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RetroBlast

RetroBlast- Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House

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With locations in Warwick and Narragansett, Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House is one of Rhode Island’s most well-loved seafood spots. It all began when the restaurant’s founder, Gaetano Gravino, started picking up shifts at a doughboy shack located on Oakland Beach. When the chance came to buy the shack in 1989, Gravino quickly jumped at the opportunity, and thus, Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House was born.

After several years of running Iggy’s, Gravino eventually passed away leaving his son, David, to carry on the legacy. Having made a promise to his father to preserve the family business prior to his passing, David made it his mission to keep the original spirit of the shack alive no matter what. Just as his father was driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, David was constantly seeking new ways to grow the business. David believed that Iggy’s could be more than just a shack. He had a greater vision in mind for the Iggy’s brand.

In 1999, a dining room was added to the Warwick doughboy shack, and in 2000, the Narragansett location opened its doors. Flash forward to 2008, and the original shack in Warwick was renovated from the ground up. Its new aesthetic had a classic New England feel, honoring its Rhode Island roots while complimenting the delicious seafood sold at Iggy’s quite well. Several years later in 2015, Iggy’s expanded once again with the construction of The Boardwalk Restaurant in Warwick, a completely new establishment in Narragansett, and an ice cream shop, Iggy’s Creamery.

Although Iggy’s has come a long way since its days as a small doughboy shack, the essence of the original Iggy’s is very much alive and thriving. Just as in 1989, the red chowder maintains its spot on the menu and is still a favorite among guests. Over the years, Iggy’s has received considerable praise for its flavorful food, earning spots on lists like USA Today’s “Best Clams in Rhode Island” and msn.com’s “America’s Best Seafood Shacks.” Despite the business’s wild success thus far, Iggy’s remains a work in progress and will continue to grow and transform for years to come.

Come try our chowder out for yourself! Both our Warwick and Narragansett locations are open for the season. Visit https://www.iggysri.com/ for more information.

Retro Blast – The Towers

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The Towers
35 Ocean Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island

The Towers is a historic structure located in Narragansett, Rhode Island. It is the only remnant of the Narragansett Pier Casino built in the 1880s. This casino was the center of social life in Narragansett during the late 19th century. The Casino rivaled the Newport Casino’s popularity as a resort for the social elite until it burned down in 1900. The Narragansett Casino was a great example of Victorian Shingle style architecture, designed by McKim, Mead, and White. The Casino offered a variety of sports, including boating, tennis, billiards, bowling, cards, and shooting, restaurants, stores, reading rooms a theatre, a bandstand, a ballroom, and of course a beautiful beach.

The Casino burned down during the Great Fire of September 12, 1900. That horrible day, a fire broke out in the neighboring Rockingham Hotel. The flames spread quickly to the Casino, leaving only the granite walls of The Towers standing. More recently, Hurricane Sandy has uncovered the foundation and part of the old boardwalk belonging to the old casino that had been buried by sand.

Today, these famous Towers have survived numerous fires, nor’easters, and hurricanes, yet they still remain standing. They symbolize an almost magical reputation for indestructibility, Narragansett’s good luck symbol. The Towers currently host weddings, dances, dinners, plays, and fashion showers. It is an incredible venue for any social event! There are events happening all year long, check out what’s coming up: https://www.thetowersri.com/events/!

Stadium Theatre- RetroBlast

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The Stadium Theatre and Conservatory has been a fan favorite since it was founded in 1926. Given its name because of the stadium-style seating, founder, Arthur Darman, wanted every patron to feel as if they had the best seat in the house. In the beginning, the Stadium Theatre had three shows a day, seven days a week, equipped with a twelve-piece orchestra. Stars from all over came to Woonsocket, Rhode Island be part of the Stadium Theatre culture. The rise of movie theatres led to the closure in 1990 until local citizens banded together to create the S.O.S (Save Our Stadium) fund which raised enough money to save the theatre.

With the community volunteering and donating, the Stadium Theatre was able to be restored over time, with many new programs and venues. From offering full plays such as Les Misérables, with the entire volunteer cast, to implementing programs for the youth to develop their passion for the theater and arts at a young age to offering rentals of their elegant rooms, the Stadium Theatre has it all. They were able to expand and add a 30,000 square foot building, deemed as the Stadium Conservatory. This is home to space for costume designing, set and prop building, rehearsals, and classes. The Stadium Theatre and Conservatory is loved by all residents of Rhode Island and hopes to bring many more years of joy through theater and the arts.

Visit their website at stadiumtheatre.com or give them a call at 401-762-4545 to see their services or to check out a list of upcoming shows. They have multiple productions every month, with something perfect for everyone. You won’t want to miss out!

Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre
28 Monument Square, Woonsocket, RI 02895
401-762-45458

Ski Shop Plus

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Around for more than 40 years, Ski Shop Plus is one of Rhode Islands’ best and most experienced ski shops. Opening in 1979, Ramona and her dad, Vilnis, wanted to be another choice for winter sports needs. Located in North Smithfield, Ski Shop Plus has been around for over four decades, they have seen it all and offer top quality service.

They offer a wide variety of ski and snowboard equipment and offer any needed assistance when choosing the perfect product. Goggles, mittens, any winter clothing are all available as well to prepare you for any ski trip! Ski Shop Plus has a full-service workshop for any tuning and repairs, custom boot fitting, and rental skis and boards. Any questions can be answered ranging from how to get the right edge, what wax to use, where to ski, where to stay, directions to your favorite locations, and so much more!

Don’t want to commit to a purchase but still want to hit the slopes? Ski Shop Plus offers rentals for skis and snowboards, complete with poles and boots. This is the perfect way to try something new with your family this new year!

You can now order online with their new online store and use curbside pickup for contact-free service! If you’re going be on the slopes in the new year, make sure to check out Ski Shop Plus for all your needs, “Where the PLUS is the service!”

859 Eddie Dowling Highway
North Smithfield, RI 02896
https://theskishopplus.com/

Monday – Friday 11AM – 7PM
Saturday – 10AM – 5PM
Sunday – 11AM – 5PM

The Elms

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The Elms is a well-known mansion located at 367 Bellevue Avenue in Newport which was completed in 1901. The mansion cost around 1.5 million dollars to build back in the day and was designed by Philadlphia architect, Horace Trumbauer. The mansion was built for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Berwind. They lived in a smaller cottage in Newport for years and spent summers there, but they soon decided they wanted a larger space for their society parties.

The mansion was built of white limestone and had 50 rooms standing over three stories. From the outside, the mansion appears to be just two stories high, but a third is hidden behind the parapets that line the roof.

When The Elms was finished being built, the Berwind family celebrated with a large party. Roses adorned every corner of the interior, 400 guests gathered and orchestras played in the grounds. Mr. Berwind was the President of the Newport Country Club and he gained a reputation for hosting some of the best parties of the Gilded Age!

When both Mr. and Mrs. Berwind died, the home was left to Mrs. Berwind’s sister Julia. She died in 1961 and left The Elms to her sister’s son, Charles Dunlap. He was unable to maintain this gorgeous property and he sold it to developers based out of New York who intended on replacing it with a shopping center. An auction was held and all the furnishings were sold. Most of the valuable art went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When the stock market took a tumble in 1962, the Preservation Society of Newport County was able to purchase it and keep it from being destroyed.

From 1962, the Society opened its doors to the public as a house-museum and it remains one of the most popular in Newport! The home is even decorated beautifully during the holiday season!

Kays Restaurant

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Kay’s Restaurant has been one of Woonsocket’s hidden gems since it was first established in 1968. They started from humble beginnings, having just three sandwiches on the menu: steak, roast beef, and ham with a Lent offering of tuna. The restaurant has grown as time has passed, expanding its menu to 10 sandwiches that display on a unique cocktail napkin. This is largely thanks to their dedicated staff that has created a welcoming and comfortable environment.

Over 20 years ago, Roger “Kay” Caron, the original owner, sold the restaurant to Dave Lahousse, knowing he would take great care of the establishment for years to come. Since Dave became the owner, the standard menu has remained, with the addition of a special menu. You’re bound to find some unique and delicious specials on rotation all year ‘round!

Kay’s welcomes you in with its large horseshoe bar, spacious dining room, and a new outdoor patio featuring igloos to protect you from the cold! Wherever you decide to take a seat, Kay’s is great for catching up with friends and family.

Ask any Northern Rhode Island native and they will have a fond memory of a trip to Kay’s. If you have not had a chance to visit Kay’s do yourself a favor and grab a steak and cheese from the curbside pickup or enjoy a shrimp cocktail at the bar. You will not be disappointed!

1013 Cass Ave. Woonsocket, RI 02895
(401)762-9675
https://www.kaysrestaurant.com/

Monday – Wednesday:11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Kitchen closed one hour earlier.

Thursday – Saturday:11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closed one hour earlier.

Sunday:12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Retro Blast: The Rustic Tri View Drive In

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1195 Eddie Dowling Highway Route 146 South
North Smithfield, RI 02896
(401) 769-7601

The original Rustic Drive-In was built in 1951 during the “golden age of the automobile”, and became the hot spot for weekend fun! After hitting hard times during the 60s and 70s, Beverly and Clem Desmarais bought the Rustic Drive-In in 1986 and evolved it to a seasonal, family-oriented theater. They installed two additional screens, allowing for an increased capacity of people and a wider variety of movie selections. Their daughter Beth took over the family business, after their passing in 2001, and introduced the bargain of double features to draw in customers.

After twenty-two years of reviving the drive-in experience, the Desmarais family sold the Rustic Drive-In to the Boston Culinary Group. This privately owned food service company not only provided delicious movie snacks, but also fully managed and operated all aspects of the theaters. The Rustic is the last running Drive-In in the state of Rhode Island. The theater opens between the months of late April and late October, showing three double features options!

Grab your popcorn and enjoy a cinematic experience from the comfort of your car!

Olneyville New York System Restaurant

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In the early 1920’s, Nicholas Stevens and his father Anthony came to the United States from Greece and settled in Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn is where they operated a very popular candy shop. By the 1930’s, Nicholas and his family moved to Rhode Island and opened a small restaurant where they had a very limited menu, including hot weiners. Their business took off and they moved to a bigger space in 1953 at 20 Plainfield Street, which is the same location as today.

In 1981, this family run business was doing so well, that they decided to open a second location, which is 1012 Reservoir Ave in Cranston.

A hot wiener is closely associated with New York’s Coney Island. Although wieners served by New York Systems today have little resemblance to the traditional Coney Island hot dog, restaurant owners continue to use the name as a way to advertise this popular local cuisine. The traditional wiener is made with a small, thin hot dog made of beef, veal and pork, served in a steamed bun and topped with celery salt, mustard, onions and seasoned meat sauce. This isn’t just your typical hot dog, these are mouthwatering and so incredibly delicious!

You can have a hot wiener “all the way” for just $2.49! What does that exactly mean? It means you want it with all the toppings available. We recommend you get them all! You can add a coffee milk from Munroe Dairy and cheese fries and you will have yourself a full meal for very cheap.

The best part about Olneyville New York System is it is open all the time! Whether you want lunch, or a late-night 2 am snack, they are open and ready to serve you with smiles on their faces. They are open Sunday-Thursday 11 AM – 2 AM and Friday-Saturday 11 AM – 3 AM

There is no place like Olneyville New York System! Visit their website at olneyvillenewyorksystem.com.

Flying Horse Carousel, Watch Hill, RI

By | Inside Rhody, RetroBlast

When you first arrive to the beaches down in Watch Hill, the blue water and gorgeous scenery blow you away. You will realize that the area is more than just a beach town, it is a town filled with so much history and beauty.

The Flying Horse Carousel is a venue located down near the beach which attracts a crowd every day during the summer months. Back in 1883, a traveling circus came through the area and brought along items that would entertain children. When the show left town, they took everything with them except for the carousel. No one is certain to why the carousel was left behind, but the prevalent theory is that maintaining the carousel was extremely expensive and they were not interested in paying for the repairs any longer.

The Flying Horse Carousel was originally built in 1867 by Andrew Christian and Charles Dare Company, a group based out of NYC. The design is very unique and something you have never seen anywhere else in the country. The horses are suspended on chains, not poles like most versions you see today. Since the horses are on chains, it makes it feel like you are flying when riding it.

This unique piece of history has had its ups and downs. In 1938, a hurricane ripped through the area and the carousel was damaged. Horses were found buried in the sand dunes and pieces had to be replaced. In 1948, the wooden horses were fixed up by a local woman named Harriet Moore to ensure that the carousel would remain in tip-top shape for generations to come.In 1993, a local artists, Gary Anderson, was hired to refurbish the horses, and help make them look new again. The people of Watch Hill have taken this carousel under their wing and made it into their own.

The outside horses have a series of brass rings surrounding the carousel and if the rider can grab one of the rings, they get to ride again for FREE! Today, the carousel runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It only costs $1 to ride on the inside horses and $1.50 on the outside, allowing your children to experience a piece of history for almost free.

Next time you and your family take a ride to Watch Hill, be sure to test out the oldest continually running carousel in the United States! You won’t regret it.

Old Brick School House, Providence, RI

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The growing idea of promoting education to all in support of a free society was at the heart of this old brick schoolhouse. This building was completed in 1769 by John Smith and embodies a special kind of significance in the history of Providence. By 1800, this became one of the earliest public education systems.

Prior to the Old Brick School House being built, it was very common for families to home school their children or send them to private school. The School House is a representation of the struggles fought and faced by many residents of the area to create a new public school structure within a new and independent society.

Since its construction, the building has been used in many forms; as an arsenal during the Revolutionary War, a grammar school, a classroom space for Brown University, the first school for African American children supported by the city of Providence, a sewing and cooking school, a school for tubercular children, a school for children with disabilities, and today it is the office of the Providence Preservation Society. The variety of roles that this building has served is what makes it extra special.

The building is full of history and had been restored beautifully from the outside in. The Providence Preservation Society now owns it and took care of restoring it. You will find it standing tall with its gorgeous woodwork dated back to the 1700s. The front double staircase has also remained the same! There is so much beauty inside and it is by far one of the most important structures of Providence history.

Next time you are in Providence, be sure to drive by this gorgeous building!