With many traditional summertime activities being unavailable, Newport on the Levee’s recently opened Bridgeview Box Park offers just the mini-getaway you’re looking for. The park and the adjacent Riverfront Commons Pedestrian bridge officially opened on June 27 and have quickly become a great place to have some fun, support local businesses, and maintain social distancing.
So why are they calling it a box park? The participating businesses operate out of repurposed shipping containers. And they’re local! Some of the businesses at the Levee, like Little Spoon Bakery and Café, started as holiday pop-ups and expanded to more permanent spaces, and North American Properties hopes that other businesses will make that transition as well. So Ludlow-based Second Sight Spirits will pour you a smoked cherry rum limeade, Wooden Cask Brewing from Newport pours their beers, and Farmhouse Lemonade can cool you off with one of 15 flavors of lemonade made with fruit purees.
Whatever your beverage choice, you have no excuse for being hangry. Bon Mi Street is an Asian eatery with an interesting twist on the banh mi sandwich. OTR’s Argentinian favorite Ché brings its mobile unit—and its empanadas—to the party. And Little Spoon Bakery and Café, in the “octagon” near the aquarium, has your sweet tooth covered.
If a sit-down place is still out of your pandemic comfort zone, this is a good place to ease into social activity. The park is friendly to kids, bikes, and dogs, and you’re free to wander with your beverage as you stroll (check out Leaf & Limb’s plant selection while you’re at it). Park-goers are encouraged to wear masks, hand sanitizer stations are stationed throughout the property, and the tables are spaced out six feet. Maybe that concert at Riverbend or U.S. Bank Arena got postponed, but Thursday through Saturday evenings, music fans can stop at the Box Park and take in free acoustic concerts by local artists. Live music while eating and drinking outdoors? Sounds like prime summer to us.