City board votes to keep $3 Bar closed

The Providence Board of Licenses voted Wednesday to keep a Federal Hill bar closed pending a hearing in Superior Court.

The board is deferring to the Superior Court to decide whether surveillance video of a weekend fight outside The $3 Bar can be shown.

Federal Hill business owners want the bar closed permanently. They showed their solidarity by gathering in DePasquale Square and marching to City Hall to attend the Board of Licenses hearing.

"We do not want people to come up here and say that it is not safe. It is absolutely not true," said Walter Potenza, owner of Ristorante Potenza.

"We have underage drinking. We have fights. We have issues. There's vandalism. That's not what we're all about up here and we have to put our foot down," said Mark Gasbarro of Gasbarro Wines.

It's not how Federal Hill is remembered by long-time residents. They know it as an upscale dining area, safe for everyone.

They are calling for the $3 Bar to lose its liquor license, or worse, because of the clientele it is allegedly attracting.

The city subpoenaed surveillance video from the bar, but it refused. The board decided not to make a final decision until it can weigh all the possible evidence, including the video.

The $3 Bar owner Gianfranco Marrocco called the whole thing a witch hunt led by Mayor Angel Taveras.

"He wants to run the state? He should run back to the Dominican Republic, that's where he should run," Marrocco said.

The $3 Bar was ordered temporarily closed on Sunday, a day after a man was fatally beaten in the bar's parking lot. Police said the fight was over a junk car deal gone wrong.

Also over the weekend, a fight was reported inside the bar that spilled outside.