New Shoreham grants Ballard’s entertainment, liquor licenses under ‘strict’ conditions

This is a photo of Ballard's on Block Island, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2022. (WLNE)

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (WLNE) — The town of New Shoreham and Ballard’s Resort have reached an agreement to allow the resort to maintain it’s liquor and entertainment licenses for 2023.

At a special meeting Wednesday, the council and resort representatives agreed to terms of the granting of the licenses.

Some of those conditions for the liquor license includes hiring two police officers at their own cost to be at Ballard’s on weekend and holidays throughout the summer, a new director of security to implement new security policies, minimum requirement of security on duty and better communication between the resort and the police.

For the entertainment license, Ballard’s will not be allowed to have music festivals going forward and will only be allowed to have one band play at a time with a max of two bands per day.

“The granting of a liquor permit is fundamentally an act of trust by the town and by state government. The conditions developed by the town and Ballard’s are direct and purposeful, with an essential focus on public safety, and, hopefully, they present an opportunity to begin to reestablish that trust with Ballard’s,” said First Warden-elect Keith Stover.

Ballard’s has been under fire throughout the summer after residents reported a rowdy 4th of July weekend, which was followed a brawl on the Block Island Ferry in August where eight people were arrested after a previous altercation at Ballard’s earlier in the day.

As a result of the August incident, the council acting as the board of licenses suspended Ballard’s entertainment and liquor licenses. Ballard’s had the suspension overturned by the state.

“We look forward to a positive working relationship going forward, we are glad to have resolved the issues,” said Brian LaPlante, attorney representing Ballard’s at the special meeting Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Ballard’s echoed a similar sentiment saying, Ballard’s is appreciative of the Town Council’s efforts in resolving the parties’ pending matters, and looks forward to a positive working relationship going forward.”

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