Hookah lounge where man was stabbed will remain closed until Thursday


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Federal Hill hookah lounge where a man was stabbed to death last week will remain closed until at least Thursday.

The Providence Board of Licenses was slated to have a show-cause hearing regarding Nara Hookah Lounge’s license on Monday, but continued the hearing until Thursday.

Associate City Solicitor Mario Martone said the city is hoping to come to an agreement with Nara’s owners, but were unable to do so prior to Monday’s hearing.

The Atwells Avenue business has been closed since Troy Pine was stabbed inside the business late Wednesday night.

The club’s attorney, Nick Hemond, said the club agreed to the closure and would have remained closed for a few days anyway out of respect for the victim.

Providence Police say Pine, 46, was stabbed around 11 p.m. inside the hookah lounge by another man, who ducked out before police arrived.

Police have identified the suspect as Joel Francisco, 41. Police Major David Lapatin said Francisco had not yet been captured as of Monday afternoon.

Police said the club has been cooperating with the investigation and provided surveillance video.

Nick Hemond, the attorney for Nara, acknowledged there was no security at the club the night of the murder because of an apparent communication mixup with the security company. But he said he isn’t sure a security guard would have made a difference, because he says the video shows the stabbing happened very quickly.

The surveillance video of the murder has not yet been shown to the Board of Licenses. Such video is often, but not always, viewed at show-cause hearings.

Hemond said Nara’s owners hope to reopen before the Columbus Day festival this weekend.

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