Coutu Family Pages

Father & Son Cafe

A "Landmark Tradition"... The Former Father & Son Cafe - Apponaug R.I.

-Click On "Father & Son Cafe Menu" ...ca. 1960's for a replica of this "infamous" food menu-

Below you will find a couple of articles written by Don D'amato discussing the history of the former Father & Son Restaurant which appears on the City of Warwick's website:

"Warwick's Villages And Historic Places"

Father & Son Cafe,  An "Apponaug Landmark"

One of Apponaug's longest continuously used buildings is the one known to thousands of Rhode Islanders as the Father & Son Cafe. It's history as a restaurant began before World War II and has continued through two World Wars, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam. For 60 years the Father & Son Cafe was a popular dining and drinking establishment. Its patrons were residents from all walks of life, including the rich and the poor of the state as well as politicians and famous actors and actresses from the Warwick Musical Theatre. It has survived not only the major wars, but also Prohibition, Depression, the rush to suburbia, hurricanes and blizzards. Eventually, near the close of the century, the old restaurant at 3301 Post Road had run its course and today it is the Eastern Star restaurant.

Father & Son:

Albertine Coutu, recognizing the potential for a restaurant near Apponaug four corners, purchased the building in 1914 and the Father and Sons Restaurant became a reality. At first, only a small part of the property was used as a restaurant. The section of the building closest to the Four Corners was a post office for a number of years before the Coutu's changed it to a poolroom and then a bar.

Felix Coutu, Sr. drastically changed the appearance of the restaurant by bringing the front out to the width of the porch. He built a second story above this, removed the pitched roof and gave the building the appearance it has today. As was common during the early twentieth century, the second story of the building was used by the Coutu family as their dwelling.

During the difficult 1930's, when many of Warwick's mill hands were desperate for work, Felix Coutu added a light touch to the times by painting his Austin motor car to advertise the Father & Son Cafe in the 1930's. At that time, the cafe's address was 250 Main Street. When Main Street became Post Road, it was changed to 3301 Post Road.


The car became a familiar sight and the advertising was a morale booster. The idea of good food and plenty of it, at a very reasonable price, kept the Father & Son Restaurant a popular spot for many decades.

During the post World War II years, when many were leaving the city for the suburbs and Warwick was growing at an unprecedented rate, new residents quickly learned that Coutu's restaurant was one that could be counted upon for good food and service.

Much of the same might be said today as the area supports a number of restaurants, including the Greenwood Inn on Jefferson Boulevard and the newly renovated Remington House (formerly the Boathouse Tavern) on Post Road as well as the state's oldest McDonald's and a relatively new Burger King.

...End

Some early published photos I thought you would might find interesting. Courtesy of  the Bruce Eastman/Bob Champagne Collection.

Emile, Henry and Wilbrod
Father & Sons Cafe in October 1937. One of Warwick's most famous cafes was operated by the Coutu family. From left to right are: Paul Coutu, Henry Moorehead and Wilbrod Coutu.
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Austin... Advertise Father & Son Cafe
Main Street, Apponaug in 1935. The Austin was used to advertise for the Father & Sons Cafe. It was owned by Felix Coutu who also owned the Father & Sons Cafe.
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Emile & Waitress Father & Son Cafe
A photo of my dad Paul "Emile" Coutu and an unidentified waitress taken sometime in the 1930's.
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Beatrice, Pete And "Buzz"
A family of workers at the Father & Sons. Beatrice (Coutu) Eastman, Pete Coutu (center) and Felix "Buzz" Coutu at work in the kitchen of the Father  & Sons Cafe in the 1930's.

This site is maintained by Richard A. Coutu. Should you have any questions or comments please contact the author.

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