UPDATE: Federal Hill business owners call for bar to close

Updated 12:40 PM 7/28/14

By: Melissa Randall

Business owners on Federal Hill came together at Venda Ravioli Monday night to discuss what to do about the 3 Dollar Bar.

Less than two months after opening and the bar has already been slapped with a temporary license suspension. The Federal Hill establishment is coming under fire after several recent violent incidents happened nearby including the beating death of 34-year-old Glocester man last week.

“We’ve decided to ban together and kind of take back Federal Hill for us,” said Venda Ravioli owner Michael Costantino.

“After 11 or 11:30 it just becomes, as one person said, this is the new Bourbon Street- this is where you have to come to party,” said Robert D’Uva, President of the Federal Hill Commerce Association.

The decision to shut down the bar for 72 hours came after police were again called to 242 Atwells Avenue early Saturday morning. Officers had to break up a fight involving about 25 people who were pouring into the road. 2 arrests were made. The board of licenses decided the 3 Dollar Bar is a public safety risk.

“In the past its been let alone to get along but not no longer. I think you are going to see the hiring of police details and I think there is going to be zero tolerance with regards to these issues,” said Rep. John Lombardi, (D) Providence.

Now businesses in the neighborhood want the bar permanently shut down.  They plan to march to the Board of Licenses on Wednesday and demand the license be revoked.

“I can’t have my sister close the restaurant because I’m afraid of what’s up here at night.  I’m afraid at what might happen especially after 12 o’clock and we’re not gonna stand anymore,” said Costantino.

“That bar should not have its license we will press our case and make our case and it will be up to the board of licenses,” said Mayor Angel Taveras.

The business community says the problems along Atwells Ave. have been on going. Many say the recent late night activity is giving the entire area a bad reputation.

“You run into customers who would normally come up to Federal Hill and what they’re saying is I’m not going up there. I’m afraid,” said D’Uva.

The sign on the door of the bar Monday morning said it was closed for repairs until Wednesday. That’s when the board of licenses is set to meet to determine the business’ fate.

Daniel Lastarza, 48, was originally arraigned on assault charges for the brutal beating. Police said Sunday that the charge would be upgraded to murder following the victim’s death. Jonathan Stack passed away Saturday.

Investigators say Lastarza hit Stack with a 2 x 4 piece of wood. The fight is believed to have stemmed from an altercation over a junk car.

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