Rogue Island Local Kitchen & Bar

Photos by Nicholas Millard/

Rogue Island is the brainchild of native Rhode Islanders Shannon Bessette and her two sons, Kyle and Ryan. Fulfilling a life-long dream, they are dedicated to offering seasonal foods produced within 50 or 60 miles of Providence. Their extensive bar offerings are also carefully selected from micro and nano-
breweries, vineyards and distilleries in nearby Southern New England.

By working almost exclusively with local farmers and purveyors, Rogue Island is able to redirect its purchasing from “big food suppliers” to small working farms and family-owned businesses that have a stake in this community…and its economy.

“Rogue Island” was a slang name given to colonial Rhode Island because of the self-sufficient and outlaw-like behavior of the people who settled here. During its formative years, Rhode Island was a haven for pirates, smugglers, and all sorts of other rugged individualists. Three British customs and tax ships were burned by colonial Rhode Islanders in revenge for unfair taxes and regulations years before anyone had even heard of the Boston Tea Party. Rhode Island was called “Rogue Island” by some of America’s founding fathers because its inhabitants refused to ratify the Constitution until it contained a Bill of Rights to protect individual freedoms.

Rogue Island is a small, convivial restaurant focused on all-things-Rhode Island, from its locally sourced food to its charmingly comfortable “speak-easy” decor. Even its beautiful dark wood wainscotings have been reclaimed from farms in West Greenwich and Coventry. The bar, rail, and draft system metalwork was all custom made by welders and craftspeople in Cumberland, Cranston, and Providence. Several other locally re-purposed materials from foundation stone to the exposed timber columns are also from nearby suppliers.

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