- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s highest court has ruled that Newport cannot deny licenses to sell food and drinks at Gilded Age mansions.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the City Council’s denial of licenses that would allow food and non-alcoholic drinks to be sold at The Elms Carriage House and the Marble House Chinese Tea House.

The court says the denial wasn’t supported by health and safety evidence.

Opponents had said food sales stray from the mansions’ use as museums and could lead to more restaurants at other museums.

The Preservation Society of Newport County owns The Breakers mansion and is building a visitors center on the grounds of the national historic landmark.

Railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt II built the mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, completing it in 1895.

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