Greater City Providence

Retail Update: Plus one, minus one


Due to open Saturday is an ice cream store on Atwells Avenue, in the location in the photo above at Dean and Atwells. The last tenant in here was Al & Betty’s which was a pretty good greasy spoon (good enough to get me out of bed on the weekends for french toast). After a death in the family, Al & Betty’s closed down, that was a couple (few?) years ago. At one point someone was renovating the storefront with the idea of placing a fish mongers in there. They never completed the renovations and never opened. So while the rest of Atwells has been filling out quite nicely in recent years, even during the current economic downturn, this prime corner location has been empty.

I’m very much looking forward to an ice cream store steps from my house.

The minus one sadly is Benders Caffe which we Cheered a few months back for their green practices (and yummy panini). I’ve noticed they’ve been intermittently open in recent weeks, and walking by today I saw the For Sale sign in the window. Sorry to see you go Benders.

In the almost plus one category is Gourmet Heaven. Stock is being loaded in and I read somewhere (I forget where now) that we should expect a soft opening on June 7th.

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.


  • I loved Bender’s concept, but the menu was *very* limited… I wish those folks luck and hope they bounce back to reopen elsewhere.

  • Bender’s was one of those restaurants that was nice to have, being green and all, but not one that I visited. Prices are expensive and as stated, had a limited menu. When you can get a loaded lunch from Cilantro next door, it’s no contest. The green concept catching on would be nice.

  • Oh my maude! Gourmet Heaven is still not open yet! Workers outside the store today told me, Tuesday.

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