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.
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.
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.
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.