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Hooters Closure Lasts into Second Summer; Outdoor Bar, Patio Planned

Hooters Restaurant on Airport Road in Warwick has been closed since August 2014, first to address health code violations, then for ongoing renovations.
Hooters Restaurant on Airport Road in Warwick has been closed since August 2014, first to address health code violations, then for ongoing renovations.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the time the restaurant has been closed. The restaurant reopened after closing in August, then closed a second time in March.

Warwick, RI -Hooters Restaurant at 667 Airport Road, voluntarily shut down in August of 2014 to address health code violations, then briefly re-opened until shutting down again in March for roof repairs, has remained closed pending a renovation project adding an outside bar and patio to the venue.

The sign outside the restaurant tells passers-by the double entrendre monikered chain location, the only one in Rhode Island, is closed due to winter weather damage. The RI Department of Health reports the business voluntarily shut down after the department inspected the venue in August 2014 on a tip about pest control  concerns. The business’s facebook page had posted promotions for games and food specials up till March 21, then a notice about closing for roof repairs March 24.

A copy of the health department inspection report from Aug. 15 notes health code violations at the restaurant at the time of the inspection:

1) Some areas are re-grouted. The floors in the kitchen, prep and ware washing area are still in poor repair. The grout is eroded and not smooth, durable and easily cleanable. Repeat violation.

2) The door handle to the walk-in is in poor repair. Repeat violation.

A number of corrections prior to the Aug. 15 inspection were also recorded:

  • Walk-in floors have been sealed with two-part epoxy
  • New ice bins have been installed with beverage tubing outside the bin.
  • The outside of the building was replaced/repaired as needed and is sealed.  A new roof was installed.
  • The inside ceiling/attic area was cleaned, treated and tiles replaced.
  • FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) wall cover has been installed in all food prep and storage areas.
  • Coving tiles installed throughout. Tiles have been regrouted in areas, but a full regrouting MUST be completed.
  • At the time of inspection, no food was on-site. Refrigeration and ware washing must be tested prior to re-opening. The establishment will be re-inspected on Monday and must remain closed until inspection is complete.

When the department re-inspected the restaurant Aug. 18, additional work had been done, and additional violations were found, but the restaurant was cleared to re-open:

New violations:

1) An empty cold-hold unit was kept at at temperature between 45 and 49 degrees F. The unit must be repaired to maintain a temperature of 41  degrees or below.

2) Floors in the kitchen and washing areas were observed with eroding grout. Floors must be smooth, durable and easily cleanable.

Additional work:

  • Floors in the dining room were  opened to access vacant space under the building, treated and replaced.
  • Forty percent of floor tiles were re-grouted and coving installed; FRP installed throughout.
  • Epoxy sealed concrete floors in walk-ins and dry storage area. New roof and all outside surfaces repaired/replaced and sealed.
  • New racks have been purchased for cold and dry storage areas. New ice bins at bar and an additional service area with handwashing sink for servers.
  • Budget pest control as needed. Letter from pest control company attached to report indicating all pests have been eliminated.

According to the Aug. 18 report, “The establishment has corrected most previous violations and meets minimum requirements to re-open for the RIDOH Office of Food Protection for a cook/serve license.”

Warwick Building inspector Al DeCorte said the business had filed for building permits to make improvements to the building in 2014, but had re-filed for more comprehensive remodelling in March.

According to Warwick Building Department records, the latest permit was approved March 24. That permit allows selective interior demolition and structural reconstruction for a future remodel project. The cost of the work is estimated at about $100,000 including labor and materials, according to the permit.

DeCorte said the business plans to update the building’s restrooms, and replace the greenhouse-style windows in the front of the building. A note in the Health Department inspection report says the work at the site at the time was the first part of a four-stage renovation process that will include an outside bar and patio.

DeCorte said there’s been no recent activity at the site.

The .45 acre property and 5,696 sq. ft.  business are owned by Concord Realty Corp., according to Warwick Tax Assessor records. An earlier permit for work at the site lists Phil Moran as the owner of Concord Realty Corp. The combined assessment for the land and building is $744,300.

Calls to the restaurant’s management, ownership and corporate office were not immediately returned.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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