Remember Local 121? A new restaurant is finally opening in its place

Interior of Local 121 which closed in 2017.
Interior of Local 121 which closed in 2017.Eric Lubrick

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and after six Super Bowl victories since 2002, you’ll have to forgive me for not shedding a tear for the Patriots. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

It’s been nearly three years since Local 121 closed its doors, but it looks like a new restaurant may soon be opening in its place.


The Providence Board of Licenses voted last week to approve a liquor license for a new establishment at 121 Washington Street. The new spot is owned by attorney Nancy Melucci and its general manager will be Alex Tomasso, who has run several clubs in the city over the years.

In an email, Melucci said the area is “exploding with activity” and she’s hopeful it will become a destination location similar to Federal Hill.

“We are enthusiastic about the area and the beautiful, historic space on Washington Street,” Melucci said. “The approach will be a casual with elevated comfort food. Conceptually, it is about ‘getting back to a simpler time.’”

The building is owned by AS220, so Melucci and Tomasso will rent the restaurant space.

When it was Local 121, the bar was considered a popular after-work spot for reporters and political insiders. A DJ would take over on weekend nights, making it so loud that you’d have move across the street to Blake’s if you wanted to have a conversation with anyone.

Local 121 was co-owned by state Senator Josh Miller, but it closed in March 2017.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.


  • Former Governor Lincoln Chafee will run for president as a Libertarian. Ed Fitzpatrick reports Chafee plans to make his official announcement at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Before you roll your eyes, keep in mind that Gary Johnson won 3 percent of the vote as a Libertarian in 2016.
  • This week's edition of Ocean State Innovators is with Nich Haber, founder and president of New England Distance and Certiport’s director of STEM and Career and Technical Education. Have an idea for someone Ed should talk to for his weekly Q&A? Email him at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com.
  • Amanda Milkovits reports on the renewed push from state lawmakers to ban “ghost guns” and 3D printed guns following the shooting death of a Pawtucket woman on New Year’s day.
  • URI and Butler Hospital are part of a team that is launching a $5-million clinical trial of a retinal screening process that could help detect Alzheimer’s more than two decades before symptoms appear.
  • Fun story from Janelle Nanos: Meet the former Rhode Island School of Design student who is being called the next Manolo Blahnik.
  • In 2020, the Globe’s editorial board is promising to keep the pressure on leaders in the region to improve transportation, address housing and tackle climate change. Here’s a look at all of the board’s New Year’s resolutions.
  • Winner: This one wasn’t close. Jane Pickens Theater in Newport ran away with the most votes for best place to catch a movie in Rhode Island.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.