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SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ After closing for six days to complete renovations the Mews Tavern in Wakefield has reopened and is at its best yet.
The new, improved Mews has a larger, consolidated kitchen space and has expanded the tavern, which includes additional seating.
The Mews closed June 2 and reopened last Saturday as renovations to the tavern and kitchen were completed.
â€śItâ€™s more roomy and spacious,â€ť George McAuliffe, business manager at the Mews, said as staff bustled about preparing for the restaurantâ€™s 11 a.m. opening Tuesday.
He said the reaction from patrons has been positive since the restaurant reopened.
â€śPeople wonâ€™t feel like sardines anymore,â€ť McAuliffe said.
Dan Rubino, one of the restaurantâ€™s owners, went before the South Kingstown Zoning Board in February, where he was granted a special use permit to construct a 12-foot by 14-foot addition to the southeast corner of the building, an area which is part of the new kitchen.
Both McAuliffe and Rubino said the new, larger kitchen allows staff to consolidate where the Mews produces its famous burgers, like the 69 Prime, sandwiches and other entrees and appetizers.
â€śWeâ€™re doing this in an effort to put out a better quality product and do it more efficiently,â€ť Rubino told the zoning board. â€śWeâ€™re looking to consolidate and have one place where food comes from, with the exception of the pizza oven.â€ť
The new kitchen was formerly part kitchen and part dining space and the repurposing resulted in a loss of about 60 seats.
However, more seats were added to the tavern portion of the restaurant, when a kitchen in that section was removed.
The addition to the tavern resulted in the creation of about 25 seats for a net loss of about 35 seats in the restaurant.
On April 8, Rubino went before the South Kingstown Town Council seeking an expansion of the restaurantâ€™s liquor license to accommodate service in the tavern area.
â€śIf you want to modernize and make it more efficient, thatâ€™s not a bad idea,â€ť Councilor Paul Donnelly said in April.
Councilor Jim Oâ€™Neill seconded Donnellyâ€™s thoughts.
â€śThe consolidation of kitchen activities certainly makes sense,â€ť he said. â€śA better product being served, and probably faster deliver too, that will work very well at the Mews Tavern.â€ť
McAuliffe said there are currently no additional significant renovations planned for the restaurant and thinks these latest changes will make for better service and an improved product.
And the bottom of the tree has been repainted, awaiting fresh signatures.
The Mews, 456 Main St., is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.