Food News

March 2024


A neighborhood bake shop rises on the East Side

While living in Brooklyn, Mike and Rob Fitzhenry happened upon Providence a couple of years ago while returning a rental car. After a brief stop at KNEAD Doughnuts, and a drive down Blackstone Boulevard on a typical autumn afternoon, the couple decided the area would be the perfect place to relocate and open a bake shop on the Providence/Pawtucket line.

“You can expect refined, rustic, and homemade,” says Mike of watUlike. “Our specialties include simple country cakes in different flavors, our own variety of Ukrainian-Jewish babkas, scones, muffins, and some breads. We’ve also created a whole line of homemade candy bars that we’re really excited about.” The shop features a house-made retail section, with condensed milk spreads, sticky toffee pudding sauce, and peanut and almond butter. Housed in under 400 square feet, the bake shop offers takeout only, with a pickup window open seasonally. “We’ll have benches and small tables just outside the space,” adds Mike. “We’ll also have a walk-up window for disabled people or a family with a baby carriage.” Pawtucket, Facebook: watUlike


The return of a Providence BBQ institution

Originally established in 1973, Wes’ Rib House quietly reopened in late January under new ownership with word leaking out on social media that the beloved rib joint was back in business. The new team from the Crisp Restaurant Group also operates Providence Coal Fired Pizza. In addition to their famous ribs, the menu includes Southern fried chicken, vegan pulled pork, and fried catfish. “Wes’ was known for great food for a long time and we want to keep that tradition going,” says Aaron Jaehnig, an operating partner among those leading Wes’ 2.0. “We peeled the menu back to basics for now – straightforward family-style classic barbecue. We’re going to run a lot of specials and bring back crowd favorites as time goes on.”

Jaehnig is also booking music and comedy in the renovated upstairs listening room. “We’re trying to ease the pain of Dusk closing,” he notes, with many former employees of the venue joining the Wes’ team. Live entertainment is scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays for now, with expanded offerings going forward. Providence,


Head to South County for a can’t-miss foodie event

After taking a break in 2023, Narragansett Restaurant Week returns this spring, running March 22-29. Now in its 13th year, it’s one of the longest running restaurant weeks in the state. “I’m hearing a lot of enthusiasm about the week,” says Peg Fradette of the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce. “Our kickoff party is Thursday, March 21 with about 10-15 restaurants participating at The Towers in Narragansett. There will be food samples, drinks, and live music.” Expect to enjoy offerings from popular eateries like George’s of Galilee, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Coast Guard House, and other favorites.

“Winter can be a really difficult time for our restaurants. We are so lucky to have them stay open and viable,” says Fradette.  During the off-season months before Easter, the week of dining specials gives restaurants a boost and generates excitement for local foodies. “There’s something special about holding it at The Towers, seeing the ocean as we come out of winter and welcome spring. It’s very charming, warm, and inviting; it has a special vibe. People return year after year.”



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