'Blu' Abuzz With Activity, Aims For Sunday Opening
The restaurant must still obtain several permits – including a certificate of occupancy, liquor license, and victualing license – by end of business Friday if it is to open Sunday afternoon as hoped.
There’s nothing like a deadline to spur activity. And there’s been a lot of that this past week at Blu, the restaurant at the former Twenty Water Street. Owners hope to open Sunday. But without approvals from, at a minimum, the Fire Marshal, the Fire Alarm Superintendent, the Department of Health, and the town’s Building Inspector, that won’t happen.
Glenn Chelo, one of the owners, said he knows it’s going to be tough.
“It may not look it, but it’s pretty close,” he said Thursday amid the comings and goings of numerous construction workers and deliveries. Despite the chaos, he had nothing but praise for town officials.
“We do business in a lot of wonderful cities. None has compared to East Greenwich,” Chelo said. “It’s like we’re the only thing happening in the city. I know we’re not, but that’s how we’re being treated. They come down whenever we call them. They can’t give us enough advice. We’re blown away. It’s awesome.
“We’re looking for a temporary CO, if we can,” said Chelo, referring to a Certificate of Occupancy. “If we don’t get it, it’s our fault.”
Much of the work as focused on the deck. The idea would be to open the deck and the Wharf Tavern area, leaving the main restaurant area to be opened later.
The Chelos have added two outdoor bar areas, making a total of three bars on the deck. There is the large, original bar located just north of the restaurant proper and enclosed by a tent, and the two new bars, one right in front of the restaurant and a third in front of the Wharf Tavern.
That third bar appears to extend partially into the public access way to the waterfront. By law, the way to the water must be clear from King Street straight to the water. However, exact measurements are not known, said Town Planner Lisa Bourbonnais.
An inspection Thursday by the enforcement arm of the state Coastal Management Resources Council did not turn up any violations.
CRMC spokeswoman Laura Dyer explained it this way: “The right-of-way issue is never a clear one because a lot of them are so old. The lines may have shifted” over time.
The only way to really know the exact right of way would be to obtain a survey, Bourbonnais said. In the meantime, the town’s building and zoning official Wayne Pimental said there’s lots of other things to be done at Blu for it to be able to open.
“There’s still a lot of inspections,” he said. “We’ll look at what they have done and we’ll decide what can open and what can’t.”
The owners of Blu will know by Friday at 4:30 p.m. if they have the green light to open this weekend. If they do, they've tentitively scheduled Brass Attack to perform Sunday afternoon.
EG Patch will keep you informed.