3 restaurants announce closures over Thanksgiving weekend

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The holiday season brought no tidings of joy for three Warwick restaurants, as all three announced via their Facebook pages over the weekend that they would be closing their doors soon or effective as of this week.

The Remington House Inn in Apponaug, Christopher’s Landing in Oakland Beach and Shoreline Pizza in Conimicut all announced over the weekend of their impending closures.

“The Remington House Inn will be closing its doors on Friday Nov. 30,” read the message posted on their Facebook page on Saturday, Nov. 24. “Please come and join us here in this final week for food, fun and crafted cocktails. We want to thank you all for 18 wonderful years. It’s been an amazing journey and we wish all of you the best in your future endeavors and again thank you for help making The Remington House Inn the warm welcoming place it is.”

As of press time on Monday, nearly 500 people had reacted to the post. The restaurant had amassed 2,778 likes and had a 4.5 out of 5 rating based on 379 reviews on Facebook and a 4.1 out of 5 rating on Google based on 130 reviews. Comments ranged from saddened disbelief and well wishes towards the ownership to those wondering if gift certificates would still be accepted until the 30th – they will be accepted, in case you were wondering.

Many openly asked what happened that would cause the popular restaurant to close down. A call to owner Mike Berek went un-returned, as did a Facebook message. However, within the comments the Remington Inn page responded to a sad patron, saying simply that, “The owners are moving on to different endeavors.”

In the case of Christopher’s Landing, owner John Xynellis was much more candid in a phone interview on Monday following a post that went out on Facebook, also on Nov. 24, that simply said, “As of tonight Christopher’s will close its doors for the last time. Thank you to all our great friends who supported us.”

“This is a beautiful restaurant. It was a dream to own a place like this. But ultimately, I think this [building] shouldn't be a restaurant,” Xynellis said, saying that the building would be better off being developed into condos or some other non-restaurant use. “Four or five other guys tried to do this here, and I don’t think any of them made it more than two years.”

Opening last May, Xynellis said the restaurant enjoyed a prosperous first summer thanks to the massive amount of boating traffic and summer crowds that frequent the Oakland Beach area. However, that interest dwindled in the fall and fell mostly dead in the winter time. Even when the hot season came around again this year, the interest was just a fraction of the first summer.

“This place has so much going against it, it's crazy,” he said, pointing out the difficulties in the restaurant’s location, in addition to the popularity of neighboring business, Iggy’s. “It got to the point where I owe so much money, I couldn't pay my bills.”

All told Xynellis – who owned the former Norwood Grill on Post Road for about 10 years before deciding to leave that venture to open up Christopher’s – said he would be facing a loss of about $175,000 from the time he opened until making the decision to close. “It's not something that I wanted to do. But it's something you can only fight for so long,” he said.

Xynellis expressed disappointment, not blame, towards the city for what he perceived to be an ultimately futile attempt to get a small sign advertising the restaurant’s whereabouts erected at the intersection of Oakland Beach Avenue and Suburban Parkway. The effort lasted more than a year and included working with both the Scott Avedisian and Joseph Solomon administrations.

At first Xynellis was told the spot – near a RIPTA bus stop – was city property, and he lobbied city officials for the sign to no avail. Then he was told it was RIPTA property. Through RIPTA, Xynellis seemed to be gaining progress towards getting his sign, until he was once again told after three months of communications with the state that the property did indeed belong to the city.

“It was like running into a brick wall. It wasn't going anywhere,” he said.

Xynellis said he and his staff would put up flyers and temporary signs in public spaces around the area to drum up interest, but that those signs would be torn down or mysteriously missing shortly after being put up. He didn’t wager any assumptions as to what happened to them.

Despite kids eat free deals, budget-priced alcohol and weekly specials for Patriots games, the business ran deep into the red, ultimately forcing the closure.

“Ultimately it is my mistake, but the city could have helped me out a lot more than they did,” Xynellis said.

The city Department of Tourism, Culture and Economic Development did not have a response to inquiries about Xynellis’s difficulties acquiring a sign, but they sent a statement regarding the business climate in Warwick.

“Warwick has welcomed many new restaurants over the past several months including Vanda, BJ’s, Apponaug Brew Pub, and soon Sonic on Bald Hill Road, to name a few,” the statement read. “This is all part of the cycle that we have seen before.  We have vibrant attractive places for retail and eateries, and the real estate here in Warwick is highly valued.”

Shoreline Pizza did not respond to a Facebook message request for comment on their closure, which they posted on Nov. 23, thanking patrons for the last five years of business.

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Justanidiot

good riddance

Tuesday, November 27
CrickeeRaven

"This is all part of the cycle that we have seen before," says Mayor Solomon's Tourism, Culture and Economic Development department.

It's also typical for food establishments, no matter where they are.

Anyone trying to argue that Warwick's business sector is somehow worse off than others, or in poorer shape than it has been in the past, would be doing so in complete denial of these facts.

Tuesday, November 27
Justanidiot

we had the chace to erect master mayer who would have personnally seen to it that no business closed and that every new business to the state would have opened in warwick.

Tuesday, November 27
richardcorrente

First, regardless as to what Carroulo (AKA CrickeeRaven) will accuse me of, I do NOT hold Mayor Solomon accountable for these and other businesses leaving Warwick. However, he DOES have the ability to attract more to Warwick and could help prevent other businesses from leaving. Legal Seafoods left their long-time Post Road location and relocated to Cranston into a brand new building in Garden City. I spoke to a man who stated "It was a no brainer. Better location; better, newer building; lower overhead." If taxes were less on Post Road, commercial rents would also be less and the number of businesses would increase. Jobs would increase. Total tax revenue would also increase. Basic economics. I have long-proposed "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending". Total tax revenue would increase if Warwick did. Drive through Garden City. That is a perfect example of how lowering taxes created an increase to total tax revenue. Mayor Solomon understands this much better, in my opinion, than his predecessor. It is my hope that he succeeds where Avedisian failed miserably. If he does the result will be less taxes for the rest of us.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, November 27
CrickeeRaven

No one accused the two-time election reject of anything, as he continues to falsely accuse a former city staffer of using this screen name.

His empty slogans failed, twice, as will his continued pathetic and futile attempts to say anything that is relevant to the actual growth in the Warwick business sector.

Since he lost his former residence to tax sale, he now has the opportunity to relocate to Cranston, which he clearly prefers to the city where overwhelming majorities of honest, taxpaying voters rejected his candidacy twice.

Tuesday, November 27
Justanidiot

master mayer trickle on economics. 'nuf said

Tuesday, November 27
Cat2222

I don't think Warwick is any more susceptible to the ebb and flow of restaurants. The average lifespan of a restaurant is only 5 years.

“Both Perry Group International and The Restaurant Brokers have completed studies on the average life span of restaurants. Their results are slightly different but show the same trend. The Perry Group study concluded that most restaurants close during their first year of operation. Seventy percent of those that make it past the first year close their doors in the next three to five years. Ninety percent of the restaurants that are still operating past the five-year mark will stay in business for a minimum of 10 years. The Restaurant Brokers’ study, the only one to make a distinction between chain and independent restaurants, concluded that up to 90 percent of independent establishments close during the first year, and the remaining restaurants will have an average five-year life span.” (https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/average-life-span-restaurant-6024.html)

I don't think we should look for any deeper meaning for the Remington House closing than what the owner has already stated. The restaurant was clearly popular and had good reviews so it the owners are just moving on.

I totally agree that it is next to impossible to make a success right next to Iggy's. Nothing has lasted. The traffic and parking situation makes it less desirable than stopping somewhere else on one of the main roads in Warwick.

I never tried Shore Line pizza. I didn’t know it was even there! If they advertised, I certainly didn’t see it. It was never recommended on Facebook by other patrons on best pizza in Warwick, so it is possible that it is closing because it just didn’t hit the mark.

Does the business climate in Warwick have something to do with them closing? I am not sure I would pin this one on the Mayor. Not when we have 4 news ones open to the 3 that are closing. It appears as if there are many obstacles to running a successful, long-term restaurant (anywhere in the country) from the moment they open their doors. It takes a very brave person to tackle this type of endeavor!

Tuesday, November 27
CrickeeRaven

You make several very astute points, Cat, in extreme contrast to the two-time election reject. Food service is, at best, a challenging industry, independent of location.

He also ignores the fact that in 2017, Warwick's commercial tax rate was lower than Cranston's -- including Garden City: $30.36 vs. $34.41.

Here's the link to that information: http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2017-Tax-Rates-12-31-16-FINAL.pdf

His imaginary conversation with "a man" aside, the two-time election reject is judging Mayor Solomon on barely six months in office while saying Mayor Avedisian "failed" when the truth about his 18 year tenure is the complete opposite.

Thank you, Cat for providing a factual and well-considered opinion that once again shows how defective the two-time election reject's statements are.

Tuesday, November 27
WwkVoter

The above post is a perfect example of why corrente the tax cheat got slaughtered in the last two elections...

He applies snake oil logic to a current event and of course paints himself as the one with the solution.

In this case, Legal Seafoods would never have stayed with any reasonable amount of local commercial tax relief. The local taxes relative to Cranston's, or even relative to no taxes, are such a small proportion of their balance sheet as to be insignificant to such a major decision as location. Garden City has always been a nice destination and really had a renaissance lately, good for them! And it's not city hall that did all of that, sometimes economy just happens...

But corrente, in another burst of intellectual self-abuse, decides to mock up some false logic and paint himself as a savior, despite the REALITY that the voters didnt buy any of his TOTAL BS for a nanosecond.

Tuesday, November 27
FASTFREDWARD4

I promise my wife that I would keep my cool .

Wednesday, November 28
CrickeeRaven

But, WwkVoter! The two-time election reject spent money on two disastrous losing campaigns!

And you use a screen name! So clearly, you're the one who's wrong.

[That's sarcasm, for anyone who missed it.]

Actually, your point is 100% correct, that business owners consider many factors in whether they will locate in one community or another -- and taxes are near the bottom of the list.

From reading the article [something the two-time election reject clearly didn't do], we see that Christopher's Landing suffered from an inability to put up appropriate signage -- not taxes.

Remington House closed because the owners are "moving on to other endeavors" -- not taxes.

Even his anonymous "man" said that Legal Sea Foods moved because of "better location, better, newer building, lower overhead" -- not taxes.

But don't take my word for that -- let's look at the actual data and verifiable information about the former location of Legal Sea Foods. Here's the link to the property listing on the city tax assessor website: http://gis.vgsi.com/warwickri/Parcel.aspx?Pid=32427

And here's what an honest review of the facts shows:

- The property at 2099 Post Road was purchased in March of this year by PHM Providence LLC, meaning Legal Sea Foods did not own the building [and thus didn't pay property taxes].

- It was previously owned by Johnson & Wales -- here's the link to the property listing on the city tax assessor website: http://gis.vgsi.com/warwickri/Parcel.aspx?Pid=32427

- The taxes have gone down on that property.

The next two links, respectively, show the tax rates in effect for FY18 and FY15 for all Rhode Island communities:

http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2017-Tax-Rates-12-31-16-FINAL.pdf

http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2014-Tax-Rates-12-31-13-FINAL.pdf

The FY18 tax bill, based on the 2017 assessment of $2,040,000 and FY18 tax rate of $30.36, is $61,934. In 2015, the assessment on the property was $2,154,800 and the tax rate was $30.09, for a tax bill of $64,837. [That's $2,903 less.]

In FY15, the same property would have had a tax bill of almost $74,000 in Cranston, where the commercial tax rate was $34.26. The FY18 tax bill would be $70,200 based on Cranston's $34.41 tax rate -- meaning the taxes in Warwick are $8,266 less than in Cranston for a similar property in FY18.

Let me repeat that: The taxes in Warwick are less -- not more.

So, WwkVoter, let's review the two-time election reject's claim: Higher taxes drove Legal Sea Foods out of Warwick. As is so typical for him, it's a lie.

Taxes on a similarly-assessed property in Warwick are less than in Cranston. Legal Sea Foods moved to have a new building in a new location -- not to reduce its tax bill.

Based on this and all of his other claims that have fallen apart under scrutiny, it's no surprise that, as you correctly note, an overwhelming majority of honest, taxpaying voters rejected the two-time election loser's empty slogans and delusional ideas -- twice -- as a direct result of his defects as a candidate.

Wednesday, November 28
Justanidiot

weather you own or lease or rent, you pay the property tax. The owners pass that along.

Wednesday, November 28
CrickeeRaven

Justanidiot, I'm sure the tricksplayer mayer will love seeing your comment and will claim that it somehow proves his talking point that even children pay taxes.

But the two-time election reject's claim was that Warwick's taxes directly affected these businesses' decisions to move or close. They didn't, because the tenants weren't directly paying them.

And if the property goes vacant, it's the owner who's responsible for paying the tax bill, not the tenant.

I was entertained by your comment, though.

Wednesday, November 28
justanidiot

cr. It is indeed the owner that is responsible, it is why I wonder how so many places can sit empty for so long without a tenant. The owner is losing money to the city who doesn't know how to spend it.

Wednesday, November 28
CrickeeRaven

Points taken, JAI. You also raise an excellent question, one that I can only guess at answering.

I would think that it's a top priority of commercial property owners to keep them occupied, and that there are more factors than just their intention to make money off their properties that determine whether that happens.

In some cases, out-of-town entities let the properties sit vacant, probably to write them off as tax deductions because of depreciation; in other cases, maybe there's no capital to improve the property; and in others, maybe the location's just wrong.

So, there are as many possibilities to explain it as there are property owners and businesses.

Again, though, really good question.

Wednesday, November 28
justanidiot

cr, do we need to get the big brains of the master mayer onto this? Can we afford his think tank?

Thursday, November 29
CrickeeRaven

JAI, we already know everything we need to know about the two-time election reject's ideas when it comes to businesses: He wants to give new businesses a tax rebate that everyone else will pay for until it magically attracts new companies; he wants to cut spending but never identifies exactly what he would cut; and says that Warwick's taxes are higher than Cranston's when that is not, factually, the case.

So to answer your question: No, we can not afford the two-time election reject's ideas on business.

Thursday, November 29
richard corrente

Dear Readers,

Taxes in Cranston are less than Warwick. That is a fact. (as any Realtor). My critics will try to get you to believe otherwise, but they lie. They use fake names so they don't have to be accountable. I am accountable, therefore I don't have the need to hide like they do. The taxes in any city are based on three things. The assessed value (something that Warwick has widespread variances on), the tax rate, and the percent-of-tax-assessed value used. Combine all these confusing factors and cities and towns are able to claim they are saving taxpayers money when they really are NOT. Look at the bottom line. Go to Zillow. Find 2 comparative properties, commercial or residential, and I promise the taxes will be less in the Cranston property. That is why, in my opinion, Warwick is losing population (5,800 in the last ten years according to the U.S. Census) and Cranston is gaining.

Now, if my "loyal" critics want to dispute my numbers and call me lies like a "tax cheat" I don't give a damn. They don't have the courage to speak unless it is from the shadows of a fake name. They don't exist in the real world. They are afraid of it. In the real world, they would have to be accountable. Cowards.

But they keep giving my ideas massive publicity even as they condemn and complain about my every comment. For that I thank them, whoever they are.

Merry Christmas cowardly CrickeeRaven (AKA Mark Carruolo)

Merry Christmas cowardly Cat2222.

Merry Christmas cowardly WwkVoter.

Merry Christmas cowardly FASTFREDWARD4.

Merry Christmas (sincerely) to Justanidiot, my old friend.

Merry Christmas readers.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, November 29
CrickeeRaven

Honest, intelligent, taxpaying readers know that every comment by the two-time election reject is simply another list of lies.

- "Taxes in Cranston are less than Warwick."

Lie. Warwick's residential property tax rate is $20.24, Cranston's is $22.94. Warwick's commercial tax rate is $32.12, Cranston's is $34.41.

- "My critics will try to get you to believe otherwise..."

Lie. This is not the word of "critics." This is information published by the Rhode Island Division of Municipal Finance, right here, online for anyone to see: http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2017-Tax-Rates-12-31-16-FINAL.pdf

- "They use fake names so they don't have to be accountable."

Lie. All data provided are publicly available and easily verifiable. That is the definition of accountable.

- "I am accountable..."

Lie. The two-time election reject has willingly ignored all information that disproves his claims, and has instead simply continued to repeat them, long after they have been disproven. That is the definition of inaccountable.

- "The taxes in any city are based on three things. The assessed value (something that Warwick has widespread variances on), the tax rate, and the percent-of-tax-assessed value used. Combine all these confusing factors..."

Lie. Both Cranston and Warwick use 100% of assessed value in determining taxes on property. Anyone can take the tax rate, multiply it by the assessed value, and divide by 1,000 to determine the tax bill on a property. There is nothing "confusing" about this; the two-time election reject is looking to fool readers.

- "Go to Zillow. Find 2 comparative properties, commercial or residential, and I promise the taxes will be less in the Cranston property."

Lie. As already shown, two properties assessed at the same value (the definition of "comparative") will pay lower taxes in Warwick than in Cranston. He also does not provide any examples to prove his claim.

- "That is why, in my opinion, Warwick is losing population (5,800 in the last ten years according to the U.S. Census) and Cranston is gaining."

Lie. Warwick has not lost 5,800 residents in 10 years. The U.S. Census web page on Warwick reports a 2010 population in Warwick of 82,655 and a 2017 population of 80,871, a difference of less than 2,000: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/warwickcityrhodeisland

- "Now, if my "loyal" critics want to dispute my numbers and call me lies like a "tax cheat" I don't give a damn."

Lie. He continues to comment on this website and repeat his lies. The term is "tax delinquent" because he lost his prior residence to tax sale, which he confirmed himself to the Beacon.

- "But they keep giving my ideas massive publicity even as they condemn and complain about my every comment."

Lie. Every time the two-time election reject's claims are disproven in their only forum, this website, more and more honest, taxpaying readers further understand his delusional and false statements, and see him for the liar that he is.

- "CrickeeRaven (AKA Mark Carruolo)"

Lie. The two-time election reject has done nothing to confirm his claim, as proven by the fact that he continues to repeat this false accusation. If he were not a coward, he would call this person directly and learn the truth.

- "The Taxpayers Mayor"

Lie. The two-time election reject earned fewer than 2,000 votes in 2018 after losing 65 to 35% in 2016. He is no one's mayor, nor does he represent any taxpayers.

Honest, taxpaying voters will enjoy their culture's winter holidays even more knowing that they kept the two-time election reject far away from elected office, ensuring that his lies will have no effect whatsoever on the city.

Thursday, November 29
CrickeeRaven

Here is a link to additional U.S. Census information which shows the actual year-to-year population change for Warwick: https://bit.ly/2slKIKd

This link gives a 2007 population figure of 85,085, or 4,215 more than the 2017 Census figure -- not 5,800.

For all his accusations, it is the two-time election reject who is lying about basic facts that anyone can confirm on their own.

Thursday, November 29
Mike02886

Since there is a fake Mayor, would somebody like to claim the title of " The Tax Payers King or Queen"? Tax Payers President? Leader of the Tax Payers? Prime Minister of Tax Payers? Or each individual area can have its own Ruler of the Tax Payers; Tax Payers Leader of Lockwood or Tax Payers Sultan of Shaumut. Lets come up with some more so Dick can finally realize what a TOOL and embarrASSment he is to the City.

Friday, November 30
CrickeeRaven

Watch out, Mike, the two-time election reject might start calling you "cowardly" and attacking you for using a screen name.

As you've seen, though, that hasn't stopped the rest of us from presenting the facts about him -- as I'm sure it will not stop you.

What's most pathetic to me -- and there is a long, long list of pathetic things about him -- is that he will write a long-winded comment that amounts to, basically, nothing.

"Go to Zillow." "Ask any realtor."

Those are his answers when confronted with public information and basic logic.

"My critics use screen names."

That's his answer when his words have been completely disproven by that information.

"They're cowards."

That's his answer when he won't clearly answer for his own repeated lies (because he can't).

His fake title is his way of giving himself some kind of credibility -- which, as you rightly note, is absurd.

I do appreciate your suggestion about people giving themselves titles, but I think it's far more effective to leave the two-time election reject to willingly humiliate himself through his disgraceful behavior. It's just one more way that he's proven the contrast between him and our honest, taxpaying neighbors.

Friday, November 30
Cat

Better to be labeled a coward by the guy that thinks he can make believe his way into elected office in Warwick than to be someone that is a fraud, incapable of factual research and likes to yell at women to shut up when they are speaking. Who really isn't living in reality here?

Friday, November 30
CrickeeRaven

I'm with you, Cat. Seeing the two-time election reject call people names is all the proof I need that we've been right about him all along. He's tried making threats, yelling, distracting people, and simply repeating his false statements, so now all he has left is juvenile insults.

None of it has worked.

The facts remain the facts; he has lost two elections in increasingly humiliating fashion; and no one considers him at all credible on any topic.

All of this effort he's been wasting just proves that he's the last person to realize that -- and, as we know, he's compounded his already-proven defects as a candidate by constructing this fantasy world where people tell him he's right.

I'd almost feel bad for him, if he showed a shred of self-awareness about his pathetic behavior.

But I don't, because he hasn't.

Friday, November 30
justanidiot

formerly the two time candidate for mayer.

eyes have herd that he is gearing up for a big run next time them mayorship is open.

his campaign is going to be yuge. we will all benefit from the lower taxes and less spending. especially the youngest taxpayers. dey will be able to concenttrate on kindergarten and not have to worry dat there is 132 kindygarteners in one class rum

Friday, November 30
Patient Man

I'd be curious as to the effect of the increasing minimum effect on the restaurant industry. It doesn't necessarily seem to have been a factor in these closings.

Saturday, December 1
Cat2222

Patient Man,

I saw a few articles that reviewed research done in both Seattle and San Francisco as to how the rise of minimum wage affects the businesses.

UC Berkeley Study - Seattle's minimum wage at $13 and soon to be $15 in 2021. Their results showed that wages increased while employment remained the same. If this study is to be trusted, one would conclude that minimum wage increases up to $13 does not have a substantial impact on restaurant employment.

Univ. of Washington Study - They looked at more than just the food service industry in Seattle. They found that hours worked in low-wage jobs dropped by around 9%, which was a drop big enough for there to be more overall money lost than money gained from the increase in wages. This means that there are not only less jobs, but workers are on average earning less money and putting less in the economy. According to this study, an increase to a $13 minimum wage has a devastating impact on low-wage workers.

Luca Study - They found that increases in minimum wage did affect the overall shut down rate of restaurants. According to their data, a 10% increase in minimum wage corresponds to around a 7% increase in restaurant shut downs. Interestingly, they found that a restaurant’s Yelp rating also significantly affected the likelihood of a restaurant shutting down after the wage increases. While low-rated restaurants were more likely to shut down, high rated restaurants were hardly affected.

As you stated, I don't think that it had any real affect on the restaurants that have closed here in Warwick. The industry is tough and longevity is hard to come by. We may have lost a few good ones but hopefully we will get to try some new restaurants that have great food and atmosphere.

Monday, December 3