Iconic Blue Grotto on Federal Hill closes its doors - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Iconic Blue Grotto on Federal Hill closes its doors

Posted: Updated:
 By: Alexandra Cowley 

acowley@abc6.com 

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training offering immediate help to at least 50 people who are now out of a job. This after two high end restaurants go out of business.

After thirty years, the iconic Federal Hill restaurant, Blue Grotto, is no more. The owner, also closing the doors at their other restaurant, Vintage, in Woonsocket. The abrupt closures have let customers and vendors scrambling.

Terry Tomasello and Tony Andreotti came to Federal Hill on Friday from Canton, Massachusetts. Excited to try out the Italian restaurant they heard so much about.

"It was listed as one of the best," said Tomasello. 

They got their to find the door locked and no one inside. It was a surprise, since the website said it was open.

"My goal is to try all of them and this was today's pick so it's a little disappointing," explained Tomasello.

Blue Grotto abruptly closed Thursday. Leaving some planned events, with no venue, and vendors looking for answers.

Andre Santiago works for the produce company which supplies food for Blue Grotto. His boss sent him to Federal Hill to collect money the company is owed.

"He just told me to pass by to see if we could collect a check because I guess they owe balance. So, I just came by to see obviously nobody is here its all empty," said Santiago.

Wendy Lin owns Nami, which is right next door. 

"I feel sad for the staff who worked there and I feel sad for the owners too," Lin said. 

Regulars who stroll Federal Hill say its closing is a huge loss.

"It's kind of a Rhode Island staple I guess. Its been here for many years so it's going to be kind of sad to walk by and not see the restaurant open anymore," said Olga Fernandes.

The Attorney General's Office has not received any filings for receivership from the owner.

If you have a Groupon, gift certificate, or scheduled event at either Blue Grotto, or its sister restaurant, Vintage in Woonsocket, you should file a complaint with their consumer protection unit. Our calls to the owner were never returned.

The Department of Labor and training is holding a rapid response orientation on Monday June 23rd for the employees effected by the restaurant closures. The Rhode Island Hospitality association will be helping to find new jobs for these people.

The event is at Network RI in Providence at 1:30 P.M.

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