‘Debauchery’: Block Island residents blast Ballard’s

This is photo of a fight at Ballard's Beach Club, Monday, Aug. 9, 2022. (Bruce Darelius)

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WLNE) — Residents and homeowners on Block Island called out Ballard’s for the recent brawl, and what they say is continued misconduct.

This comes after a fight broke out at Ballard’s Monday, followed by a violent incident on the ferry Monday night.

Eight people were arrested as a result of Monday’s violence.

“I never go near Ballard’s because of the environment,” said Meaghan Barrett, a homeowner on the island for 35 years. “It’s just debauchery. It went from a nice restaurant to a place that is not safe.”

She continued to say that “none of us should be subjugated to the Filippi’s desire, their craven desire, to make money. We have a right to come here on this island and feel safe.”

Ballard’s owner Steve Filippi responded to criticism on WPRO Wednesday, saying, “I didn’t know about that fight until I saw that video. I remember going out there, looking, and everything was over.”

In a letter to the Town Council, Filippi said he has canceled an upcoming Rhythm and Roots concert and has added additional security and ID scanners.

The Town Council called for a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the recent violence.

A handful of residents, alongside Barrett, wrote into the council to express their growing concerns on the island and about Ballard’s.

“They can’t let this one go. It will affect this island. People will say, ‘I am not going over to the island because its just a place where people get drunk and have fights.’ Who wants that?” Barrett concluded.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday.

Categories: News, Rhode Island