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Former O'Neill's Revamped Into Spanish Restaurant And Sports Bar

Back Street Sports Bar and Grill opens at 33 Arnold Street, the former location of O'Neill's 27 Tavern.

Carmen Nunez, the owner of Back Street Sports Bar and Grill, says that her bar is the only place in the city where you can find real Spanish food and atmosphere.

On Thursday afternoon, she touted the restaurant's Mofongos, which are made of shrimp, chicken, pork or beef wrapped in a plantain.

Nunez hails from the Dominican Republic. She moved to the United States when she was 10 and said she has worked in every facet of a restaurant from the kitchen to manager.

Nunez and her husband, David Zayas, who works at Queen's Barber Shop in Woonsocket, decided to open the restaurant when they heard about the space on Arnold Street, which had been vacated by O'Neill's, and realized that the city didn't have a true Spanish bar or restaurant.

This is the first restaurant they've started together.

On Thursday afternoon the restaurant was quiet. Zayas and a friend, John Vasquez, were playing pool in the back room. Former customers of O'Neill's may recognize parts of the game room (with two free pool tables and an air hockey table,) but most of the large facility has been redone and completely refurnished.

The long bar seats twenty people and still has three flat-screen TVs. In the front section of the restaurant is a circle of black leather couches, which constitute the VIP area. Nunez said the VIP area could be reserved for free by those interested in having a party there if they call ahead of time.

Spanish music played throughout the restaurant. Nunez said the bar is bilingual and mixes Spanish music with American music.

Their busiest night, so far, has been Saturday.

"We'll have 125 people here by 10:30 p.m.," said Nunez, who didn't know for sure why people had chosen that night to come out.

If Saturday nights aren't your thing, the bar also offers $2 beer all day on Sundays.

After August 15, the bar will incorporate theme nights into their schedule. Nunez plans on having a hip-hop music night, Spanish music only, and a bilingual karaoke night where guests can choose whether they want to sing their song in English or Spanish.

"We are getting to know the people in Woonsocket," said Nunez, "and it's surprising how many people enjoy the Spanish theme."

Back Street Sports Bar and Grill is located at 33 Arnold Street. It is open every day from 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. The kitchen closes at 12 a.m.

iluvmy3boiiz February 23, 2012 at 06:38 AM
ya that's really where i want to go when i want spanish food....to a BAR...? let's not forget that there is a spanish restaurant on north main street where you can actually bring your children :)

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