Greater City Providence

Pretty // Ugly


This annoys me. This is a building at the corner of Atwells Avenue and Bond Street on Federal Hill. Most recently it was Federal Hill Florist and soon it is to be Cafe Longo. Now I’m happy to see a new cafe coming in (I think it is a cafe/bar/lounge, I’m not sure though), and I think the reno they’ve done on the ground floor is great. The photo off my iPhone doesn’t do it justice, the stone work is great, there are hip lights over the top, all around nice… if you don’t look up.

Look at that tragic vinyl on the upper floors. It’s not just tragic because it is vinyl, it is tragic because it is really poorly installed vinyl. Really it is almost not worth renovating the ground floor if the upper floors are going to remain so craptacular. And this is common all up and down Atwells where you’ll see a nice facade at the ground with horrid facades on the upper floors.

Hopefully Cafe Longo will have cocktails, so I can go in, get blotto and not see the horrid vinyl on my way out.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Hi Jef,

    Thank you for your recent photo. I appreciate your comments, and your eye for workmanship. I also enjoyed your comments on the vinyl, you couldn’t be more right. Unfortunately, my landlord is ninety five years young, and let me add, a sweet Women. God willing, maybe some day she will sell us the property so that we can upgrade it to our liking. Please stop by soon, so that I can give you a tour of the(Restaurant-Cafe)interior.

    Hope to see you soon,


  • I’m looking forward to seeing the inside if the outside is any indication of what it will look like.

    And I hope you didn’t feel I was trying to call you out on this phenomenon alone. It exists all up and down the avenue. Your location happens to have the nicest ground floor paired with just about the worst upper floor. You can look right across the street to Andino’s to see another example. Mu Mu is another, they prettied up their ground facade, but the top of that building is revolting. Especially sad because you can see the remnants of where it must have had a nice facade at one point in the past.

  • So yeah, Cafe Longo is open. I peeked in as I stumbled home from other drunken debauchery tonight. Looks sweet. Sometime shortly I shall make my way inside for some more drunken debauchery.

  • Are you for real? This place is a joke! I have been to most places in Federal Hill and I felt like I had to put 25 cents in the doorway as it was like a phonebooth. The food was ok, the service was fair considering you just opened. Lot’s of things you need to iron out. But honestly, I felt like I was in the subway in NYC. I wish you luck, with the compitition you have around you, you will need it.

  • I agree with you Mark. I went in with a couple of my friends and to tell you the truth I didn’t think the food was that great and kinda of pricy. With the way things are going these days they will be lucky if they stay open a year. It also was not that big, the space would’ve been better utilized as an ice cream shoppe at least then I would be more likely to go back more then once! I also thought my waiter was a little rude safe to say he didn’t get a great tip!

  • I’m going to have to disagree with the last two bloggers. I travel a lot for my job and I’ve been to many restaurants. I thought Cafe Longo was great. Only one other place i’ve had food like this and that was Rome. Where else can you get a suppli’ and home made Timballo which was incredible. Music was great and i thought the prices we reasonable considering the quality of the food. Can wait to visit again!

  • I wish I could say I enjoyed myself here, but it was not up to my expectation. I thought the food was good, but it was pricy. I did have the Timballo and it was good. The suppli’ (fried riceballs) were also good. But, I have been to Rome, and this is not Rome! With all due respect, I did not think the food tasted like it does in Rome.
    My wife had the Phllly cheesesteak as an app, (she was born and raised in Philly). This did not remind her of being home:(
    BTW Riccardo, you may have wanted to say can’t wait to visit again, and not can wait to visit again. I am glad you liked it, but it just wasn’t for us.

  • Mark, Chanda and Bob: Looks like you are in the minority and way off with your negative reports on Cafe Longo. Personally, I grew up in an italian family, was raised on authentic good italian food and still cook a lot at home. Longo’s is like being at home. The food is awesome, the service is great and the obvious reputation that they have built in a short period of time is second to none. This by far is the best restaurant on the hill and the high demand for their seats every night supports what I am saying. So, your negative prediction of failing and closing within a year is so far wrong and posting that as soon as the restaurant opened?! Hmmmmmm…sounds like pure jealousy to me!!!

  • Went there Tuesday night at 10pm and it was closed! Need I say more? Could not get a seat Roxy, cause it was closed! You must be an owner or employee.

  • Congrats on what is said to be a truly Italian eating experience. Diana and I can’t wait to get there. Your Meatball salad makes my mouth water!
    It will be like eating Mama Maria’s home-cooked specialties again.

    See you soon, greeting from New Jersey…..joey & diana

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