Cafe Zelda

This post was originally published on December 29, 2015

What’sUpNewp brought you the news first on November 24th that Cafe Zelda had been purchased by Craig and Patrick Kilroy (PK), PK is a co-owner of Midtown Oyster, Rhumbline & Surf Club (formerly Perry Mill Tavern).

The Kilroy’s 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).

Although live music and performances were very rare, Cafe Zelda has held an entertainment license since 1997 with the restriction that all doors and windows must be closed during any performance.

The Kilroy’s hope to open Cafe Zelda in February/March of 2016.

UPDATE: January 14, 2016 & January 27th, 2016- Newport City Council approved the application for the entertainment license at their regularly scheduled meeting.

The Process

At their regularly scheduled meeting on January 13th and January 27th 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.

What City Council Does

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 Belmore is the 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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