There are only a few restaurants left in Rhode Island that feel truly like home. With Ocean State favorites like Veal Parmigiana and Baked Stuffed Scrod, the Country Inn in Warren was known for its friendly service, good food, and welcoming, sit-down-and-stay-awhile atmosphere. They always made all their guests feel like family. For 50 years, the restaurant greeted its patrons with hospitality and a full plate, but on November 12, without warning, the restaurant closed.
The note posted on the front door came as a shock to everyone, community and employees alike, including waitress and mother of four Morgan Kolaski, who worked at the town favorite for three years.
“I got a text at eight in the morning, Monday morning: ‘Country Inn is closed, ladies.’ No notice, no warning,” she recalls. In August, they had lost their General Manager, and at that point, Kolaski had her first inkling that something might be up. However, no answers came from management.
Many of the wait staff had worked at Country Inn for decades. The Jan Companies, owner of the restaurant plus other local franchises, has yet to reach out with a reason behind the eatery unexpectedly closing its doors. According to Kolaski, the closure of Country Inn was oddly timed: They had recently been busier, with more customers for dinner in the previous Saturday nights, following a period of slow lunches. “There are busy days and there are slow days, that’s just how it is in the restaurant business,” Kolaski explains.
Since the loss of the Inn, members of the community have voiced their collective shock and dismay on social media, sharing memories of dinners past. In a gesture of support, many restaurants around the state have hired the Inn’s now unemployed staff, including Skyline at Waterplace Park and Lauren’s Restaurant, where Kolaski now works as a waitress and bartender. Many of the old Country Inn regulars can now be found at other joints across Warren on Saturday nights, but still fondly remember their former gathering spot.