Business Updates: Masks, Washington Trust, Plant City X & Thirsty Beaver

by | May 14, 2021

On Friday Gov. Dan McKee announced Rhode Islanders who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past the final vaccine dose) can go without masks indoors and outdoors in most situations. In addition, most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted May 21, one week earlier than previously announced. So, instead of the May 28 date in the graphic below, the changes will be effective May 21.

“Today’s announcement, allowing our businesses to return to full capacity and lifting the mask mandate for fully-vaccinated individuals is a pivotal step in the right direction toward the recovery of our industry and just in time for the busy summer season,” said Dale Venturini, head of the R.I. Hospitality Association. “With vaccines readily available, and more than 56% of Rhode Islanders having received at least their first dose, we are now in a position to fulfill consumer demand while continuing to follow best practices to keep our patrons and staff safe and healthy.”

Washington Trust ribbon cutting, from left, Branch Manager Alicia Martinelli; EG Chamber’s Steve Lombardi; EG Town Manager Andy Nota; Washington Trust Chairman & CEO Ned Handy; Executive VP Deb Gormley, and President & COO Mark Gim.

Washington Trust opened for business Thursday at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street in downtown East Greenwich. The brand new building at 695 Main St. marks the bank’s 24th branch. 

“While this is our first branch in East Greenwich, we already have many customers here and are pleased to welcome them to our new home,” said Washington Trust Chairman and CEO Ned Handy. “This location is special because it’s the gateway to the beautiful East Greenwich historic district. As the nation’s oldest community bank, we’re honored to be a part of this community where roots run deep and where relationships are built on trust, partnership, and human connection.”

At Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Town Manager Andy Nota welcomed the bank. 

“The development of this corner is a lynchpin to forthcoming improvements as you enter the historic downtown area, and you’re helping us to kick off that transformation.”

EG Chamber of Commerce Director Steve Lombardi was also part of the ribbon cutting. 

The East Greenwich branch offers in-branch banking, drive-up service, and a walk up & drive-up ATM. The branch lobby is open for business Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.– 5 p.m., Friday, 8:30 a.m.– 6 p.m., and Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Drive-up services are available Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


The Thirsty Beaver plans to open up its third Rhode Island location in the former Wendy’s in Hunt River Commons, just over the EG border on Frenchtown Road in North Kingstown. The pub-style restaurant is seeking a full liquor license and the North Kingstown Town Council will consider its application at a meeting May 24. The Town Council first had to approve bumping up the number of available full liquor licenses from 27 to 28, which happened earlier this spring. The Thirsty Beaver was the only restaurant to apply for the license. Their other eateries, in Cranston and Smithfield, as well as in Wrentham, Mass., have a log-cabin vibe, which would mean a fair amount of renovations for the Wendy’s building, which closed in 2020. 


Plant City X, an offshoot from Plant City, the Providence vegan super-restaurant, is opening in the long-vacant Burger King on Centreville Road in the Apponaug section of Warwick, transforming a former fast food beef joint into a fast food plant palace. The Plant City concept is animal product free. They opened a Plant City X in Middletown in January. East Greenwich has its own vegan restaurant, PB Bistro & Bar on Main Street, which opened in 2020.

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