What’sUpNewp was the first to bring you the news that Newport Restaurant Group would be opening a new restaurant on February 28th. On May 21st we learned that the restaurant is expected to open in mid-June.

Stayed tuned for additional details.

Original story

The Newport Restaurant Group family is growing in The-City-By-The-Sea, and heading for a new part of town – Washington Square.

Paul O’Reilly, CEO of Newport Harbor Corporation, announced to employees this week that the Group would be opening its fifth restaurant in Newport.

“We have signed a lease for and will be transferring a liquor license to 22 Washing Square to open a small Italian concept called “Bar Cino”, O’Reilly wrote.

Newport Harbor Corporation, an employee-owned (ESOP) hospitality company, owns and/or operates Newport Restaurant GroupCastle Hill InnNewport Exhibition Group, and Papa Razzi Trattoria.

Wholesome Fresh, which opened at 22 Washington Square in November of 2017, closed at the end of November in 2018.

“The concept was the brainchild of our Director of Beverage, Shawn Westhoven who has been busy crafting new concepts while designing our beverage menus!,” O’Reilly continued in the announcement to employees.

Update – O’Reilly told me during a phone conversation on Thursday afternoon that the restaurant group had been thinking of launching this new concept elsewhere, but the opportunity in Washington Square came at the right time to launch it here in Newport. The basement area of the restaurant will be used for prep and they will add an open kitchen and bar to the main area of the restaurant.

We caught up with Westhoven on the phone and he told us it will be a different type of Italian than what people automatically think about when they think about Italian food. “There will be a level of familiarity with everything on the menu for customers and everything will be easy to read and understand”, he explained.

As the Beverage Director, Westhoven says the Italian concept gives them a lot that they can do with cocktails and wine. Both food and drink menus are still being developed.

Westhoven shared that the layout of Bar Cino, when completed, may feel a little familiar/similar to those who frequented Jonathan’s or Ocean Breeze back in the day. The bar will be setup on the right when you walk in, followed by the open kitchen.

With the ongoing construction at the Newport Opera House, daily movies and frequent events at Jane Pickens Theater, recent additions of Stoneacre Brasserie, lululemon, and other merchants, it’s an exciting time for Washington Square.

“We are so happy to have Newport Restaurant Group join us on Washington Square and look forward to working together,” Kathy Staab Owner of Jane Pickens Theater told What’sUpNewp. “It’s so exciting to see more activity in our historic town center and it’s always good to have more options for dinner and a movie,” Staab concluded.

Bar Cino is expected to open in June, according to O’Reilly’s message to employees.

Newport Restaurant Group includes 22 Bowen’s (Newport), Avivo Ristorante (Cranston), Boat House (Tiverton), Castle Hill Inn (Newport), Hemenway’s (Providence), Smoke House (Newport), The Bohlin (Newport), The Mooring (Newport), Trio (Narragansett), and Waterman Grille (Providence).

Newport Restaurant Group might be adding another restaurant to their portfolio in 2020. In previous conversations with Colin Kane from the Peregrine Group, Kane expressed interest in having Newport Restaurant Group run/manage the restaurant that will open at Hammetts Wharf. Peregrine Group bought the former Newport Yachting Center from Newport Harbor Corp and currently owns the land that The Mooring, The Bohlin, and Smoke House call home.

Do you have news, a tip, a story idea, or something that you think would be of interest to our readers?

Let us know! Email Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

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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 - 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.