Blogs | Ethan Shorey

Nothing to do in Pawtucket? False.

Much of the discussion since my story about the Pawtucket Red Sox looking at the Apex property for a possible new stadium has revolved around an alleged dearth of attractions in the city and its downtown. I'm pretty sure many of the comments are being made by people who haven't been in Pawtucket in 10 or 20 years, but there have also been a number of Pawtucket residents who seem to think that everything good has disappeared from the city.

From what I've gathered, the negative impression seems to be centered on the lack of vibrant storefronts on the one-way section of Main Street.

One Facebook user suggested that "downtown Pawtucket has about five or six things of merit," including City Hall, fire/police headquarters, the post office, Slater Mill, and the Gamm Theater. "Not exactly vital," he said.

Main Street may never be a great place to go Christmas shopping, but suggestions that Pawtucket has become little more than a ghost town are terribly flawed.

I've offered to give several people a tour of the city, but I'm thinking posting a long list of attractions might be a better solution. This "Bucket list" isn't a comprehensive one (sorry, couldn't resist), but it should give you people who can't find anything to do a starting point (send additional suggestions to

• Slater Mill

• The Pawtucket Armory Arts Center (home of RI Brew Fest and other events)

• The Rhode Island Watercolor Society at Slater Park

• The Bucket Brewery
• Crooked Current Brewery

• Foolproof Brewing Company

• Breaktime Bowl and Bar/restaurant/banquet hall at Hope Artiste Village

• The Pawtucket Dog Park

• A disc golf course at Slater Park

• Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame

• McCoy Stadium

• Golfing at the Pawtucket Country Club

• Fishing off the Festival Pier or Town Landing.

• Bike path

• Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village

• Cup 'N Saucer on Main Street

• The Revel Factory (living statues/event/dining venue)

• Exchange Street Cafe.

• Artee Fabrics and Home on Main Street

• Mixed Magic Theatre

• Modern Diner

• The Met.

• The Grant on Main Street

• Fountain Street Grille

• ProNyne Motorsports Museum

• The Pawtucket Arts Collaborative (and many other tenants at the Lorraine Mills and other mills)

• The Design Exchange

• Murphy’s Irish Pub

• Doherty’s East Side Café

• News Café (live music)

• The Pawtucket Arts Festival (month-long event at locations all over the city)

• Machines with Magnets (live music, new artists)

• Antonio’s/Wildflour/Garden Grille/Rasoi/Moon Star

• Bella Pasta Ristorante

• Boundary Brewhouse

• Arigna

• Roast House

• The Hampton Inn (coming soon)

• Sara Bella Jewelry (coming soon)

• The Isle Brewers Guild/The Guild/Narragansett Brewing (a coming food and beverage destination)

• Nuts ‘N More USA

• Spumoni’s

• Lorraine Fabrics

• Paint and Vino

• The Empowerment Factory

• Blackstone Valley Visitor Center

• Looff Carousel

• Kip's Restaurant

• Heritage Tap Bar and Grill

• The Daggett House

• The Pawtucket Public Library

• The Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club

• The Pawtucket YMCA

• The Pawtucket Animal Shelter

• Providence Yarn Company

• The Community Players

• La Arepa

• House of Pizza

• Pawtucket House of Pizza

• Hasbro

• German American Cultural Society

• Celtic Pub

• The Rhode Island Antiques Mall

• Spaulding House (overnight stays)

• The many sites of the Downtown Pawtucket Historic Walking Tour


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My wife and me last summer visited Slater Park for an art festival and found it to be one of the gems of our state. We were amazed that this beautiful park is right up the road and we have been overlooking it for so long.

As well, we toured the Foolproof Brewing facility and again, we loved every minute of it. Great way to spend and afternoon.

Just last Wednesday night we saw a great concert at the Met Café. One of our favorite bands played there. Again wonderful night. Also, in 2016 my friends and me attended two other shows there and we had a blast.

Over the past four or five years we have been regular visitors to Pawtucket. It is a hospitable city with plenty fun and cheap activities. We find ourselves there more and more often.