EAST PROVIDENCE — A local landmark eatery shuttered earlier this year will soon be reopening under a different name as Sparky's Coney Island System is to be rechristened as East Providence Wieners under the direction of new owner David Roy.
Mr. Roy's application to operate the business was approved by the city council during its meeting on Tuesday night, Sept. 6.
"Sparky's, as everybody knows, I want to take it reopen it up as E.P. Wieners. We don't need another building vacant across from city hall, so we're going to open it up," Mr. Roy said to the applause of the audience in attendance Tuesday.
The restaurant, which has been located at 122 Taunton Ave. for the better part of the last 80 years, closed when the former owner ran afoul with the Rhode Island Department of Taxation earlier this year.
Mr. Roy, who also owns and operates Flapjacks Restaurant on Waterman Avenue, said after the meeting he almost immediately took an interest in seeing the business resume. He reached an initial agreement with the landlord of the property and began getting things in order about three months ago.
Since, Mr. Roy said he purchased at auction all of the equipment housed in the restaurant. He has also been working with local fire and health officials to get the building updated to current codes. One change he needed to make was to move away from the front window and under a vented hood with fire suppression the griddle famously used to cook wieners in the view of customers at street level.
Other than that, Mr. Roy said, "not a whole helluva lot will change." The business will once again be open into the early morning hours, when it's historically been a favorite of night owls and those returning to the city from an evening out in Providence or other places in the area.
The fare will also remain pretty much the same, based mostly off of the iconic hot wieners, hamburgers, etc. "I can say it's going to be a lot better, a lot cleaner. That's for sure," Mr. Roy added.
Pending the proper permits, Mr. Roy said he is pointed towards an opening date for the new East Providence Wieners to come in mid-October.