PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the fate of a Providence nightclub hangs in the balance following a deadly assault outside, the Federal Hill Commerce Association says it continues to actively address safety concerns in the area.
Rick Simone, the association’s executive director, said they were already working with city officials to change the way businesses operate – and open – on Federal Hill before the deadly assault took place.
“Our hearts go out to the family affected by this. It’s not something we take lightly up here,” he said. “It hurts the hill, and it hurts the character of what we’re trying to achieve up here.”
Last month, police say Stephen Cabral was beaten and stabbed during a fight outside Club Seven soon after it closed at 2 a.m. Cabral, 28, later died from his injuries.
So far, four suspects have been charged in connection with Cabral’s murder, including brothers Jaquontee Reels-Felder and Sequoya Reels-Felder, Daniel Garcia and Dayquon Stevens. Police have also identified four other suspects, who are not yet in custody.
Following the murder, Club Seven was ordered temporarily closed by the Providence Board of Licenses. At a meeting on Wednesday, the board decided to postpone their decision on whether to order the club permanently closed as they await surveillance video of the incident.
Simone said one of the measures the association is pushing for would no longer allow businesses to stay open past midnight.
“We tested it out Monday night for a new business that wanted to come up to Federal Hill,” Simone said. “It was looking for a 2 a.m. license, and we felt we would love to have a new business come up to Federal Hill, but we didn’t think it was necessary to operate after 12 a.m.”
General Manager of Zooma Armando Bisceglia said he isn’t concerned for his business – or any other business – on Federal Hill.
“Our common goal is to show this street for what it is, and give it it’s due,” he said. “I think what’s horrible is to say ‘Oh, it’s just the hill.’ No, the hill is what it should be. We just need to all work and make it better.”
Simone said in addition to making licensing changes for Federal Hill businesses, the association is also working with the Providence Police Department to ensure patrols in the area Thursday through Sunday.
The Board of Licenses is slated to continue its discussion on the future of Club Seven next week.