After several months of renovations, we know have a better plan of what will become of the building previously was used as Teas & Javas, People’s Cafe and People’s Credit Union.

Local Mercantile Newport Café, or Local Mercantile Cafe, will soon open at 282 Thames Street and is  “thoughtfully crafted dishes made by talented people”, according to a sign placed in the window over the last few days.

Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder and CEO of Alex & Ani, purchased the property that she was renting and using for Teas & Javas back in November of 2015 for $2.9 million.

A request for comment on an opening date and for more information on Local Mercantile Cafe was not immediately responded to.

After a small fire and before the purchase of the property, Teas and Javas has been closed since Monday, October 21st.

Teas and Javas opened in Newport, the companies third location in Rhode Island, in the spring of 2013. Since then their location at Chapel Terrace in Cranston has closed, Teas and Javas in Wayland Square in Providence is open and on July 5th celebrated its fourth anniversary.

Besides Alex & Ani and Teas & Javas, Carolyn also owns Sakonnet Vineyards and Beclourt Castle.

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.