Changes are coming for a Newport institute that has stood the test of time for more than 40 years.

An employee of The Black Pearl has confirmed with What’sUpNewp that today (January 1st) will be the final day of the patio bar at The Black Pearl. Following today, the bar and patio will be demolished for renovations.

“Come down for one last cocktail at this Newport landmark and share a memory. In the spring we will start making new memories on our improved patio but this is the last chance to experience the bar that hasn’t changed in approximately 40 years, ” said the employee.

Tom Cullen, who owned The Black Pearl on Bannister’s Wharf for the last 43 years, passed away at the age of 75 on Monday, August 15th. His sons are currently running the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.

Cullen purchased The Black Pearl from Barclay H. Warburton III in December 1973, Cullen closed it down for extensive renovations and reopened May 1974 with the addition of an outside patio & bar that overlook Newport Harbor. Besides expanding the kitchen in 1989, The Black Pearl has remained essentially unchanged for 30 years.

The Patio Bar at The Black Pearl will be open from 11 a.m. to sunset today.

The Black Pearl restaurant is expected to close for the their annual break on Tuesday, January 3rd. Their date of re-opening has not been confirmed.

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).