Vault Nightclub Forced to Close Again Following Shooting, Hit with More Sanctions

Friday, July 22, 2016


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The Vault nightclub will be forced to close -- once again -- following a recent shooting outside.

The Providence Board of Licenses voted on Thursday to close The Vault nightclub on Federal Hill for an additional five days following a recent shooting outside the club -  after a bouncer admitted to lying to police about the shooter having been inside, saying he was told by club management to lie. 

The embroiled Providence hotspot, which is in a building formerly co-owned by Congressman David Cicilline and now solely owned by his brother John, was slated to have a ruling made ten days following a July 15 meeting, but the city unexpectedly moved it up earlier. 

On Thursday, the Board of Licenses voted to shut Vault for five days, from July 27 to 31, reduce the weekend closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. for 60 days -- and required the club to increase security, and pay up $2000 fine.  

But that wasn't all. 

"Let's just say there were a series of missteps," said Sharon Steele, a real estate consultant and public advocate in Providence, who regularly attends Board of Licenses meetings. 

Evidence Not Documented

"One thing that happened following last meeting's blow-up, the affidavit in which [the bouncer] said he was told to lie and then didn't fess up to police, due to the handling city solicitor, when the affidavit was made public at the last meeting, it should have been numbered to be admissible evidence -- well, it wasn't," said Steele. "So it was shown [to Vault lawyer Peter Petrarca]. but not introduced as a piece of evidence."

"Well, wouldn't you know, when it was brought up today, the board counsel said it was inadmissible. How convenient," added Steele.

"Luckily, [board member] Charles Newton continued to press the issue about the problems at the Vault," said Steele. "This, after board member Johanna Harris got shot down because -- wait for it -- that piece of information, that affadavit, was inadmissible."

"So when Harris made the final motion on the closure, hours, fine, etc., because there had been so many screw-ups, I believe that's why it moved quickly," said Steele.

"I'm concerned about what went wrong, that the evidence was not clearly marked as evidence, and they should have been closed for ten full days," said Steele. "The dates of closure are [July] 27th through 31st -- instead of being just weekend nights, It only punishes them on one Friday and Saturday. And this isn't the first episode of violence."


Related Slideshow: Providence Area Restaurants That Are Sadly Gone

Restaurants have come and gone for years in the state's Capital City, and here are just a few of the most recent ones in Providence that are no longer. 

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Rue De L'Espoir

99 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906

After opening its doors nearly 40 years ago in 1976, the East Side French stalwart Rue De L'Espoir is closing down on August 9, 2015.  

Always a top pick for romantic restaurants and brunch spots in the city, the Rue, was a constant in the community, taking part in such events as Dine Out for Life.

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Eddie and Son Diner

74 Dorrance St, Providence, RI 02903

Eddie and Son Diner, the long-standing Providence institution, shut their doors for good back in 2013, after nearly 70 years of serving customers. 

The famed diner saw many illustrious faces over the years, from Matt Lauer during his Channel 10 days, when the diner was on Pine Street, to multiple generations of Rhode Island ruling elite, from John Chafee to Linc, and J. Joseph Garrahy to son John.  

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Blue Grotto

210 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

The iconic Italian Blue Grotto restaurant closed its doors for good in 2014 after lasting 34 years on Federal Hill.       

At the time of its closing, Blue Grotto had a 3 star ranking (out of five) on Yelp.  For a trip down memory lane, see reviewers' remarks here.

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Tazza Cafe

250 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903

Opening in 2001, the downtown restaurant was well known for its coffee bar, social scene, and locally sourced products.  

After losing their lease in 2013, Tazza was back in the press in 2014, when a former subcontractor for 38 Studios alleged that his firm was ordered to work on former Speaker of the House Gordon Fox's business colleague Michael Corso's bar as part of their contract - that bar being Tazza. 

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50 Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI 02903

A casual Irish pub that was good for watching sporting events, trivia night, brews, and cocktails, the establishment closed in 2014, marking another turnover in the popular -- but up-and-down - Union Station area downtown. 

Photo courtesy of RiRa twitter

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Ruth Chris

10 Memorial Blvd, Providence, RI 02903

An upscale steakhouse chain with various locations around the country, the downtown Providence location known for its expansive patio overlooking Waterplae Park -  bowed out in 2014.  

But steak lovers fear not, the Capital Grille will soon be settling in its new location there when it moves across the street -- if the the new signage is any indication, that should be any day now.  


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50 Weybosset St, Providence, RI 02903

The onetime downtown landmark known for its drag brunches and hefty cocktails, which was a favorite among patrons gay and straight, closed down in 2011, after gaining fame on Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Since then, Circe, popular among politicos, lawyers, and the late-night beautiful crowd, has firmly established itself in the same location in the Providence scene. 

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52 Pine St, Providence, RI 02903

McFaddens, which closed in 2012, was a popular spot to catch a game, with a plethora of TVs - and a late night college-kid haunt for its DJ and dance floor.  

Now Hanley's Ale House, it the bar hasn't lost much of its beer-loving roots -- and it continues to be a mainstay in the Providence social scene. 

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200 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903

A small, intimate restaurant and bar, Tini was best known for its snack sized items on the menu and having their own way of preparing traditional meals. 

The "hip offspring of the legendary Al Forno" was popular until its end in 2013 - but was replaced by the award-winning Birch with Ben Sukle at the helm, earning rave reviews as an up-and-coming star. 

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Cuban Revolution Restaurant

50 Aborn St, Providence, RI 02903

The Cuban Revolution had a number of iterations in its lifetime in Providence, from several locations downtown, and in Olneyville, before they fell by the wayside.  

Those close of the downtown location led to their placement on GoLocal's not hot list by Dan Lawlor in 2013, for the following:

The Westminster developer and the Cuban Revolution restaurateur have both done good for the city. Too bad they couldn't come to an agreement on Cuban Revolution's downcity location. Morabito choose to close suddenly and left for Olneyville. Chace has an open storefront. Not a great week for either.

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$3 Bar

242 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

The popular -- and contentious -- Federal Hill nightlife spot lasted only several months in 2014, after making a big splash on the scene -- clearly rocking some boats in the process. 

After announcing in June 2014 that it would be opening with all drinks, beers, wines, and food items price at $3, bard was the scene to several episodes of violence at the location, prompting the licensing board to revoke its liquor license last August - and owner Gianfranco Moracco railed against the establishment in an unsuccessful effort to save it.

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727 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02680

A BBQ restaurant that served great hickory-smoked ribs, chicken, sandwiches & burgers, the eatery was a popular spot in Pawtucket at the end of Blackstone Boulevard for years.

Sadly, the owners announced it closed at the beginning of 2014. "Sadly, Ljs is now out of business," they wrote on January 20 of that year. "Thank you for having supported us in better times."


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