Worker at Blue Grotto given no warning about closing

The Blue Grotto restaurant on Atwells Avenue in Providence.

James Willette said he found out the Blue Grotto restaurant was shutting down Thursday 15 minutes before he was scheduled to work.

"No warning. No notice. Just out of a job," he said. "I'm freaking out. My rent is due in a week. I got a lot of bills."

Willette and more than a dozen co-workers at the restaurant are unemployed. So are workers at the Vintage restaurant in Woonsocket, which closed last week.

Both restaurants have the same owner.

One worker at the Vintage told NBC 10 that he and his co-workers were told they could work at Blue Grotto, per diem, filling in as needed. Now they're out of a job and worried about what's next.

"As of right now, I've been looking for work for the past couple weeks and it's pretty hard. Having a hard time finding a job," the worker said.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and the state Hospitality Association said they are working to help employees find other jobs. They said they plan on holding a session for workers on Monday and keep an eye on unemployment insurance claims to help them get back on their feet.

For workers like Willette, and those at Vintage, it's an unwelcome surprise.

"(The owner) hasn't told me anything. He didn't give me any sort of explanation for why he's closing down. It was just completely out of the blue," Willette said.

Several attempts to reach the owner of the restaurants Friday were unsuccessful.

The session will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the NetworkRI Career Center on Reservoir Avenue in Providence.

Regarding Groupon Deals

A representative from Groupon said if the location is closed and the company has verified it's closed, Groupon would issue a refund in Groupon Bucks or in the form of however the account holder paid.

The time frame on a refund is normally 7-10 business days.

Anyone with questions are asked to call 888-375-5797.