The Future of Yesterday’s

JJ Smith, Staff Writer

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Yesterday’s is a quaint family-run Irish pub that serves a variety of food and craft beers on tap. Located on Main Street in the heart of Warwick, it has been serving both tourists and locals for over 30 years. Recently, however, plans to relocate have provoked controversy within the streets of Warwick.
Owner John Christison plans to relocate his restaurant to 16 Elm Street. Here, construction of a 3,600 square foot restaurant will take place in a vacant lot. Christison, Warwick resident for over 30 years, said, “We will be aesthetically shaping the neighborhood. As usual, Yesterday’s is working hard to keep our uniqueness and ambiance by keeping all of the same storefront, woodwork and bar. Yesterday’s is always going to be the warm cozy place that everyone goes to. Walking into Yesterday’s always feels like a big hug!” Neighbors, however, disagree and worry that their homes will be significantly affected by this. Junior Theo Schroh resides nearby and said, “You don’t know how the people leaving the restaurant are going to act- people under the influence of alcohol make poor decisions and we don’t want to risk anything on the back roads because many children live here. This project may help the economy of the town but overall, I think it will hurt the town more.” John Cappello, attorney on behalf of Christison with Jacobwitz and Gubits, explained that the site has been zoned industrial for over 50 years and therefore, this property has always been intended for commercial and industrial purposes. Alumni Nicolette Barbara resides near the site and said, “I don’t think that moving from one spot to another is okay, especially because the new location is in an area where many children live. It’s a residential area and although there are shops, there are no bars in the Mitchell Corners Shopping Plaza. There are bars and restaurants around town but placing one right smack in the middle of a residential area won’t benefit the community.”
Plans for the new site include a dining and bar area, bathrooms, a banquet room, a patio, and a partially enclosed porch. The new Yesterday’s requires 10 feet zoning and it will be relocated approximately 50 feet away from a neighbor’s backyard on Van Buren Street and approximately 45 feet away from a backyard on West Street. The new restaurant will have porch speakers but no outdoor live music. Outside seating on a patio will allow for 68 people. This patio will be open seasonally and close after 11 pm. A capacity of 202 people includes outdoor and indoor seating. A paved lot will host 45 parking spaces and a land banked area will provide 61 spaces. Senior Victoria Smith shares her opinion, explaining that, “Yesterday’s has always been one of our places for dinner out as a family. We’ve always felt very welcomed when we show up. I see it as a place where camaraderie grows and I think that expanding will provide the business with more space to accommodate and welcome new people.” Alumni Myles Ottens said, “Yesterday’s should move and expand because it will attract more business into that part of town. This will allow the restaurant to grow and benefit Warwick economically.”
Those in favor of and those opposing, the restaurant’s plans appeared before The Planning Board at Warwick Town Hall in the fall for a public hearing that lasted almost four hours; 222 observers filled the room, one being sophomore Jonah Bowen, who stated, “It is nothing against John Christison or the restaurant itself. In fact, I’ve named Yesterday’s the best hamburger in town. The issue is that the plan violates building and environmental codes. It does not make sense for a large restaurant to be built right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.” Many wore shirts with the Yesterday’s logo to show their support for Christison while opponents flashed “No Bar” signs and rehearsed speeches that they planned to read while addressing the Board. The hearing was closed with no final decisions made but the topic was discussed again at their following meeting on November 16th in the Village Hall. More meetings have been scheduled but until then, the new locale for Yesterday’s awaits approval.

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The Future of Yesterday’s