This summer, one of the most iconic waterfront restaurants in Newport is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with a brand new look!  The Lobster Bar originally opened in 2012 and shared the space with Aquidneck Lobster Company’s wholesale fish market. The fish market moved out in 2015 which is when the Kilroy family decided to revise the direction of the building.  

The Kilroy’s long-tenured presence on Bowen’s Wharf has helped make it a staple destination in the city and the place to be during the summer months. Along with The Lobster Bar the Kilroy’s are proud owners of The Landing (which is located right next door to Lobster Bar) and Zelda’s on lower Thames Street.  Patrick Kilroy is also a partner at Midtown Oyster Bar and Surf Club.  The Kilroy family has always taken a community-first approach to their business.  Hard-working, welcoming and generous are three words that come to mind when I think of their family and as salt of the earth as they come. 

Before any major renovations could take place, the immediate priorities on the property were to improve a leaking roof and fortify a deteriorating building that served as a commercial fishing space for decades.  The renovations at that time were minor but after the conclusion of the 2021 season, the decision was made to finish the scope of The Lobster Bar improvement project.  

“We really wanted to preserve the building and take the necessary steps to ensure that our guests are able to enjoy the Lobster Bar for years to come” said Patrick Kilroy.  “There’s so much history here on this wharf and my family made it a priority to celebrate that history while investing in significant improvements to the property.”

Along with the cosmetic updates, the Kilroy family honored the late Ronnie Fatulli who was the founder of Aquidneck Lobster Co. with an unveiling and dedication of a statue in his honor in early 2021.  

“Ronnie meant so much for this community, especially the local fishermen and lobstermen.  Aquidneck Lobster Company had called this building home since the 1960’s, so we felt it would be appropriate to cement his legacy here forever,” said Kilroy.

This past winter, The Lobster Bar went through extensive renovations and the restaurant is ready to welcome guests back to the wharf this summer to see the changes they’ve made to the establishment.  Situated at the end of a former fishing pier, The Lobster Bar has one of the best locations in the city with 180 degrees of unobstructed water views of Newport Harbor.  It is arguably the best place to watch a sunset in downtown Newport.  

“You can’t beat it.  Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a cocktail with friends while watching the sun go down over the bridge?!,” said Mason Choice – who has been working on the wharf between The Landing and Lobster Bar since 2014.  

The large open layout features a collection of improvements including vaulted shiplapped ceilings, matte black lighting fixtures and simple but elegant decor.  The space offers an oversized main bar and a separate raw bar, an outdoor dock dining area and railings that allow guests to watch the busy charter boats of Newport Harbor.  In season, the restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and is also available to be booked privately for weddings, corporate outings and other large events. 

Amanda Roderick, who is the event coordinator at The Lobster Bar, The Landing and Queen Anne’s Loft, says that the newly renovated space is the perfect place to host a function.  “Rhode Island is called the Ocean State for a reason and people that visit Newport want to be near the water.  This venue is quintessential Newport and offers an ideal location for your wedding day, corporate retreat or celebration.  Our beautifully renovated space features floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors, hardwood floors, and an upscale aesthetic. The versatility of the layout here really allows you to configure the exact setup that you’ll need to accommodate your guests.”While the renovations have certainly changed the look of the waterfront favorite, the expectation for great hospitality has remained the same.  Mallory Basile, the bar manager at Lobster Bar, told WhatsUpNewp; “this location has always been a draw to locals and visitors alike.  The views are second-to-none and we are excited for another great season of friends, good food, incredible sunsets and top notch service.  We look forward to welcoming everyone back to see the amazing updates that we made this winter!”

The Lobster Bar is located at 31 Bowens Wharf, Newport, RI.  For more information about their hours, private events and to check out their menu, please visit their website; and be sure to follow them on Instagram @LobsterBarNewport

Tyler Bernadyn

Born and raised in the Ocean State, Tyler is a Providence College graduate ('11) who proudly calls Newport home. A professional realtor by trade, he prides himself on building relationships and sharing...