Keeping up with what’s happening and new with Newport businesses can be tough, we decided to do something about it in order to help you (and us) keep track of all that’s happening in the City-By-The-Sea.

This is ‘Newport Business News’, a weekly column where we keep you in the know of what’s happening with stores, restaurants, businesses and other news that you should know about.

If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please e-mail us at with that information.

Local Mercantile Café: Looks like we know a bit more about what will become of the former Teas & Javas and People’s Café at 282 Thames Street. Property will go in front of zoning on November 28th, the hope is to convert the first and second floor of the building to a restaurant. An outdoor seating place is being constructed between that building and One Pelham East. The third floor of 282 Thames will become a 7 unit transient guest facility. Sources tell us that they’re also very close to purchasing one of the very few liquor licenses that are for sale in the City right now. More info on that next week, hopefully.

InnovateNewport: A coalition of several Newport-based entities and the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island will seek $2.1 million in state historic renovation tax credits, offered through the Rebuild Rhode Island program, to create an innovation cente at the Sheffield School. More info – State historic renovation tax credits being sought to create an innovation center in Newport

Christmas Coates: Kristen Coates has opened a new holiday pop-up shop on Bowen’s Wharf. The space, which was formerly Destination Chocolate, was described by one recent visitors as a “Madison Avenue florist meets a New Hampshire general store.”  Read more about it here – Christmas Coates Pop-Up Store on Bowens Wharf is a Winter Wonderland

A Fork In The Road: Blackstone Caterers popular food truck, A Fork In The Road, recently announced that their winter home will be the Newport Skating Center. They will be parked out there beginning this weekend, once the Skating Center opens on December 9th, they will be open nightly. A Fork In The Road served as the food truck out at Fort Adams State Park throughout the summer of 2016.

Newport Skating Center: Newport Waterfront Events, a division of Waterfront Productions LLC, has announced that the Newport Skating Center presented by ALEX AND ANI is once again on schedule to open at its downtown Newport Yachting Center location for the winter season.  In fact, the Grand Opening of the rink and its popular Tree Lighting Ceremony is slated for Friday evening, December 9th.   However, Newport Waterfront Events relies on corporate sponsorships and community support to finance the rink’s operation and maintenance throughout each season and this year is no exception.  Those companies, organizations or individuals who are interested in rink partnerships, including dasher board signage, or contributing in some way to this year’s skating season, are encouraged to call 888-900-8640 or email

519 Thames Street: Looks as if someone is moving into 519 Thames Street, the store just south of the Bank Of America ATM on Lower Thames Street. The store, which has also served as a sports memorabilia shop, has been occupied and is expected to open soon. We’ll have full details when the owners are prepared for us to do so.

Newport Opera House: The Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center began  the next phase of the restoration of the historic theater with an event observing and celebrating the installation of structural steel colums and beams today.  This work launches the next phase of the construction project, and will serve as an important milestone in the work on Newport’s historic Opera House Theater.

Newport Gateway Center: The Alliance for Livable Newport (ALN) will host a Community Forum and Information session on the upcoming improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center (Gateway Center).  The forum will be held on Monday, November 28 at 6:30 pm, in the lobby of the Transportation and Visitors Center on America’s Cup Avenue. Representatives of the team leading the effort will discuss the planned work, provide renderings of the upcoming project, and answer questions from the audience.  The construction and restoration work will include improvements to parts of the Transportation and Visitors Center damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as well as the installation of Green Infrastructure to assist in storm water runoff management. More Info – Community Forum to be Held on Planned Improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center

The Kind Spirits: The Newport based company was recently featured on BizBash, check it out here – 10 Event Ideas & Products from BizBash Live

Peregrine Group: Peregrine Group LLC, a real estate development, property management and third-party advisory firm, announced a few days ago that it has merged with Rustpoint Advisory of East Greenwich, RI. Rustpoint Principal Eric Busch will join Peregrine’s leadership team as partner, bringing 20 plus years of experience to the firm.

Newport Waterfront Events: The team that once put on events at the Newport Yachting Center is seeking to partner with worldwide music promoter Live Nation to operate a seasonal performance venue on upper Narragansett Bay. More info – East Providence waterfront eyed for seasonal concerts, festivals + poll

Fort Adams: The Providence Children’s Museum opens its renovated “Coming to Rhode Island” exhibit on Friday, and it now includes a new gallery focusing on a replica of a part of Fort Adams in Newport as it was under construction in 1835. More Info – Providence Children’s Museum to unveil new ‘Coming to Rhode …

If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please e-mail us at with that information.

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).