Willy's Burger Bar

The Newport Blast reported on Thursday night that Willy’s Burger Bar has been purchased by members of Thames Street Kitchen (TSK) and would be closing at the end of the month (January).

The headline for the story was originally published as “Willy’s Has Been Purchased…And You’re Going To Love The New Owners”, and now reads “Willy’s Has Been Purchased…And You’re (Probably) Going To Love The New Owner”.

via Facebook

Since publishing the story, The Newport Blast has removed the original story and replaced it within a retracting stating that they were told a deal was done, but that they were given the information prematurely.

The site has not retracted that Willy’s will close at the end of the month.

What’sUpNewp has reached out and requested comment from both TSK and Willy’s, no response has been received.

Editor’s Note:

1) A previous version of this story stated that The Newport Blast does have a source close to this story, we’ve removed their name and affiliation from from this story at request of said person.

Thames Street Kitchen

Thames Street Kitchen, which was owned and operated by Chefs Chad Hoffer and Tyler Burnley, along with their wives Julia and Anna Jenkins, closed at the end of 2015 after a five year run on Lower Thames Street. Some of the crew also owns Mission NPT, located at 29 Marlborough Street in Newport.

It makes sense that the TSK team would be diving back into the restaurant business, in their November 15th announcement on Facebook, they shared that they “had outgrown the space and need to put all of our time and efforts towards some exciting new projects we have been working on.”

They also stated “With what has been one of our best years yet, we are closing this chapter in our lives and look forward to feeding you all again in the future!”

Willy’s Burger Bar

The restaurant was put on the market on November 6th at $1.2 million and is being represented and marketed by The Fitzpatrick Team at RE/MAX Professionals of Newport. The purchase price includes the 100 seat restaurant, full liquor license, 2,456 square foot commercial building and a vacant buildable lot.

If someone is just interested in the liquor license, business name, inventory and equipment (without the building or property), they are on the market for $300,000.

Willy’s, owned by The A&O Group, previously operated the restaurant as Asterisk from 1995 – May, 2014. The transformation from Asterisk to Willy’s in 2014 included a new logo, new website, and the renaming and refit of its bar and restaurant.

The restaurant had previously been for sale while still operating as Asterisk, according to Loopnet.

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.

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