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Travel Snafu Cancels Town Council Meeting

Applicant for a proposed Cuban-themed restaurant and nightspot in the former post office building on Main Street had travel issues getting a sound expert in town to testify tonight.

East Greenwich Town Hall. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
East Greenwich Town Hall. (Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
Tonight's Town Council meeting is cancelled after a request by the applicant for the proposed Havana's restaurant in the post office building on Main Street.

Town Clerk Leigh Botello said the request was based on travel complications by the applicant to get his sound expert in town for tonight's meeting.

John Davis is asking for a liquor and entertainment license to open a Cuban-themed restaurant at the former Rok Bar & Grill in the building and has promised to spend $1.5 million to renovate the structure and install a host of sound mitigation equipment and materials.

After getting a cool reception from the council in April, it appeared the request was about to be rejected earlier this month but a final vote was staved off at the eleventh hour by a conflicted Town Council President Michael Isaacs, who held the tie breaking vote and said he needed more time to decide.

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.

The applicant's lawyer, Stephen M. Litwin, was vexed by the council's actions, telling them he's never seen a local board seem so eager to punish an applicant for a previous establishment's actions. He also said the sale of the building to Davis and his business partners from the Marra family could be in jeopardy if there are any further delays in what had become a protracted discussion about the prevalence of live entertainment on Main Street.

Botello said all items that were on tonight's now-cancelled agenda will be heard on Monday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

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