SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Community members were confused after a pair of popular Smithfield restaurants suddenly shut down Thursday.
Signs were posted outside Faial and Faial II saying the establishments were closed — so customers with gift certificates and reservations called Eyewitness News looking for answers.
When both restaurants, located in Greenville and Smithfield, closed their doors, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office opened an investigation. Peter Kilmartin’s office said it received 10 emails, as well as a steady stream of phone calls.
Joe Faria, the owner of the restaurants, said he and his wife were in the middle of selling their businesses to person in East Providence because they planned to retire. But when lawyers on both sides could not come to an agreement Thursday, he regrettably panicked and closed shop.
“I can understand their concern, frustration and panic. We had a sale pending and it took a little longer than I expected and I panicked but we’re back on. We’re here and hopefully, we’re here for a long time,” Faria said.
The Smithfield location opened back up Friday around 5 p.m — and Faria expects the Greenville restaurant to be back up and running Saturday.
Plus, he said the sale went through Friday and he is still planning to retire.
Faria said it is business as usual and his 40 employees are keeping their jobs.