Residents rally to save local business - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Residents rally to save local business

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. -

It was a full house at Sparky's on Saturday, the landmark restaurant has been on Taunton Ave in East Providence nearly a century.

After NBC 10's interview with owner George Watts about his concern he would have to close aired, the outpouring of support he has received has been tremendous and emotional; as Watts told NBC 10 "the support has been unbelievable, it's great, people are great"

Watts extremely grateful; he's already started making cosmetic changes, and is planning making more practical changes as well like accepting credit cards and expanding his menu.

Watts told NBC 10 about some of those changes "we're going to have salads, we have pastries, we're going to expand our pastry menu, but more health conscious stuff."

Watts says despite some of the changes, one thing won't change, the heart of Sparky's will always be the wieners.

After NBC 10's story aired word spread like wildfire on social media, and this event was planned to drum up support.

It brought back former customers like Janet Kowalski, who said that she "saw it on facebook, and I wanted to come down and support, it's been around a long time, I hate to see it go"

Sparky's has even brought together both sides of the political aisle. Saturday's event was organized by Ed Doyle, who's running as a democrat for State Representative in Johnston. He told NBC 10 "we need to call attention to that fact that this is the basis of Rhode Island, the small businessman." He garnered support from friend Doreen Costa, the Republican State Representative from North Kingstown, who said "the place is starting to fill up, we're all going to spend some money and it's a good thing, we're going to help a small business"

In fact, Watts says after our story aired, he was even contacted by SBA about help.

Sparky's certainly feeling the love on this Valentine's weekend, hoping to build on this momentum and make it to 100 years old next year.

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