Three cheers for Thursday: Shopping local in the East Bay

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

Thursdays on college campuses are usually dedicated to unwinding after the week before the weekend arrives. In the East Bay, certain Thursdays are dedicated to supporting local businesses. This year, the First Thursdays Shop & Dine Local event will occur on Nov. 5 and again on Dec. 3. 

The event aims to support local businesses in the East Bay area by inviting locally owned stores and restaurants to participate. From 5-7 p.m., consumers are invited to visit a list of businesses at their own pace. Most of the businesses usually offer a discount or special promotion for the special event.

First Thursdays Shop & Dine Local hopes to bring foot traffic to businesses in Bristol, Barrington and Warren and help them gain exposure. It is put on by the East Bay Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by BankNewport and Atria Aquidneck Place.

Participating stores and restaurants in Bristol include Thames Waterside, Caron Jewelers, Portside Tavern, The Wave, Anytime Fitness and Rivers & Rhodes.

Thames Waterside is located on Thames Street and offers local seafood and other comfort meals. The restaurant provides beautiful views of the bay year-round. Caron Jewelers is located on Hope Street and sells unique pieces of jewelry that are sure to brighten someone’s day. Portside Tavern is located on Thames Street and boasts a modern and fun dining experience for everyone. The menu offers burgers, steak, seafood and more.

The Wave is located on Metacom Avenue and has a menu full of pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches and other options. Anytime Fitness resides on Metacom Avenue and is open 24 hours a day with fitness trainers on the ready to support anyone in their fitness journey. Rivers & Rhodes is located on Thames Street and is a recent addition to the town, ready to make its mark. The menu is full of flatbreads, burgers, salads and more.

Participating stores in Warren include Sprout CoWorking, Made in Warren, Time & Place Studio, Rhody Roots, The Barrington Sound, Bywater Restaurant and Jossy Lownes Art.

Participating stores in Barrington include The Book Nerd, Piccolo Children’s Boutique, East Bay Strength & Conditioning, Leon’s Cafe & Catering, Grapes & Grain, Barrington Books, Better Business Bureau, OPT Physical Therapy and Secrets in the Kitchen.

For students who have a couple of free hours, this event is a great way to explore more of the area that surrounds campus and remain socially distanced while doing so. As the holiday season approaches, the First Thursdays Shop & Dine Local event provides a great opportunity to find unique gifts for loved ones.