Federal Hill business owners meet with city officials to stop violence in the area
Gathered around a case of cheese and cured meats in the back of Venda Ravioli, Federal Hill business owners called on themselves and city leaders to do more following recent violence.
"This has to end. This has to end. Period," said Chris Tarro, owner of Siena restaurant.
The community is reacting to a deadly beating behind The $3 Bar on Atwells Ave. last week and a brawl that allegedly spilled from the same establishment out onto the street over the weekend.
Tarro's Siena is next door. He's upset about the new night-time atmosphere on the Hill. "They're hurting our businesses. They're hurting our employees. I don't go anywhere without people saying, 'what the hell is happening on Federal Hill,'" he said. "This is not just business. This is our heritage. This is hour home."
The city licensing board suspended the license of The $3 Bar over the weekend following that melee. And the city will move to revoke the license for good at a hearing Wednesday.
A sign posted in window of the bar states they're upgrading the sprinklers and they'll re-open Wednesday evening.
The other businesses owners hope The $3 Bar stays closed.
Michael Costantino, operating manager of Venda Ravioli, told NBC 10, "We've decided to take our Federal Hill back."
He says Federal Hill after midnight is not a good place to be. "It's become an environment that's frightening," he said. "There are a few places to blame. The $3 Bar right now is the biggest perpetuator of the violence."
Some, like state Sen. Paul Jabour (D-Providence), say they've been raising concerns about the area night-life for months and are calling on the mayor to do more, like adding police patrols.
Mayor Angel Taveras, who attended the meeting, says he's been trying to weed night clubs out of Federal Hill for two years. "There are some serious issues and we recognize that," Taveras told NBC 10. The mayor is also calling for The $3 Bar to be closed permanently.
The owner of The $3 Bar, Gianfranco Marrocco, who has several restaurants and bars on Federal Hill, told NBC 10 in a text message that he does not have a comment now, but they'll defend themselves at the licensing board Wednesday.
The other business owners, who want his bar shut down, plan to march from Federal Hill to the meeting.