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MATTHEW WELDON, director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, says communication with the unemployed people who have lost their federal unemployment benefits is crucial to get them matched up with a job. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Getting the unemployed to take unfilled jobs isn’t so simple

About 45,000 Rhode Islanders have lost their federal unemployment benefits, but prodding them back into the workforce to ease a labor shortage in some...
REPLENISHING SUPPLIES: Executive chef Todd Schiller places sandwiches in a display case at FoodLove specialty market in Middletown. / COURTESY FOODLOVE/KRISTIN TEIG

Dining out: Here’s a newfangled grocery store

What if a group of chefs decided to get together and open a grocery store? What would it look like? For that matter, what...
A PATIENT HOST: Erin Umbdenstock held out hope she’d get her job back when she was laid off from the Providence Marriott Downtown when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It turned out better than that for her. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Hospitality’s headache: How to attract, keep workers 

Erin Umbdenstock spent her four-month stint of unemployment trying to keep busy. She cooked and cleaned her Coventry apartment and took up several new hobbies....
HUNGRY FOR HELP: Anthony Tarro, co-owner of Siena restaurant, says the business has struggled to find workers recently. In the background, sous chef Michael Lynch assists Tarro in the kitchen of Siena’s East Greenwich location. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Eateries look for recipe to solve staff shortage

While many iconic restaurants on Providence’s Federal Hill are starting to see a revival, the lights at Siena on Atwells Avenue remain off, tables...
TAKE IT AWAY: Pan-seared redfish tacos, right, and short rib tacos are available through a “ghost kitchen” called La Vecina in Newport, which offers Mexican street food by takeout or delivery only. / COURTESY ERIN MCGINN

Dining Out: More R.I. ‘ghost kitchen’ sightings

“Ghost Kitchen” could be the title of a Stephen King cookbook. It is, however, a phenomenon that was muted by the pandemic but appears...
PUSHING AHEAD: A rendering of what the Foodlove market is expected to look like when complete this summer in Middletown. / COURTESY NEWPORT RESTAURANT GROUP

NRG on cutting edge of food innovation

In 2020 it was called “pivoting.” In 2021, it’s called “innovation.” The first innovation in the food world this year is being undertaken by Newport...
A FRESH TAKE: PB Bistro & Bar in East Greenwich is offering family-sized vegan and vegetarian dishes for the holidays. Patti Burton, far left, and Dan Hatch, far right, opened the plant-based eatery in the spring. With them are sous chef O’Laro Waite, second from the left, and executive chef Mike Fleury.  / COURTESY CAITLIN COSTA

Dining Out: A time of gratitude for the guests

In other times, this space might be holding forth about authentic pizza or barbecue. This time of the year, the Feast of the Seven...
BREATHING EASIER: Jo’s American Bistro Chef Brian Ruffner stands next to an in-take for the new air “scrubbers” at the Newport restaurant. / COURTESY JO’S AMERICAN BISTRO

Dining Out: With winter approaching, a focus on clearing the air

With this year going the way it is, the idea of restaurant superlatives is having a bit of a difficult time. One might actually...
DOUBLE SCOOP: Ken Schneider, owner of Sundaes Ice Cream was frustrated that his flagship Seekonk location was closed for an additional six weeks after his Rhode Island locations were allowed to reopen in early April with restrictions, such as directional arrows and spacing for social distancing and wearing gloves and masks. / PBN PHOTO/PAMELA BHATIA

ALL OVER THE MAP: Differing reopening plans create cross-border advantages, impediments

Clumps of fur fell to the ground as ­Barbara Gariepy shaved a small dog at Canine Corner Inc. in Seekonk recently. Surrounding her were...

3 Rhode Island restaurants make curbside comeback

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island restaurant community is showing its resiliency as three of its leading eateries are reopening for curbside takeout. The Newport Restaurant...

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