PROVIDENCE – One of the city’s groundbreaking restaurants announced Friday that it will close its doors. The owners of Local 121, Nancy and Josh Miller, said in a statement the downtown restaurant will cease operations on March 11.
One of the first true “farm-to-table” restaurants, Local 121 opened its doors a decade ago. Josh Miller was already established on the local restaurant scene with his popular Trinity Brewhouse. Local 121 was a complementing restaurant to the brew pub located a few blocks away on Washington Street.
Local 121’s landlord AS220 stated, “It is with sadness, coupled with hope and excitement for the future, that we announce that AS220’s faithful and long-time tenant, Local 121, has decided to close its doors after invigorating the Rhode Island restaurant scene with its locally-minded farm-to-table cuisine for ten years.”
Local 121 was the anchor tenant in AS220’s Dreyfus building, the former Dreyfus Hotel at 121 Washington St. in downtown Providence, purchased and restored by the nonprofit between 2005 and 2007. With the vision of Josh and Nancy Miller, Local 121’s executive chef Tyler Demora developed relationships with local growers and harvesters. A look at Local 121’s daily menu points out the careful sourcing of ingredients, such as Bomster scallops caught by the fishing family from Stonington, Conn., and eggs from Rhode Island’s Sunset Farm.
The Millers and Demora stated their mission was to present “a menu that changes frequently and pays homage to the flavorful seasonal ingredients of Rhode Island.” Local 121 also championed forward-thinking food-related causes, such as feeding the needy, eliminating serving of bottled water, saving honeybees, and celebrating Earth Day through frequent benefits, talks and film screenings.
In 2010, the restaurant was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Culinary Cup award, given by the Culinary Institute of America, the National Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in recognition of its work “advocating for sustainable economic efforts in Providence by using locally produced food and beverages.”
Josh and Nancy Miller stated: “As owners of Local 121, we have decided after 10 years to close our restaurant. Our last day of business will be on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
“Our lease with AS220 expires in April, and pursuing another 10-year option would have us as restaurant owners and operators into our 70s. We are not interested in doing that through this stage of our lives. We are committed to marketing this beautiful restaurant for sale as a turnkey operation, with the full cooperation and participation of AS220. We want to thank our staff and many patrons. We especially want to thank the many local farmers, fishermen and other local purveyors for helping us to pioneer the farm-to-table concept in Rhode Island.”