Former Backroad Grille to get “Wings”


It’s gone from serving egg rolls to bar-b-que, and now the former Cathay Dragon and Backroad Grille it seems, will get its wings.

Last Wednesday, the town council considered a request made by Somerset, Mass. businessman, Charles D. Frizado, Jr., who plans to open a restaurant called ‘Wing-N-It’ specializing in chicken wings and other lighter fare. At Mr. Frizado’s request, the council unanimously approved the transfer of the Class B-V intoxicating beverage license and victualling license that was currently issued to Stephen Squatrito, former owner of Backroad Grille.

The restaurant includes a bar that seats six, as well as a dining area. Other than some décor changes and new menu offerings, Wing-N-It will likely remain the familiar building at the bottom of a steep driveway off Metacom Avenue.

Although beer and wine will be sold, the emphasis, said Mr. Frizado, will be on the food, with only a quarter of his revenue expected from alcohol sales.

Council chairwoman Mary Parella expressed her concern with the proposed 1 a.m. closing and the availability of alcohol, anticipating that students from nearby Roger Williams University will frequent the establishment.

As a compromise, Mr. Frizado agreed that the restaurant would not serve alcohol after midnight, all bartenders would be TIPS certified and they would be subject to a six month review.

Before the licenses are issued, outstanding debts will need to be cleared up by the former owner, including unpaid bills to Mello’s Fruitland, All American Foods and Flint Audio Video.

Mr. Frizado said he plans to open Wing-N-It by the second week in July.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.