Just days after permanently closing, we now know what the future plans hold for Celtica Public House.

95 Long Wharf Mall, home to Celtica Public House, has been sold to some familiar folks in Newport County and What’sUpNewp was able to find out more about how the sale came together and what the plans are for the restaurant.

The property was recently purchased by Scott Kirmil and Chef Joey Piotti. Kirmil and his team from Inked Restaurant Group own Diego’s, which has locations in Newport, Middletown, and Providence, and The Wharf Southern Kitchen in Newport.

Celtica Public House

Piotti previously brought his culinary expertise to both Ida’s Kitchen and Puerini’s restaurants.

Residential Properties Ltd. Sales Associate Marisa Ferris represented the seller as the listing agent in this transaction. Ferris, a Rhode Island native and friend and associate of both the seller and buyer, shares that she leveraged her network of relationships to bring this deal together.   

“I knew Scott and Joey were looking to find a location for a new venture,” Ferris, who has been with Residential Properties since acquiring her license over 10 years ago, says. “I had an agreement with the seller that if I had a viable and legitimate buyer, I could present the property, so my role was to vet potential buyers while maintaining privacy for both parties as they worked through their agreement. Finding a buyer who was going to keep the establishment and build on the current business was appealing to me as a fellow Newport-area resident. I’m so pleased to have played a part in making this deal work out and congratulate Scott and Joey on their latest endeavor.”  

For more than two decades, the Celtica Public House was a staple of Newport’s restaurant, bar, and nightlife scene, offering a lively, dockside atmosphere for beer, wine, spirits, karaoke, and food.

“Celtica has always been a great local watering hole, and we love that it’s right downtown but also a hideaway from some of the hustle and bustle,” Kirmil told What’sUpNewp. “Joey and I also used to live on The Point and know that lots of people miss having a close-by restaurant. All of this made Celtica an appealing option for our team.” 

Kirmil and Piotti hope to bring an exciting dining experience to the city in the form of fun bar with rustic Italian food under the new name “The Quencher”.

Kirmil says that the property will include a large renovation to create a full kitchen and expansion upstairs to a new rooftop deck and bar with a harbor view.

“We are going to create a fun funky vibe inside with live music on the weekends, Karaoke that Celtica was famous for, approachable Italian food from scratch, and a fun cocktail and wine program,” Kirmil said.

With an aim to complete the transformation in six months for a springtime opening, Kirmil and Piotti say that they are excited to add their spin to what Celtica brought to the location for many years. 

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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.