Where fiction and reality meet.
On this page we attempt to catalog, in rough episodic order, the filming locations and local references used in the Showtime series Brotherhood.
Warning: Here there be spoilers!
S1E1, "Mark 8:36"
- Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, India Street, Providence: The premiere episode opens on the job site of the Highway Bypass Project, filmed on the job site of the Route 195 relocation project, an actual project that took place in Providence. The object of the real project was to move the highway several hundred feet south, removing some traffic-slowing curves and opening up the waterfront for development. The slogan for the project on the show is "A New Day for Rhode Island," and the logo shows a map of the state that includes only the West Bay. Tommy Caffee (Jason Clarke) has to wheel and deal to prevent the spur from passing through the Hill, and eventually succeeds in sending it through Fox Point, which is a real neighborhood in Providence and, coincidentally, where the actual relocation occurred (you can see the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in the background of the opening shot). Other neighborhoods mentioned as options for the spur's route—Mount Hope, the East Side, South Providence—don't make geographical sense. Neither does the Hill (Federal Hill), for that matter.
- Kennedy Plaza, Providence: Michael Caffee (Jason Isaacs) gets off the bus. Later in the episode Representative Gerald Williams (Lonnie Farmer) holds a press conference near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and City Hall.
- Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston: Tommy makes a backroom deal, then gives a speech in which he announces the era of backroom deals is over. Rhodes was built in 1915 and replaced an earlier venue that was destroyed by fire. Rhodes makes an extended return appearance in the season finale. The gazebo where Eileen Caffee (Annabeth Gish) chats with old friends in S1E11 dates from around 1880, and the spot where she shares a joint is the beginning of a 2.5-mile nature trail on the property.
- The Hill, the East Side, Barrington: Prior to his speech at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, Tommy meets in a back room with Representative Donatello (Matt Servitto). It's mentioned that The Hill is where "poor folks" live, while "rich folks" live on the East Side. It's also intimated that Barrington is a wealthy community. These generalizations hold true in the real world, as well.
- The Hot Club, 575 South Water Street, Providence: The restaurant where Declan "Decco" Giggs (Ethan Embry) and Ralph Magno (Tony Viveiros) watch Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman) pee off a boat. It's the same club where Magno says he met a "cop groupie" in S1E4. It's located just the other side of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, where Patty Mullin (David Catanzaro) was beaten to death in the opening scene.
- Symposium Books, 240 Westminster Street, Providence: Two students are attacked across the street by Kelly "Moe" Reilly (Billy Smith). Westminster Street is also where the girl later finds the earrings in her car.
- Carpenter Street, Providence: Tommy Caffee's family and his mother, Rose (Fionnula Flanagan), live in separate Carpenter Street houses on Federal Hill. Rose's house is number 194 and Tommy's family is at 205. Interiors were reportedly filmed on sets constructed inside a former pet-food warehouse in East Providence.
- Richter and Quonset: During an interlude at Tommy Caffee's house on Carpenter Street, Tommy and his assistant, Alex, mention Richter and Quonset Streets. Richter exists and is located on Smith Hill, but there is no Quonset Street in Providence.
- Providence Place Mall, Francis Street, Providence: Mrs. Mullin (Audrie Neenan), bragging about her five finger discounts, declares, "Those new rent-a-cops at Providence Place are friggin' retahded." It was reported in the Providence Journal that actors and producers took "considerable efforts to reproduce Rhode Island accents, including dialect lessons on iPods." While the results are reasonably accurate to the untrained ear, native speakers can spot the less-than perfect ones. Incidentally, this scene was shot on the third floor of a triple decker at 129 Knight Street.
- Television stations: Some of the television stations represented in Brotherhood are real, some are not. WTSE, WFFP Channel 44, WWEN Channel 7, WDCJ, and Channel 3, which can be seen on microphones in some scenes involving the press, are not real; channels 6, 10, and 12 are. During the garbage workers' strike scene in S1E3, a Channel 12 Eyewitness News truck can be seen in the background, and Tommy notes that channels 6 and 10 haven't shown up yet. In S2E2 Tommy says, "Alex [(Karl Bury)] can get Jeremy Williams at Channel 10 to crucify the bastard."
- Olneyville New York System, 18 Plainfield Street, Providence: A handful of meetings take place here in the first several episodes. With the exception of those with speaking parts, all employees shown are real. Check out the prices on the menu board!
- Sandy's Pub, 289 Knight Street, Providence: Where we first meet Michael's right-hand man, Pete McGonagle (Stivi Paskoski). In S1E10 we find out that Pete's apartment is across the street at the corner of Knight and Carpenter.
- Adult Correctional Institute (ACI), Cranston: Pete remarks to Michael, "Yeah, I got in a program, when I was doin' time down at ACI? Judge gave me three years. I woulda done ten if it was Fed time."
- Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence: The Rhode Island State House plays a big part in Brotherhood. Tommy's office, where the House Committee on Corporations, which he chairs, supposedly meets was reported to actually be a set put together inside a former pet-food warehouse in East Providence. However, we noticed that the view outside the windows appears to be true to life, and we know for sure that filming took place all over the State House, so we're unsure what to believe. One of Tommy's favorite spots for private meetings is in the gallery overlooking the House of Representatives chamber, for instance the conversation with union rep Marty Trio (Tom Kemp). A conversation between Tommy and Judd Fitzgerald (Len Cariou) in S1E3 takes place in the State House Library. In S1E9, the State Reception Room is the scene of the announcement about the public memorial service. Real Rhode Island state legislators, according to the Providence Journal, "took turns walking through the background of scenes&38212;some wearing fake 'lobbyist' identification badges—or pretending to be members of the House Corporations Committee." Many of the props used—drinking glasses, flags, pens, cuff links, a credenza, lobbyist badges, chairs, pictures—were loaned by Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty and House Speaker William J. Murphy. "Several Capital Police officers also played themselves... they were on duty running the metal detector at the... front door when a scene was filmed in the entryway." In S2E1, Tommy and Judd look up from Carvalho's arrest and gaze at the painted muses on the inside of the State House dome; Judd comments, "I always liked the tits on Commercium." (It should be noted that all of the muses wear smocks that hide the details of their feminine anatomy, so one would be hard pressed to choose one muse over another based solely on their busts. Still, if we had to choose, we'd go with Justitia, because she's at least got the word right there in her name.)
- Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, Jr.: During supper at Rose Caffee's house, the following conversation takes place: Tommy: "Yeah, well, Mayor Cianci had his faults." Mary Kate Martinson (Kerry O'Malley): "Buddy Cianci was guilty as sin." Rose: "The only thing Buddy Cianci was guilty of was bein' mayor." This very same conversation was probably had in thousands of Rhode Island households during and after Buddy's 2002 racketeering trial.
- Tommy's license plate: When Michael is at Rose's house looking over mementos from Tommy's life and career, we see that Tommy's House-issued license plate number is 85. Low-number plates in Rhode Island are a status symbol.
- Providence University: in the same scene we see that Tommy graduated from the Honors Program at this school. There is no such university in real life.
- Providence College, Providence: Several banners are on the walls in the same scene. PC is a real school.
- Newspaper: The Journal is mentioned a few times here and there, and characters would seem to be referring to the real-life Providence Journal, but the newspaper that Tommy shows to his brother-in-law, Jimmy Martinson (Bates Wilder), at the Olneyville New York System looks nothing like it.
- Ned Mays: The character of U.S. Assistant District Attorney Ned Mays, introduced in this episode, is played by Trinity Rep actor Tim Crowe. In S1E6 we learn that he's been transferred to Alabama.
- The Green Bar, 1718 Westminster Street, Providence: Marty Trio calls Tommy from there, then Patty Mullin's (David Catanzaro) wake is held there later. At the time of filming it was a real business at the end of Westminster Street overlooking Route 10. On the show it's run by Freddie Cork, the local crime boss. In an apparent instance of real life imitating art, the Providence Journal reported in June 2007 that the Green Bar was "a major hot spot for drug deals on Federal Hill." At least two employees, caught selling drugs in the bathroom and parking lot, were arrested, and the bar was shut down for ten days. By the time this came to light, the Brotherhood production company had already built its own Green Bar interior sets for the second season in its warehouse in East Providence. Early in 2008 the bar came under new management, was renamed Westminster Public House, and the distinctive green half-timbered exterior was covered over with dark brown panels. Soon after that, it was painted black and renamed The Scurvy Dog.
- Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 550 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence: Eileen's paramour Carl Hobbs (Rob Campbell) says "I want to be buried at Heaven's Gate Cemetery, right next to my mother." New England mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca is buried there.
S1E2, " Genesis 27:29"
- S1E2 opens with a moody dawn shot of Providence from on high, looking toward the top of the bay, followed by the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, Point Street Bridge, and Carpenter Street.
- Carpenter Mill, where Patty Mullin's sister is said to have been stabbed and thrown off the roof, is located at 299 Carpenter Street. In real life it's known as Grant Mill, and as of 2021 it houses apartments.
- A couple of places that figure in S1E2 don't appear to have exact real-life counterparts: the Harris Mill (the property that Tommy is trying to sell) and Jordan Medical Associates (where Eileen's ObGyn works). Rhode Island is full of mills like the one shown, though. They are popular places for artists to set up shop, and they're also very attractive to developers with their eye on the lucrative condo market. We suspect the location used for Harris Mill was somewhere in Olneyville. (Note: one of our readers, kayne1988, informs us it's in the complex of buildings bounded by Dike, Troy, Oak and Agnes Streets). We were unable to find the medical clinic in the Yellow Pages or online, and so we conclude it's fictional.
- The street that Mike and Pete are driving down in S1E2, before they stop at Breen's Corner Liquors, is Valley Street in Olneyville. Scenes at Breen's (a fictional business) were shot at 118 Valley Street. Freddy Cork tells Michael in S2E1 that he closed Breen's, sold the inventory, and leased the space to "a spic hair salon." In real life the storefront became Disnalda Beauty Salon when the production was done with it.
- Also in S1E2 we meet Judson Fitzgerald, who's described as the "man behind the curtain," the real power in Rhode Island government. Series writer Blake Masters has admitted that while Judd was based on New York City power broker Robert Moses, his wheelchair came from Larry McGarry, Providence's Democratic Party chairman in the 1960s and '70s. Another local personality that Masters may not have been aware of is Charles R. "Boss" Brayton (1840-1910), who used his position as leader of the Republican Party to become the most powerful man in the state, effectively controlling all three branches of government. He also didn't allow a handicap—partial blindness—to prevent him from continuing to pull political strings in the last years of his life.
- Judd and Peggy Fitzgerald's house, first seen in S1E2, is located at the corner of Carleton and Roanoke Streets in Providence.
- When Michael is driving with Shannon (Susan Scott "Scottie" Thompson) in S1E2, he suggests they get a steak at Twin Oaks, which is a real restaurant at 100 Sabra Street in Cranston. It has a reputation as a place to see and be seen, and the wait to get in can often be lengthy.
- Shannon mentions that she is a junior in hotel management, which probably means she attends Johnson ' Wales University, where hospitality is one of the main programs.
- The Festival of the Holy Ghost (Festa do Espírito Santo), seen in S1E2, is a real Portuguese festival that takes place in East Providence on a weekend between Easter and the end of July.
S1E3, "Matthew 13:57"
- S1E3 opens with another early morning montage, this time showing garbage piled up on Carpenter Street and outside Breen's Liquors on Valley Street, followed by a (momentarily) clean Wayland Avenue on Providence's East Side.
- The locksmith shop where we meet Harry "The Beast" Mercer (David Ian) in S1E3 is Ferdie's Key Shop, 234 East Avenue, Pawtucket.
- Harry mentions he just spent five years in the ACI. The Adult Correctional Institute, Rhode Island's main prison system, is located in Cranston.
- Many of the garbage trucks used in S1E3 belonged to Rambone Disposal, located in Johnston.
- When Michael and Pete go looking for Kevin Dougherty (Joe Pacheco) in S1E3, they go looking for his house behind 722 Atwells Avenue, only to find that it's gone.
- The store where Eileen flirts with the shoe salesman in S1E3 is Ray Gardner Designs by Repete at 1235 Oaklawn Avenue in Warwick. Thanks to Dave and Kim from Providence for that bit of info.
- Michael tells his mother he should maybe get a place of his own in S1E3, and he mentions a place on Center or Cellar or Sutter Street (it's hard to distinguish which). There are no streets by these names in Providence.
- Reader Michelle dropped us a line to let us know that the bingo parlor where Michael drops his mother off in S1E3 is the Holy Ghost Brotherhood of Charity, 59 Brightridge Avenue in East Providence.
- We meet Michael's former girlfriend, Kathleen Parry (Tina Benko), in S1E3. The Warwick Beacon reported in September 2005 that the house where the character lives is located on Blossom Drive in Cranston, and is owned by a family named DiBiase, but when we scouted the street in June 2007 we didn't find anything that looked remotely like it. Nor, when we checked the white pages, could we find a family named DiBiase living on that street. In any case, by season two, interior sets had been constructed at ye olde pet food warehouse in East Providence.
- One of the little subplots in S1E3 has to do with Kevin Dougherty owing Harry money from "the Lincoln Downs deal." The reference may be to Lincoln Greyhound Park (now Twin River), in Lincoln, which formerly was a thoroughbred racing track. When Michael and Tommy go to meet their father (Kevin Conway) at a casino in Connecticut in S1E10, we first see them driving south on Allens Avenue, then north on the same road, toward Providence. Tommy: "You gonna take 95 or Hope? Michael: "Too many stop lights on Hope." Tommy: "Yeah, but 95's a parking lot at this hour." The place where they end up is Lincoln Greyhound Park.
- The following exchange takes place between Tommy and Mayor Frank Panzanella (Al Sapienza) at Prospect Terrace in S1E3: The Mayor says he used to get stoned there with Hope High School kids, and Tommy replies that his friends went to Central. Mayor: "Ah, good old race riots Central." Tommy: "When the weather turns the knives and chains come out." Mayor: "Guess the brothers of Bishop Hendricken did good by the both of us." All three schools are real. Hope High is located on the affluent East Side, Central sits between the working class neighborhoods of Federal Hill and South Providence, and Bishop Hendricken, a Catholic school, is located in Warwick.
- Tommy promises his daughters he'll take them to Dairy Queen in S1E3. At the time the episode aired the only one in Rhode Island was a Dairy Queen/Orange Julius Treat Center at the Providence Place Mall.
- The highlight of S1E3 would have to be Michael's visit to Cooley's Dockside with one of his younger nieces. Located on the shore of the Seekonk River in East Providence, between an old railroad bridge and Washington Bridge, Cooley's (a redecorated version of the East Providence Yacht Club) is unfortunately fictional. Michael orders two stuffies, anticipating sharing a formative experience with his niece, but they don't live up to his standards and he orders her to spit hers out. Michael complains to the guy who seems to be in charge, "They don't taste right. They got corn in 'em." Guy: "So?" Michael: "So stuffies don't have corn in 'em." Guy: "These do." Michael: "No, they don't. They never have." Guy: "They always have." Michael: "Listen you little sh*t, I been eatin' stuffies from George's my whole life and they never had corn in 'em!" Guy: "Look, there's no George here, okay? Maybe they changed the recipe... What's your f*ckin' problem?" Michael grabs the stuffies and smears them all over the guy's face: "I'll tell you what my f*ckin' problem is... You're going to f*ckin' go back in there and make (unintelligible) goddamn (unintelligible). I don't like corn in my f*ckin' stuffie! You understand? Because changin' things doesn't make things better, you snotty nosed little sh*t, it f*cks them up, you understand?!" The guy apparently does understand, because when Michael returns to Cooley's with his older niece, MaryRose (Fiona C. Erickson), in S1E6, he obsequiously presents two orders of stuffies, saying, "George says they're on the house." MaryRose says, "I don't like stuffies." Michael: "Taste it!" She does but gives only a noncommittal shrug. Michael is pleased anyway.
- The last scene in S1E3 takes place at the Central Landfill in Johnston.
S1E4, "Matthew 5:6"
- The hotel where Moe goes to meet the feds in S1E4 is the Providence Biltmore. The lobby scenes appear to take place in the real location, but the hotel room may have been a studio set. It also could be that the scene with Tommy and the hotel manager in the bar, and the politician's dinner scene, were filmed in the real McCormick and Schmick's restaurant in the hotel. The hotel figures again in S1E5, when Michael and Shannon unwittingly rendezvous in the room next to Rose and Jacob (Mark Margolis).
- Scituate, the town where Decco says he's parked (outside the topless bar—"Table Dancing, Hot Hot Hot") in S1E4, and where Eileen dumps the cat in S1E6, is located about twenty minutes west of Providence.
- By the way, according to reader Paul, the parking lot of that topless bar from which Declan calls in S1E4, "is definitely the Living Room on Rathbone Street, Providence." Paul charmingly backed up his claim by admitting, "I recognized the parking lot within seconds because of the corner of the building I usually pee at when leaving at night." The building where the Living Room was has since been torn down.
- During a conversation in Rose's kitchen in S1E4, Rose offers MaryRose a donut, which she declines. The donut box, which was visible on the kitchen table earlier in the scene, appears to be from Allie's Donuts, a legendary institution located at 3661 Quaker Lane (Route 2) in North Kingstown.
- In another small detail of local references and dialect, after the feds leave in S1E4, Decco says, "Let's go Dunkin," and his partner, Ralph, replies, "Get a nice sangweege." Declan is referring, of course, to Dunkin Donuts, which is ubiquitous in Rhode Island. Ralph's pronunciation of "sandwich" would seem to be a variation on the local "sangwich," which itself is more often a self-conscious affectation than a serious mispronunciation in real life.
S1E5, "Matthew 12:25"
- The barbeque at Eileen's parents' place in S1E5 was shot in the back yard of 10-12 Almy Street in the Armory District of Providence, which is located less than a half-mile (on foot) from the Caffee's house on Carpenter Street.
- Four streets—Emerson, Baldry, McIntyre, and Broadway—are mentioned in S1E5 as bounding an area that would be ideal for a new waste treatment plant. Of the four, only Emerson and Broadway exist in real-life Providence, but they are nowhere near one another. Also it should be noted that the price of $80,000 offered by Jimmy Martinson for houses on the hill is far too low. A real house hunter on Federal Hill in 2006 would have been hard-pressed to find properties going for less than $200,000.
- Mike Schuster tells us that Mulligan's, the bar where Michael and Pete "take care of" the Armenians in S1E5 is actually the Old Timer's Tap, located at 52 Mount Pleasant Avenue in Providence. Mike should know, he was an extra on the show. Beginning in the second season, Mulligan's interiors were shot in the East Providence warehouse.
- The baseball field where the Green Bar and Mulligan's teams mix it up in S1E5 is located at the corner of Broadway and Barton Street in Providence, only a block from the Green Bar. It's called Aldo Freda Field.
S1E6, "Samyutta 11:10"
- The spot where Ralph Magno shoots the FBI agent in S1E6 is located on Taft Street in Pawtucket. The arched stone bridge in the background carries Division Street over the Pawtucket River.
- Returning from Cooley's in S1E6, Michael lets MaryRose out one street over from her house, on West Fountain Street, next to a storefront with these signs: "Ice Cream Cones and Cabinets; Coffee, Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla" and "Frozen Lemonade; Today's Special; Strawberry." Strawberry would be a very unusual flavor for frozen lemonade, but the storefront is a real business called West Fountain Street Spa, located at number 471. This is also the spa where Tommy meets Norman (Eileen's father) in the same episode.
S1E7, "Genesis 27:39"
- The warehouse store scenes in S1E7 were filmed at Concept Warehouse, 600 Callahan Road in North Kingstown, in late September 2005.
- Woonsocket's Stadium Theatre plays a big part in S1E7, only here it's called the Uptown Stadium Theatre. Opened in 1926, the real-life Stadium was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1990s by a grassroots effort. Unlike its fictional counterpart, the theater continues to be a popular performance venue. In the episode, just before How Green was My Valley begins, we see a man playing an organ. The man is 82-year-old John "Jack" Cook, and the organ is known as the Mighty Wurlitzer. Jack really is the house organist; he helped restore the instrument in the late 1990s and regularly performs on it before movies and during special events at the Stadium. By the way, the Uptown Theatre is also mentioned by Eileen when speaking to Tommy on the phone in the clothing store in S1E3. While there currently is no theater in Providence with this name, the Columbus Theatre on Broadway was known as the Uptown for a time. Scenes at the Stadium Theatre were filmed in the first week of September 2005.
- Declan and Cassie Giggs (Georgia Lyman) exit a restaurant in S1E7. Cassie is holding a foil doggie bag shaped like a swan. According to Pierre from New York (formerly of Woonsocket) the restaurant is Ciro's, 42 Cherry Street, Woonsocket. Writes Pierre, "The sign on the restaurant doesn't really look like it says Ciro's but on closer inspection, it looks like one of the letters is unlit, or perhaps the sign has been altered slightly. Also, the windows at Ciro's are a giveaway since they are stained glass which gives the building a sort of old English feel. Lastly, the Woonsocket Depot is plainly seen behind them as the two exit the restaurant." Further, Pierre guesses that the parking lot where Declan helps Marty Trio with his flat tire may be the one behind the Stadium Theatre, which is right up the street from Ciro's.
- Narragansett Beer tallboys have a cameo in the scene in S1E7 where Michael discovers that Pete has fallen off the wagon.
- Also in S1E7, in talking with the Speaker of the House (Michael Gaston) about ways to save the Uptown Stadium Theatre, Tommy says, "We could fold it into the PPAC or Fine Arts Council." PPAC stands for the Providence Performing Arts Center, another beautifully restored movie palace.
- At the beginning of the scene in S1E7 where Decco finds Marty Trio sitting alone on a bench, Decco exits from the Hudson Street Deli, 68 Hudson Street, in Providence.