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Economy Takes Its Toll On More Local Businesses

Several more local businesses have closed or plan to close in the coming months.

While unemployment and foreclosure rates may be lower than in past years, Bristol and Warren's poor economy has taken its toll on many local businesses. Recently, three more businesses have announced that they will be shutting their doors for good.

Businesses in Bristol and Warren have seen many changes in the last few months with numerous businesses shutting down and new companies making their way into town. From the sale of , the change from the , to the closures of the , and , Bristol and Warren have felt the loss of several long time businesses.

Now, , and will be added to the list of businesses who will disappear from Bristol and Warren.

Backroad Grille

For more than a week, the parking lot at Backroad Grille, located on Metacom Avenue in Bristol, has been empty. While the restaurant sign still stands high, a smaller sign that reads "For Sale" is plastered below the name.

Residents, noticing the lack of activity and sale sign at the restaurant, utilized the comments section of a Patch article to share their sadness and condolences to the business owners.

"A big loss for Bristol," Patch user . "I liked going there."

User Chris Johnson also chimed in, echoing Lynch's sentiment.

"Very sad," Johnson . "Just drove by and saw the for sale sign. They had great food, reasonable prices and excellent service. I moved out of the area and couldn't make it there that often lately. Wish I could have gone more often. Thank you Squatritto's for giving us a few years to share with you. Good luck with your future endeavors."

In October of 2012, Backroad Grille would have celebrated six years in business. It is unknown at this time what will fill the vacant building.

Tuscan Tavern

Over the last week, rumors spread through Bristol and Warren regarding the closure of the Italian restaurant Tuscan Tavern. Though the business made attempts to gain more customers by offering live music and dinner specials, the restaurant's owner, Rose, has confirmed that after 12 years of business, Tuscan Tavern has shut its doors for good.

"We have already shut down," she said. "We will be leasing to another business."

It has been confirmed that Fat Belly's Irish Pub and Grille will be filling the vacant building in the coming months. Fat Belly's currently operates six other locations throughout Rhode Island, including two pubs in Warwick, one in Providence, one in East Greenwich, one in Wakefield and a newly opened branch in Coventry.

Mercier's Hardware

After hearing that Mercier's Hardware had thoughts of shutting down in February of 2012, local resident Ernie Dupuis rallied support from other residents to help keep the business going.

"Let's make it a point to go into Mercier's on Wednesday, February 1st, and each buy one thing!" . "A tool you need? A soda pop or candy bar? Whatever... just something to show them we support them and appreciate them."

Despite the reported success of the one-day event, the hike in sales could not compete with today's economy and fight for business against companies like Lowes and Home Depot. The owners of Mercier's Hardware have finally decided to throw in the towel.

Currently, Mercier's is still open and operating under normal hours, but the owners plan to close down by the end of June. The family owned and operated store was known and respected by many locals as the "only place" to go for their hardware needs.

Mercier's Hardware would have celebrated 90 years in business in 2013.

jessicagravez April 06, 2012 at 07:48 AM
Indeed, workers lacking high school diplomas saw their unemployment rate jump 6.6 percentage points in June vs. a 2.3 point increase for college grads who has their degree from one of the High Speed Universities
Mike M April 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Cathy, Why do you feel it will have a tiny parking lot?! They are going to clear out the whole lot and build a decent sized lot and store im sure. They wouldn't build a store like that if only 4 spots were allowed... I think its a great idea to offer a auto parts store locally. If I need to buy something for my car, I have to drive to Seekonk or Somerset for the closest parts store, or Middletown. Im aware there are smaller parts stores like the one across from Papa Gino's and Napa, but Advance will be fairly popular I predict. I would much rather Advance build a new store and make that lot look better than look at those old decrepit greenhouses any longer! And I disagree when you say its a horrible location, it actually seems to be a really good location! Local buisnesses will likely require parts from them as well. I am sad about the restaurants closing, I always wanted to try Backroad Grille and have heard good things. Tuscan also seemed popular so I am surprised both are closing! But we can't really be surprised, there are no jobs locally, so people are either collecting or moving away, and who can blame them? We desperately need more jobs for people who do not have college degrees. Its a sad chain of events, but not much can be done. With Gas prices continuing to Spike, the economy's "recovery" will likely crash yet again.
Dan Baxter April 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I will greatly miss Merciers. It was a wonderful place to work and learn about the workings of people as well as things as a young employee. Good luck to the family and friends that used to come together their. Where else can you buy jsut what ou need without purchasing a pre-bagged amount of stuff and then losing or throwing away the excess. It is truely the end of an era. Lapan's, Jamiel's House of a Million Items/ General Supply and now Mercier's. What a shame.
Bob Venice April 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Mike, have you forgot about Steve's Auto Parts that has been on Meticom avenue for years.
Bob Venice April 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Dan, don't blink, for there are more stores in Warren that will be saying goodbye.

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