E.P. Economic Commission backs latest Rabar food foray

Local chef and restauranteur plans Southern style eatery, “Honeybird Kitchen and Cocktails”

By Mike Rego
Posted 6/25/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Economic Development Commission, at its June meeting, approved a loan application request from renowned local chef and restauranteur Nick Rabar intended to …

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E.P. Economic Commission backs latest Rabar food foray

Local chef and restauranteur plans Southern style eatery, “Honeybird Kitchen and Cocktails”

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Economic Development Commission, at its June meeting, approved a loan application request from renowned local chef and restauranteur Nick Rabar intended to be used on his latest endeavor, “Honeybird Kitchen and Cocktails,” adjacent to the former Getty Oil tank farm on Massasoit Avenue.

The commission supported Mr. Rabar’s request seeking $99,999 for the “modern southern cuisine” eatery, which will be housed in the old gas station at the intersection of Massasoit and Dexter Road and is expected to open sometime in the fall.

According to the city’s chief economic planner Jim Moran, who guided the commission through the process, the loan allows “for the acquisition, construction and improvements of land, buildings, equipment, including new construction, substantial additions or renovations of existing facilities, demolition and site preparation. Loans for projects in manufacturing, processing, research and development and other commercial development activities.”

Mr. Rabar and his wife/partner Tracy, owners of “Avenue N” Restaurant at Rumford Center, are leasing the building from Dexter Road Associates LLC, which purchased both properties earlier this calendar, with a plan to renovate the 1,899-square foot structure.

The $99,999 figure represents the maximum allowable amount the commission can back on its own, Mr. Moran noted. Loans in the amount of $100,000 or greater require the approval of the City Council. Mr. Moran said the outlay to Mr. Rabar follows a recent trend of the commission to approve lending for restaurant uses.

Area developer John Savage is the lead investor in Dexter Road Associates. Mr. Savage’s name should be familiar to some. The attorney and area developer also owns other properties in the city. Mr. Savage redeveloped the former Standard Hardware and East Providence Community & Teachers Federal Credit Union location on Taunton Avenue. He also owns the Oxford Motorcare operation on 330 Waterman Ave.

The 8.77 acre parcel former Getty properties were initially put up for sale in late 2013 with an asking price of $1.5 million. The tanks were subsequently removed. At one time, it also included five other buildings.

At the June meeting of the East Providence Waterfront Commission, body chair and the city’s Planning and Economic Development Director Bill Fazioli noted representatives from Dexter Road Associates had met staffers to discuss proposed future subdivisions and concepts for the rest of the property with the idea of formally presenting their initial ideas to the respective overseers sometime soon.

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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.