‘We’re gonna fight to the end’: Fate of Newport diner up in the air as landowner submits plan for demolition

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NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Bishop’s 4th Street Diner has been serving up food in Newport since 1967, but that could soon change.

The long-time eating establishment is at risk of being demolished to make space for a convenience store. Plans have been submitted to the city to do so.

Steve and Vicki Bishop own the diner and said it hurt to find out the fate of their businesses through a letter in the mail from the city.

“It was crazy. My wife opened the letter and it was like… it was tough to read that, you know what I mean?”

Colbea Enterprises LLC owns the property the diner sits on and submitted a special use permit to expand the gas station next store, add a Seasons Corner Market, and a car wash. But those plans require tearing down the diner and the vacant building behind it.

“It’s a shame,” Steve said. “It means something that people have been coming back here, for, like, 20 years, 25 years, they come back. It’s just a staple. People love coming here.”

The Bishops started a petition that has close to 1,000 signatures. They also have a paper petition inside the diner that customers have signed.

Bishop said he hopes a compromise can be reached with Colbea and the city, and if not, he will explore moving the diner. He said in the meantime, he refuses to give up.

“We’re gonna fight to the end,” Steve said. “We’ll keep plugging away and keep working and then we decide what’s gonna happen and when we have to do something and we’ll figure it out. (We’ll) just keep working ’til we can.”

The Bishops said the plan is being presented to the Newport City Council on November 22 and they will be in attendance along with their supporters.

12 News reached out to Colbea Enterprises LLC but did not get a response.

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