Greater City Providence

Retail Update: Retail Update

OPEN: Plaid and Stripe – Wayland Square
This is an upscale pet store in the former Ruggieri Gallery near Farmstead on Wayland Avenue between Waterman and Angell.

(Update) COMING SOON (Confirmed!): Pleasant Surprise – Thayer Street
The building where both Oop! and Only in RI used to be has its glass windows postered with flyers from the Pleasant Surprise gift shop currently located in Newport, RI (with their Newport number and address listed). A quick call to their Newport store confirmed that they are indeed coming soon to that Thayer spot as that storefront seems perpetually reserved for gift shops…

(CORRECTION) MOVED!!: Ada Books – Westminster (West End) Street
I originally posted that, based upon the closed Dean Street storefront, I thought Ada Books had closed. It was pointed out in the comments section, however, that in actuality, they have moved to 717 Westminster Street right next to White Electric Coffee. I greatly apologize to Brent and Ada for the inaccuracy (although someone might want to tell them to update their own website with the address…). I’m also glad to hear that they’re doing well, with many events planned. Hopefully, one day in the future, The Bishop McVinney Auditorium will be a distant memory and we’ll all be able walk along a unified Westminster Street and do a “coffee and book hop” from Tazza and Symposium Downcity to White Electric and Ada in the West End.

Bret Ancowitz


  • I just want to let you know that Brent and Ada Books are actually alive and well, I just put up a poster in his window today! They just moved to a much more desirable location, right around the corner; 717 Westminster St. They are right next door to White Electric, now have plenty of street visibility and are actually making quite a bit of noise in some circles.
    In fact the Kramers Ergot Book Tour is stopping by there December 7th with tons of artists for a signing(Rick Altergott, C.F., Sammy Harkham, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Jones, James McShane, John Pham, Pshaw, Ron Regé, Jr., Souther Salazar).

  • The new spot is wonderful – and it’s just right around the corner! I think the books have expanded to include more options and I think the number of magazines have also increased – maybe zines, too? Not sure. I feel like given the proximity to New Urban Arts, zines have had to migrated to Ada. Speaking of which, there is an opening at New Urban Arts tonight of the Artist Mentor Exhibition from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The artists all work with the kids at NUA and are local luminaries in their own right. Heading out to NUA would be an opportunity to pass by Ada Books to check out the new digs!

  • That spot that Ada’s vacated is a toughie, especially in a city like Providence without a critical mass of foot traffic, and especially in that area which doesn’t have a lot going on around it, is cut off from Downcity by the highway and Cathedral Square, and isn’t really a very good pedestrian environment, even if we did have the critical mass.

    In a city like New York (which we aren’t) it would be a cupcake place (or I think cupcakes are on the way out, I don’t know what they are into now) that would draw people specific for what it sold, regardless of the detriments of the physical space. I’m not sure Providence can really support that kind of niche marketing in a poor location unless the word of mouth and niche were spectacular.

    Free ice cream?

Providence, RI
5:22 am8:20 pm EDT
Feels like: 77°F
Wind: 7mph SSW
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 30.12"Hg
UV index: 4
90°F / 70°F
93°F / 73°F
93°F / 77°F