EAST PROVIDENCE — The plans of noted city restauranteur Albertino Milho made up the bulk of the actions undertaken by the East Providence City Council during its latest meeting Tuesday night, Sept. 4, in the City Hall Chamber.
Mr. Milho, owner-operator of the Madeira Restaurant complex on Warren Avenue, recently purchased the property located at 28 Water St. with plans to convert the former Oyster House Restaurant/Banquet facility into two distinct new venues.
According to the meeting minutes provided by City Clerk Kim Casci, the first floor of the two-story building adjacent to the Seekonk River will be called “Al’s Place” and serve as a daily drinking and dining establishment. Plans are to call the second floor space the “Waterfront Banquet Hall,” the name describing its use as a larger gathering spot.
The Council took up six licenses total involving Mr. Milho’s proposed ventures: one for each floor in regards to total operations, including the serving of food and beverages, another for dance/entertainment in both and a third for the two businesses to each service a capacity of 50 people or more.
Those licenses passed on a unanimous vote.
Another, more contentious argument, however, took place between the councilors involving parking issues at Mr. Milho’s current Madeira operation.
Ward 2 representative Bruce Rogers, the Council president and ceremonial mayor, attempted to introduce ordinances at a previous recent Council meeting seeking to convert Oakley Street at the rear of the Madeira property into a one-way drive and also allow parking on both of its sides.
Those measures were tabled until last Tuesday’s meeting on the usual 3-2 vote, though with a slight alteration. Instead of voting in the consistent majority with Mr. Rogers and Ward 3 Councilor Thomas Rose, the ceremonial assistant mayor, Ward 1 Councilor Katie Kleyla sided with counterparts William Conley, At-Large, and Michael DiGioia, Ward 4.
This time around, as they were originally, Mr. Conley and Mr. DiGioia remained in opposition to both ordinances. Ms. Kleyla, though, returned to her usual form by voting with Mr. Rogers and Mr. Rose on approving the conversion of Oakley into a one-way street.
Again, however, Ms. Kleyla later caucused with Mr. Conley and Mr. DiGioia to table the matter of allowing parking on both sides of the street. Ms. Kleyla recommended the Council get a report on the matter from the Zoning Department, the results of which are expected to be ready in time to put the Oakley Street parking measure back on the City Council docket for its Tuesday, Sept. 18, meeting.