Landlord demands Cranston restaurants halt outdoor dining

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — The owner of Revolution American Bistro said their summers have been booming ever since they started outdoor dining.

Now that his landlord wants outdoor dining to end, he’s not going down without a fight.

“We’ve been gearing up for a good summer outside, so have our neighbors, we have three restaurants that share the outdoor area, we have had great success with it over the last three years,” owner of Revolution Bistro Dean Scanlon said.

“We love it here, but instead we kind of have this looming negativity when we should be really celebrating 24 years in a wonderful vibrant community,” he continued.

According to Scanlon, his landlord, Anthony Albanese, sent a letter from his lawyer directing Revolution American Bistro, Fellini Pizzeria and Bagel Express and Deli to remove all outdoor dining equipment and furniture by April 15.

“It doesn’t really have to do with the conditions for the permanent zoning change, I think it has to do with a lease conflict that I have,” Scanlon stated.

He says he’s rejecting the latest lease proposal from Albanese, which his lawyer, Steve Conti said in a statement that the proposed increase in rent would fund parking lot upgrades.

The restaurants have had outdoor dining located in a parking lot since May 2020 as a part of the state’s “take it outside” initiative during the pandemic.

“We’ve grown community development out here that has gained a lot of popularity,” Scanlon said.

The request to move outdoor dining comes after Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill allowing restaurants to continue the “take it outside” initiative until February 2024.

Albanese’s lawyer said his clients and tenants were allowed to use the parking lot for dining without compensation during the pandemic and argues now there’s a lack of parking spaces for other tenants.

Scanlon said he has since started an online petition that has over 600 signatures.

Categories: Cranston, News, Regional News, Rhode Island