The Pines will reopen under new ownership

The Pines will reopen under new ownership

The Pines has been purchased by a new owner who plans to reopen it. The restaurant and event venue closed abruptly in 2017.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A local staple that has been shuttered since 2017 is expected to reopen after a new owner purchased the property this month.

The Pines, the banquet hall and restaurant located at 1204 Pound Hill Road, has been purchased by Rosa Zheng, a businesswoman and investor from Milton, Mass. Zheng told The Valley Breeze this week she looks forward to reopening the property as both a restaurant and event venue.

“I think people have a lot of passion for the old restaurant there,” she said.

The Pines closed abruptly in December 2017 after several weeks of cutting back hours. At the time, customers reported paying deposits on events they were forced to rebook, prompting the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the closure. According to town tax records, Kita Realty LLC, a company managed by David Healey, had purchased the restaurant in 2012.

Zheng told The Breeze she hopes to continue the restaurant’s tradition of homestyle pasta dishes and other specials. A marketing professional with a business degree from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, she plans to hire an experienced manager to run the restaurant. She also hopes to partner with farms to source ingredients locally and bring a healthy lifestyle element to the menu.

“We’ll carry on the good stuff that people like, the pasta, and we can develop something special,” she said.

John Garrahy, Zheng’s attorney, told town councilors on Monday his client looked at several business opportunities in the northern Rhode Island area before settling on The Pines. The property, he said, offers promise with a bar, restaurant and event space along with a long history in the local area.

“She saw The Pines as an opportunity and, quite frankly, it really is,” he said.

The new entity will operate as The Pines Events and Promotions and emphasize bringing in business groups to use the venue as an event and meeting space. Back taxes owed on the property by the previous owner, he said, will be paid out of the closing proceeds of the sale.

Councilors approved the new business’s liquor and victualing licenses on Monday, along with an entertainment license that allows outdoor entertainment until 10 p.m. The property, said Garrahy, will require some renovations before it reopens, in addition to renovations already completed by the previous owner, and is expected to open in about six months.

“Right now, I’m targeting Christmastime,” said Zheng. “Could be earlier, could be later.”

Rosa Zheng