NARRAGANSETT – Popular Point Judith restaurant and bar Charlie O’s Tavern seemingly closed permanently this week. The establishment, located at 2 Sand Hill Cove Road, has not opened its doors since the beginning of the week, with a sign posted to the front door noting the restaurant’s closure and an accompanying tag stating water to the restaurant has been shut off. Multiple requests for comment were not returned by owner Chris Simon.
According to Narragansett Acting Town Manager and Chief of Police Sean Corrigan, Simon had indicated to a police officer on Sunday night his intent to close the business permanently. However, as of Thursday morning, no official filing of the restaurant’s closure exists with the town, though notification to the town of a business closure is not required by the municipality, according to the manager’s office.
The sign posted to the restaurant’s front door, written on computer paper in black Sharpie, reads, “Closed today. Thanks - Mgmt.” Calls to the business result in a busy signal and its Facebook page was recently deleted.
Charlie O’s Tavern was established in 1990 by then-owner Charlie Samaras. The restaurant went on to juggle multiple identities as a family restaurant touting a comforting menu and atmosphere and a popular location for local college students to mingle during nights and on weekends. In 2006, Samaras sold the business to Simon.
A recent Facebook post from Carl Point, who said he was a bartender at Charlie O’s, indicated the restaurant had closed for good.
“Well, after 25 years, Charlie O’s finally served its last lemon drop,” wrote Point earlier this week. “Thanks to all the great patrons over the years. If [anyone] knows of a place needing some good, honest, hard-working bartenders, let me know.”
Others also joined in on the social media mourning.
“Charlie O’s Tavern meant a lot to me,” said Jesse James Histen in a Facebook post on June 2. “Working there for the better part of a decade taught me more than any college education or any book ever could. Thank you Chris Simon and Erin Simon for giving me the opportunity all those years ago. Simon, you were a great mentor for all those years, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors. Also, thanks to all my former co-workers for fighting the battles every night and to all our customers. Charlie O’s is done, but never forgotten!”
A slew of comments on Histen’s post share a similar sentiment. Others, elsewhere on social media, said the restaurant’s quality had declined in recent years and they were eager to see another restaurant open in its place.
Many on social media have speculated the business’ sudden closure is financially motivated. In 2017, the Town of Narragansett initially denied a renewal of the establishment’s liquor license due to its second floor event space being out of compliance with local fire code. The second floor, said the fire department at the time, must have an up-to-date sprinkler system if large gatherings were to be hosted there. At the time, Simon told the Narragansett Times a new water system would cost anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000. A deal was made that Simon would discontinue the use of the second-floor space and utilize it only for storage. Simon consented to these terms and the town reinstated the establishment’s liquor license. At the time, Simon said he was in the process of “refinancing.”