We hear these questions all the time  – “how can I get a liquor license?”, “why aren’t there more liquor licenses?” or “who currently has a liquor license (and is for sale)?” So, here’s our attempt at making sense of the liquor license scene here in Newport, RI.

In Rhode Island, the quantity of liquor licenses in cities and towns are based on per capita. Therefore, all of Newport’s liquor licenses are currently spoken for, meaning no one can just go in front of Newport City Council and ask for one. Those looking for a liquor license must buy a business or buy a license that’s already out there.

There are also several other types of liquor licenses available in Newport. For example, caterers who serve alcohol will be required to procure a liquor license. There are also a few very specialized licenses for Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center, Newport Yachting Center and the private clubs. Not-for-Profit Clubs may apply for a different liquor license, too.

Here’s our story from 2015 where we looked at the 2015/2016 licenses – Taking Inventory and a Closer Look at Newport Liquor Licenses

2016/2017 Liquor License Renewal:

As of October 11, 2016

The following application for renewal have been received by the Board of License Commissioners of the City Of Newport. The following liquor licenses are up for 2016-2017 Liquor License Renewal and will be heard by the Board Of License Commissioners on October 26, 2016 at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Class A – (Package Store)

A wholesaler’s license, Class A, authorizes the holder to keep for sale and to sell malt beverages and wines at wholesale at the place described to holders of licenses under this title within this state and to holders of wholesale licenses in other states and the transportation and delivery from the place of sale to those license holders or to a common carrier for that delivery.The license shall not authorize the sale of malt beverages or wines for consumption on the premises where sold nor their sale for their delivery outside this state in violation of the law of the place of delivery.

  1. Wellington Square 
  2. Sully’s Beer Wine & Liquor
  3. Bucci Combination Store (Currently For Sale)
  4. Bellevue Wine & Spirits
  5. Fifth Ward Liquor
  6. Harry’s Liquor Store
  7. Rex Liquors
  8. Andrew’s Liquors
  9. Bridge Liquors
  10. Island Wine & Spirits
  11. Newport Wine Cellar
  12. Downtown Liquors
  13. Spring Street Spirits
  14. Vicker’s Liquors

(Changes since 2015/2016 – Rum Runner, which was in this classification in 2015/2016, is not listed for renewal)

Class BH

Except Class B-H alcoholic beverage licensees, all alcoholic beverages must be served, dispensed or sold by an employee or owner of a licensed retail liquor establishment.Alcoholic beverages may not be served or dispensed by a patron, provided however, hotel service “mini bars” shall be permitted if said hotel holds a valid B-H alcoholic beverage license, but said “mini bars” shall only be allowed in the room of a registered hotel guest who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class BH licenses allowed in Newport is 3. All are spoken for.

  1. Forty 1 North
  2. Hotel Viking
  3. Cliffside Inn

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

Class BL – Class B Limited (Beer and Wine)

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class BL licenses allowed in Newport is 11. All are spoken for.

  1. Mission
  2. Newport Tokyo House
  3. Mama Leones
  4. Mamma Luisa
  5. Norey’s Star Restaurant
  6. Nikolas Pizza
  7. Lucia Italian Restaurant
  8. Tallulah on Thames
  9. Thai Cuisine
  10. AREA (currently not assigned to a particular address)

(Changes since 2015/2016 – Wharf Pub  is not listed. We’ve reached out for clarification on the reason for their absence.)

Class BT – Class B Tavern (Hotel)

In the granting of alcoholic beverage tavern licenses (also referred to as a Class B-T), the licensing authority must ascertain that the taverns are, in fact, operating or about to be operated with reasonable sleeping accommodations as well as kitchens properly equipped and inuse, or ready to be put in use.

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class BT licenses allowed in Newport is 11. All are spoken for.

  1. Castle Hill Inn
  2. Chanler At Cliff Walk
  3. Hyatt Regency
  4. Forty 1 North
  5. Vanderbilt Grace
  6. Hotel Viking
  7. Mainstay Inn
  8. Newport Marriott Hotel
  9. Ocean Cliff
  10. The Port
  11. Saltwater
  12. Surf Club 

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

Class BV – Class B Victualer (Restaurant)

An applicant for a Class B alcoholic beverage license (also referred to as a Class B-V) may be granted a license subject to, but not limited to, the following terms and conditions: (1) Demonstration to the satisfaction of the licensing board that a kitchen is established on the proposed premises as evidenced by a certificate of occupancy from the local building official and inspection and approval by the Department of Health. (2) Furnishing to the licensing authority a copy of the proposed menu
and food services to be provided.

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class BV licenses allowed in Newport is 56. All are reportedly spoken for.

  1. @ The Deck
  2. Mudville Pub
  3. 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille
  4. Fifth Element
  5. 99 Restaurant
  6. Willy’s (Currently For Sale)
  7. Jo’s American Bistro
  8. Belle Mer
  9. Scales & Shells
  10. Gas Lamp Grille
  11. Tavern on Broadway
  12. One Pelham East
  13. Speakeasy Bar & Grill
  14. Celtica
  15. Clarke Cooke House
  16. Riptides
  17. Star Bar
  18. The Fastnet
  19. O’brien’s Pub
  20. Regatta Place
  21. Hall Of Fame Properties (formerly Canfield House license)
  22. Griswold’s Tavern
  23. Hillside Cafe (aka Cappy’s)
  24. Jimmy’s Saloon
  25. Perro Salado
  26. La Forge Casino
  27. Malt
  28. Marina Cafe
  29. Pour Judgement
  30. Benjamins
  31. Midtown Oyster Bar
  32. Mooring Restaurant
  33. Smokehouse
  34. The Black Pearl
  35. The Pier
  36. Newport Playhouse & Cabaret
  37. The Landing
  38. Hope (Currently For Sale)
  39. Buskers
  40. Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen
  41. Pasta Beach
  42. Brick Alley Pub
  43. Newport Grand
  44. Stoneacre Pantry
  45. Red Parrot
  46. Bouchard & Revolving Door
  47. Rhumbline
  48. Cafe Zelda
  49. Sardella’s Restaurant
  50. Caleb & Broad
  51. Newport Blues Cafe
  52. Dockside
  53. Washington Square Bistro (Formerly Yesterday’s license)

(Changes since 2015/2016 -The Boat Yard, Diego’s and Parlor are not listed. We’ve reached out for clarification on the reason for their absence.)

Class C – Saloon

Holders of retailers’ Class C alcoholic beverage licenses shall not sell or serve any beverages nor be open for business prior to 12:00 o’clock noon on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, provided, however, that local boards may authorize places operating under a Class C license to be open on New Year’s Day.

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class C licenses allowed in Newport is 1. All are spoken for.

  1. Salvation Cafe

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

Class D – Full Privilege or Beer and Wine

A Class D license authorized the sale of beverages to members of the licensed club or their guests, which beverages are to be consumed on the premises where sold and nowhere else.

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class D licenses allowed in Newport is 16. 15 are spoken for.

  1. Ancient Order of Hibernians
  2. Ida Lewis Yacht Club
  3. Irish American Athletic Club
  4. New York yacht Club Harbour Court
  5. Newport Country Club
  6. Elk’s Club
  7. Newport Reading Room
  8. Newport Yacht Club
  9. Newport Sportsmans Club
  10. Kerry Hill Club
  11. Protective Club
  12. Pyramid Club
  13. Bailey’s Beach
  14. IYAC Club
  15. Vasco Da Gama Portuguese American

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

Class J

  1. The Bohlin

(Changes since 2015/2016 – The Bohlin license was formerly Newport Yachting Center’s license.)

Class K

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class K licenses allowed in Newport is 1. All are spoken for.

  1. White Horse Tavern

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

Liquor (Class T)

Pursuant to the authority of the General Laws of the state, the maximum number of Class T licenses allowed in Newport is 1. All are spoken for.

  1. Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center

(Changes since 2015/2016 – None)

What Does A Liquor License Cost? 

Some liquor license have rumored to have been sold in Newport, RI recently for $100 – $300k.

Here’s the current State Of Rhode Island liquor license fee.

  • Wholesale Class A: $2,000
  • Wholesale Class B:  $4,000
  • Distillery: $3,000
  • Brewery: $500
  • Winery: $1,500 (producing more than 50k gallons)
  • Winery: $500 (producing less than 50k gallons)
  • Farmer Winter: $1,500 (producing more than 50k gallons)
  • Farmer Winery: $500 (producing more than 50k gallons)
  • Brewpub Manufacturer: $1,000 (producing more than 50k gallons)
  • Brewpub Manufacturer: $500 (producing less than 50k gallons)
  • Rectifier: $3,000

The following fees for permits and licenses issued by the City Of Newport:

1. Alcoholic Beverage Licenses.
Class A (Package Store) $ 1,000.00 per year
Class B Tavern (Hotel) 2,000.00 per year
Class B Limited (Beer and Wine) 1,500.00 per year
Class B Victualer (Restaurant) 2,000.00 per year
Class C (Saloon) 800.00 per year
Class D (Full Privilege) 800.00 per year
Class D (Beer and Wine) 400.00 per year
Class E (Druggist) 200.00 per year
Class F (Beer and Wine) 15.00 per day
Class F-1 (Full Privilege) 35.00 per day
Class J 2,000.00 per year
Class B-H 500.00 per year
Class T 500.00 per year
Renewal — All Classes 25.00 per year

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).