The original sign for Charlie O's Tavern has been repurposed at the newly opened Charlie O's Tiki Tavern at George's of Galilee. Charlie O's, a local restaurant staple, closed its doors permanently in 2019.

Charlie O's owner and founder, Charlie Samaras (middle), celebrates the opening of the Charlie O's Tiki Tavern.

NARRAGANSETT – A piece of Narragansett history will rest permanently at George’s of Galilee, as the local restaurant recently unveiled The Charlie O’s Tiki Tavern. Equipped with the original sign from Charlie O’s Tavern, which closed in 2019, the new space hopes to offer the same charm and hospitality locals grew accustomed to at the now-defunct Point Judith staple. 

On Friday night, George’s of Galilee hosted the grand opening of the new Charlie O’s Tiki Tavern featuring live music, hors d’oeuvres and brief remarks. 

“The Charlie O’s sign reflects every guest I had in that restaurant and every staff member who worked there,” said Charlie Samaras, who purchased and opened Charlie O’s in 1990.”Their names are in there somewhere. Every one of them has long remembrances of Charlie O’s. It almost brings me to a tear once in a while.”    

Charlie O’s Tavern, after being sold by Samaras a number of years prior, abruptly closed its doors in 2019. When news broke that the restaurant would be closed permanently, longtime patrons and locals began mourning the loss on social media, posting about memories of the eatery. The restaurant, which was formerly located at 250 Sand Hill Cove Road, struck a sweet spot in Narragansett’s culinary establishment array, appealing to both families fresh off the beach and the college crowd who would come around later in the evening. 

“I am so proud to see my Charlie O’s sign on our tiki bar smiling down at me,” said Samaras. “That ensures the memories will never go away.” 

As for how Samaras and George’s of Galilee came to collaborate, George’s of Galilee owner Kevin Durfee said there was a longstanding connection between the two. 

“George’s of Galilee and Charlie O’s have had a unique relationship,” said Durfee. “My father owned the building where the former Charlie O’s was located. My father ran a very successful bar called Barnaby’s Landing back in the late 70s and early 80s.” 

Now, patrons can enjoy George’s of Galilee’s two tiki bar options, one of which bears the name of a local staple that will live on in the new space. Guests can sit out the wait for their tables at the tiki bars or simply go for a drink or two along Salty Brine Beach. 

“The waits are long but the tiki bars make the time fly,” said Pete Solomon, a longtime patron of George’s. 

George’s of Galilee has been owned and operated by the Durfee family since 1948 and is open all year long, daily at 11 a.m. 

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