Benny’s Automotive

A local-chain tire and automotive parts outlet with four car-wide drive-through bays on a local retail corridor.

About this Property

Last Tenant

Benny’s was a home-grown chain of hardware/homeware stores throughout Rhode Island — it was home to “a little bit of everything.” It started in 1924 with a storefront on Fountain Street, Downtown Providence. They survived big-box and online competition until October 2017, when the last of their stores closed. It wasn’t a going-out-of-business story as much as it was a retirement story. The retail landscape shifted so much, and the stores were not growing their reach. A younger generation did not have the same affinity for locally-owned, quirky, low-bottom-line retail.

A great ode to Benny’s was written by Barry Fain for East Side Monthly.


The building itself is an “L” shaped box — nothing terribly interesting. The huge letters adorning the front and back of the building are great, though. We also love the small white, silver, and red tiles.

Current Events

The site has been vacant since 2017. It is still in pretty good condition as Carpionato Properties seeks a new tenant.


No formal history. The property shows up on an aerial photograph from 1972, and the previous photo from 1962 shows different structures.