Gristmill makes progress toward rebuilding

Dee DeQuattro

Construction is underway at the Old Gristmill Tavern after the building burned down in a fire last June.

The iconic Seekonk restaurant burned down after a Banana truck flipped over and triggered an explosion.

The owner Greg Esmay said that after getting the shell permit three weeks ago, the project has been underway and the restaurant is starting to shape up to look it did before the accident. “It's very encouraging,” said Esmay.

Esmay said the process has been slow-going because it has taken him a while to be approved for building permits. “It's amazing what you have to go through to put your building back,” said Esmay.

The roof of the building will be framed this week and by next week the structure should be intact. From there the progress will depend on the town's approval of the next permit and the money that is expected from the insurance company.

Esmay said he has received one insurance payment but other checks promised by the company have not come through and have stalled progress. He says he is determined to get the money and will not give up despite any discouraging setbacks.

If the project did not experience any more delays the restaurant could be ready for business by the end of the summer but Esmay says it is tough to tell.

Currently Esmay is using some of the profits he turns at his second restaurant the Wharf Tavern in Warren to help fund the rebuilding process. He says he is grateful for loyal Gristmill customers that have been frequenting his business and frequenting the Wharf Tavern. The Wharf Tavern was damaged in Superstorm Sandy but has since recovered.