable source has told What’sUpNewp that Kevin Sullivan has purchased Bucci Liquors, located at 3 Thames Street. What will the man who has upgraded and updated many commercial properties in Newport do with this ol’ liquor store? Should be excited to see.

More Info: Local Man Sells Spring Street Inn, Buys Bucci Liquors

10 – Shunya Studio 

Shunya Studio will open its doors at Clock Tower Square in Portsmouth to the yoga community at their grand opening on Saturday, January 30th. Thames Street Yoga will be joined in this unique offering by Long Time Sun Apparel, which will operate a second lifestyle boutique, and Newport Skin Rejuvenation Center, which will offer skin treatments.

More Info: Three Newport Businesses Team Up To Open Shunya Studio in Portsmouth

11 – International Tennis Hall Of Fame

Since May 2014, construction has been underway on another major component of the campaign – a new three-court indoor tennis facility, as well as the addition of three outdoor courts with a seasonal bubble for year-round use. The courts are adjacent to a significant new building that will house the tennis club locker rooms, a fitness center, retail space, and office space for the Hall of Fame staff. The buildings total 36,000 square feet and were designed in a manner that complements the historic architecture of the existing Hall of Fame buildings and significantly enhances the surrounding neighborhood.

There are two final construction components of the campaign projects that will be completed in the coming months. An entirely new grandstand will be constructed on the South Side of Bill Talbert Center Court, and the box seats along the East Side of the court will be enhanced. Additionally, the museum’s main entrance on historic Bellevue Avenue will be completely restored.
The entire project will be dedicated in May 2016, ahead of next year’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
12 – St. Clare Newport

St. Clare-Newport broke ground on their $15.28 million expansion and renovation on April 22nd, 2015. When completed, The New St. Clare will house 32 skilled nursing units, 40 independent /assisted living units, secure memory care, and an adult day health program. St. Clare-Newport’s existing building will be renovated after the new addition is completed and additional financing is solidified. Upon project completion, St. Clare-Newport will have a total of 60 skilled nursing units.

The expansion will take 15-18 months to complete and will include new parking facilities, courtyards and a café.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.

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