Newport Restaurant Group is growing (again) in Rhode Island.

What’s Up Rhode Island has confirmed that Newport Restaurant Group has plans in place for a new restaurant at 1000 Division Road in East Greenwich, which until recently was home to Outback Steakhouse.

“It will be a new concept for us, we are currently finalizing the concept creation stage now, Paul O’Reilly, CEO of Newport Harbor Corporation wrote to What’s Up Newp this week. “Our Chefs are testing recipes this month at our test kitchen”. 

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

Outback Steakhouse opened at 1000 Division Road in February 1995 and closed on February 16th. A corporate spokeswoman recently told WJAR that “the decision (to close) was based solely on business circumstances and has no reflection on the employees or management team.”

“We will be investing in a significant renovation of the building and surrounding landscape  to transform the space – which will include a covered outdoor dining patio,” O’Reilly said.

The restaurant, which has yet to be named, is slated for an open in the late summer/early Fall of 2020.

According to O’Reilly, “The restaurant will be led by a team from our existing management ranks who will be promoted , which we think is great. As we grow we need great people which provides opportunity and the word gets out that we are a company on the go and we are employee owned and if you want to work hard and have a career in the restaurant industry we are a great choice”. 

Newport Restaurant Group’s portfolio of restaurants include Castle Hill Inn, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, Bar ‘Cino, and Smoke House all located in Newport; Trio of Narragansett; the Boat House in Tiverton; Waterman Grille and Hemenway’s, both located in Providence; Avvio Ristorante located at Garden City Center in Cranston; Iron Works in Warwick; Papa Razzi with two locations in the greater Boston area; and Bar ‘Cino in Brookline, MA.

“We are excited to add an additional restaurant to our portfolio. We have established a super loyal following at our places and this is a location that so many of our guest drive by on a regular basis!  We think this concept and this location will be a big hit – a fun and vibrant addition to our portfolio much like the recent opening of the Bar Cino concept,” O’Reilly said. 

It has been an exciting week for Newport Restaurant Group. On Wednesday, Mariana Gonzalez-Trasvina of Bar ‘Cino earned a James Beard Award nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

“We have a lot of talent in the company, we just love food, we love to cook, we love the art of service, we love the creative design and construction stage that transforms places into beautiful space. We love when it all comes together. It can be very addictive. Creating restaurant concepts, opening restaurants and running them as long term successful businesses that become special places in our community is a big part of who we are now. It is a shared love of what we do across many people inside Newport Restaurant Group and I think the fact that we all own the company together is the secret sauce that allows us to continuously get better at it,” O’Reilly concluded.

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).