Post Office Cafe Closes Its Doors
The Main Street eatery was a member of the Marra Restaurant Group, which filed for receivership last month.
After indicating to community members that it would close for renovations on January 15, the Post Office Café closed for good on Sunday.
The Main Street restaurant is part of the Marra Restaurant Group, which also includes the Grille on Main across the street. Marra went into receivership in December, citing potential loses from a class-action lawsuit over illegal faxing.
Owner Steve Marra said he had no comment.
“It is in the best interest of the entire restaurant company that the restaurant be closed,” said William Fischer, spokesman for the receiver, Jonathan Savage, on Monday. “The facility is shut down. Their last night of operations was last night.”
As late as Saturday evening, employees of the Post Office Café were telling patrons that the restaurant would close on Saturday, Jan. 15, and that there would be some sort of customer appreciation event that night.
In a letter dated Jan. 4, Post Office Café manager Christopher Moore told the East Greenwich Rotary Club, which meets there weekly, that it was closing on Jan. 15 but that it would “continue to hold your events until the 19th of January.”
The letter to the Rotary Club said that the restaurant would reopen in April. Moore said that the restaurant would undergo a complete renovation - "new theme, new menu" - and that it would reopen in the spring. Fisher, however, would not confirm that timeline.
"We're pretty confident," Fisher said, that a new restaurant would reopen there.
When asked why the restaurant was closing six days before what employees and the public had been told, Fisher said, “They may not be privy to everything we know today.”
Fisher refused to elaborate. He reiterated that when a company goes to court to seek protection and a receiver is named, the receiver is in charge of all aspects of the business.
The decision to close the Post Office Cafe, which has been in business for more than 15 years, was the result of a “confluence of events,” Fisher said.
“It coincides with the slowest two months of the year” in the restaurant business, he said. “There has been expressed interest from various parties taking a look at purchasing the operations at this location. They have all expressed an interest in opening a new restaurant with a new theme that would require renovations.”
Fisher would not identify the interested parties, except to say that they were “related and unrelated to the current management.”
According to Fisher, there were approximately 17 employees at the Post Office Café.
“We’re in the process of working to place them within the other entities within the Marra Restaurant Group,” he said.
Gift certificates to the restaurant will be honored at the other five restaurants in the group.
In addition to the Grille on Main, the Marra Restaurant Group includes Cucina Twist, in South Kingstown, Cucina in North Smithfield, Twist in Warwick and Twist on Angel in Providence.
A visit to the restaurant Saturday evening during a snowfall found few patrons. When asked about the pending closure, manager Moore said, “It’s time for a change. When we opened 17 years ago, we were the only Italian restaurant around.”
“They’re pretty much taking care of anyone who wants to be taken care of,” said waiter Richard Holsombach, who’s worked for Marra restaurants for six years.
Longtime patron and East Greenwich resident Jamie Millard said he was disappointed to hear about the closure.
“The location is great and the food was terrific,” Millard said Monday evening. “What we really loved was to go to the bar during baseball season. We’d sit at the bar, order a drink and something off the menu and watch the Red Sox.”