Are You Living In One Of Newport’s Most Notorious Party Houses?

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There’s an easy way to find out.

When I leased and began renovating a huge apartment in Newport’s lower Broadway neighborhood, I did not realize I was ushering in the end of an era. Since I moved to 3 Bull Street, I’ve heard countless stories of its days as one of Newport’s most notorious party houses.

Back in the 90s the second floor was converted from a dentist office to a seven bedroom residence for Salve’s aspiring dropouts. And by “converted,” I mean the sign was taken off the door and beds were moved in. Before relocating to Broadway, Dr. Nathan Tilman revealed to me that the secret to the apartment’s popularity was linked to one major oversight: The tanks of Nitrous Oxide, used by the previous dentist, were never disconnected from the rooms. Each bedroom had a convenient nozzle built into the wall to ensure that all residents woke up on the right side of the bed each and every morning. The apartment was an instant hit.

Even after the laughing-gas amenity was corrected, the location, size, and infamy of the apartment continued to attract Newport’s best and brightest youths. After moving to Bull Street I started dating a girl from Tiverton. She told me story after story of drunken nights at 3 Bull. She admitted that it was probably her vomit that required me to scrape the back porch multiple times before any paint would actually stick to it. In her defense, she was a green-behind-the-ears teenager at the time. Apparently she was still smart enough to know that some parties are worth traveling for.

A year later I had the pleasure of sitting next to a perpetually dazed blonde in a marketing class at CCRI. She vaguely remembered partying at 3 Bull but the details escaped her. This was likely due to her reputation for taking regular diggers over the railing and down the hardwood stairs. I’m pretty sure she failed that class.

Random guests still share their stories upon entering the nearly unrecognizable apartment. Their veins seem to swell and eyes dilate, as if their body was experiencing a deja vu of euphoric substances and altered states of mind. Then they ask, “Was this place recently renovated?” Or “Did this used to be a dentist office?” Then they plunge into stories about pong tournaments, broken bones or regrettable threesome combinations. The bedroom that used to have the soggiest carpets was always the scene of the most convoluted tails. Whose room was that? And is he incarcerated yet?

Just the other day I handed my license to a notary at the bank and he said with some excitement, “Ah, 3 Bull Street! I lived there for a couple months. I had to move because I was the only one trying to sleep at night.” Apparently, not every former resident was a disappointment to their parents.

If you’re a veteran of 3 Bull renown, you probably fall into one of these categories: the under-age vomiter, the 30-something that still touts his champion pong stats, the numb bimbo, or that rare person that’s smart enough not to talk about it.

The summer of 2012 I filled the newly vacated first floor with seven young strangers. That was 3 Bull Street’s last big party/social experiment.

Every year, just before St. Patrick’s Day, I contemplate bring this former party palace out of retirement. But then I remember all the sounds and smells.

There’s always 580 Thames Street for all of your Parade Day debauchery.

-Thomas Gray Williams, Blast Alternative Realty Correspondent