NARRAGANSETT – The Grinnell Inn and Riptides Restaurant have closed again.
After just two years in business, the bed and breakfast on Narragansett Avenue closed its doors on Labor Day.
The building’s tenants, Bob and Selena Lavoie, who ran the business, said a rent increase forced the closure.
“Our rent was doubled and we couldn’t make it through the winter,” Selena Lavoie said Monday.
Lavoie said she and her husband are looking into other opportunities, particularly a “pre-existing business” where they can do breakfast.
She wished to thank her customers who have frequented the business since it re-opened in June 2011.
“We will greatly miss our customers,” she said. “And the ‘loyalness’ of them.”
The Lavoies, two longtime Narragansett residents, took over the inn in March 2011 after it sat idle for more than a decade and underwent major renovations.
Stuart Tucker owns the building, located at 83 Narragansett Ave.
When reached Monday, he confirmed that the Lavoies’ rent did increase, but that they had signed a two-year lease, which was up, so he was free to increase the rent if he saw fit.
Tucker claimed that the Lavoies hadn’t paid their rent in five months.
When asked whether Tucker is seeking a new tenant for the property, he confirmed he is, and has had “a lot of people interested.”
He said he would like to keep the seven-room inn and 52-seat restaurant together and lease them to the same person or family.
“They’ve gotta be willing to work,” Tucker said of a potential new tenant. “The business is all about consistency and making it happen.”