Closing arguments made at hookah lounge hearing

Skarr Hookah Lounge

Closing arguments were made Thursday at a Providence Board of Licenses hearing into the Skarr Hookah Lounge.

The Federal Hill hookah lounge has been in the spotlight following a string of violent incidents, including the beating of a woman in a restroom.

Owner Gianfranco Marrocco is in danger of losing the license to operate Skarr Lounge.

"There was very little the club or any of its agents could have done other than what they did. There was no way they could be monitoring the bathroom with respect to that kind of incident," said Peter Petrarca, Marrocco's attorney.

Representatives of the city said violence needs to stop at establishments owned by Marrocco and is calling for licenses to be revoked at all 11 of his establishments in the city.

"I don't think this is a city-wide problem in the kind of negligence and violence that you see. You don't see this in other clubs. You see it in a certain few," said Johanna Harris, director of the Board of Licenses.

The city revoked the licenses of Marrocco's $3 Bar last month following an assault in the parking lot that left a man dead.

The state Department of Business Regulation last week denied a stay of the closure of The $3 Bar. It will remain closed until the next scheduled hearing on an appeal of the Board of Licenses' revoking its licenses. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17.