Inside St. Ann’s in Woonsocket, the Sistine Chapel of New England
The hundreds of faces in the majestic frescoes were modeled after people in the community.
Where to eat
Hailed as one of the state’s best steak and seafood restaurants, River Falls sits on the historic banks of Blackstone River. Come for the intimate rural atmosphere and stay for the legendary prime rib combo plates. Or, if you’re lucky, you may even catch one of the midweek dinner specials (how can you possibly pass up opportunities like Ten Buck Tuesday’s Burger and Brew-haha or Wacky Wednesday Dinner for Two?). 74 South Main St., Woonsocket, 235-9026, riverfallsri.com.
Ye Olde English Fish and Chips
Founded in 1922 by native Brits Harry and Ethel Sowden, this fish and chips joint has been serving the Woonsocket community for almost 100 years. The restaurant’s authentic batter recipe has remained unchanged after four generations of owners. Everything is made on premises, including the chips, which are cut and peeled by hand. Try the fisherman platter, which includes fresh batter-dipped fish served with scallops, shrimp and chips, along with its custom tartar and cocktail sauces. 25 South Main St., Woonsocket, 762-3637, yeoldeenglishfishandchips.com.
A Short Drive Away
Wright’s Dairy Farm and Bakery
If farm fresh is your thing, Wright’s is a must. Bring the kids and watch the cows during milking time. The milk is pasteurized right on the property, so the freshness of the pastries, milk and ice cream can’t be beat. You may start out with the best intentions, but be prepared to leave with armfuls of goodies. Claire’s Classics include cupcakes, cream and flaky pastries, chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins. 200 Woonsocket Hill Rd., North Smithfield, 767-3014, wrightsdairyfarm.com.
Where to shop
In business since 1971, Walt’s caters to Rhode Island’s blue collar workers. Carrying the very best in name brand rain jackets, fleece-lined jeans, worker’s boots and accessories like sunglasses, hats, belts and more, Walt’s can easily cover all of your working attire and weather-dependent needs. 837 Cumberland Hill Rd., Woonsocket, 765-7582, waltsclothing.com.
Sunshine Joy Distributing
Are you a hippie at heart? Then you’re bound to think Sunshine Joy is totally far out. The Woonsocket-based online catalog specializes in “good vibe gifts,” selling everything from wholesale tapestries and tie-dyed clothing items to licensed Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Woodstock products. 769-8800, sunshinejoy.com.
A Short Drive Away
Housed in a repurposed mill building, this emporium formerly known as Stillwater Antiques reflects the history of the surrounding town. Check out cabinets full of vintage memorabilia, Victorian-era furniture and just about everything else from the near or distant past. If you’re an old-fashioned audiophile, they have an impressive collection of vinyl from jazz to rock. Looking to sell some of your own forgotten treasures? They will happily put your goods up for consignment. 711 Putnam Pike, Smithfield, 949-4999, stillwaterantiques.net.
Things to see and do
Built in 1926, the Stadium is one of the few remaining examples of the vaudeville era still in operation. Since being restored in 2001, the iconic Woonsocket staple has developed into a community center where famed international artists (think: Liza Minnelli and Cher) have graced the same stage as talented local community arts organizations. Visit the theater’s website to see which acts are on the program for 2020. 28 Monument Sq., Woonsocket, 762-4545, stadiumtheatre.com.
Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining
One of Rhode Island’s premier music clubs, Chan’s gives you the best of both worlds when dining out, combining delicious Chinese food with world class jazz and blues music. Menu specialties consist of roast duck and Shanghai fish while past acts have included guitarist Duke Robillard, “The Voice” favorite Sarah Potenza and singer-songwriter Leon Redbone. 267 Main St., Woonsocket, 765-1900, chanseggrollsandjazz.com.
A Short Drive Away
Open since 2012, Ravenous is a family-owned nano-brewery that conjures up big flavors. Its artisan, handcrafted brews are one-of-a-kind and include the popular Coffee Milk Stout (which pairs well with an after-dinner treat like flan or tiramisu) and the smooth Rhode Haze New England IPA. Tours are available upon request, and the brewers make good on their mission to ensure their patrons are thirsty nevermore. 10 Industrial Rd., Cumberland, 216-5331, ravenousbrewing.com.