Havana's Back on Council Agenda Tonight

Potential owners of proposed restaurant that got a cool reception from the Town Council last month is back for another round of discussions.

The Town Council will continue its review of a liquor license request from restaurateurs who want to open a Cuban-themed restaurant at the former Rok Bar & Grill in the post office building on Main Street.

The request was delayed last month after the Town Council raised concerns about noise and other quality of life issues that might affect nearby residents in the wake a year of problems relating to noise caused by the former Rok Bar, which council members said ended up being a nightclub even though they were expecting a family-friendly restaurant.

John Davis, who would co-own the restaurant, said he plans on buying the historic building from the Marra family and will spend $1.5 million to renovate and upgrade the structure to include double-pane windows, sound-mitigating curtains and undo years of historically-inappropriate painting and modifications to the building long before a single drink is poured or foot hits the dance floor.

"I look at that building and it's the crown jewel of Main Street," Davis told the council. "It should be brought back to what it should be — a one time decent looking building that has gone through disrepair in recent years."

Davis was before the council in the hopes of getting licenses for liquor service and entertainment, which he said is essential for any business there to survive. Without entertainment, he said, the restaurant would not be viable.

But council members said they had deep reservations about entertainment there after the bad experience with Rok Bar & Grill, which promised to be good neighbors during their application process and claimed they'd be family friendly.

Instead, said Councilor Michael Isaacs, what ended up happening is the town got a nightclub, he said, which was "nothing like what was presented to the Town Council."

"Our questions stem from the fact that we got burned by that application," Isaacs said.

Click here to read our story from that meeting.

The agenda for tonight's meeting also includes commendations for the East Greenwich High School boys track team for being named 2014 Class C Champions and the Archie R. Cole Middle School chess team for winning the Middle School division in the Rhode Island Chess Championship.

The council will also be adopting the proposed fiscal 2015 budget, the rules for the annual Financial Town Meeting and more. 

Click here for the agenda.


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