Monday, January 30, 2012

Rhode Island Case: Owner of Top Political Nightspot Arrested Over Weekend

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VIA GoLocalProv.com

Dan McGowan, GoLocalProv News Editor

The 48-year-old man who was driving when his 21-year-old female passenger jumped out of the car onto I-95 over the weekend is the owner of Pearl Restaurant & Lounge, a Charles Street nightspot known for hosting various political fundraisers.

Joseph Aloisio was charged with driving under the influence and the woman, a Smithfield resident, died at the scene. State police are investigating the accident.

According to the police report, “troopers arrested Joseph M. Aloisio, age 48, of 3 Kiki Circle, Cranston, RI for 1.) Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol B.A.C. Unknown – 1st Offense, 2.) Chemical Test Refusal. This arrest was the result of an investigation into an incident on the Route 95 South at the Washington Street overpass. Aloisio was transported to the Lincoln Woods Barracks where he was processed and held overnight pending morning arraignment.”

Aloisio, who also owns a liquor store in Providence, is the former owner of MugShots, the Manton Ave. bar which closed in 2009 after two teenagers were killed in a car accident following a night of drinking at the establishment.

Bar Hosted Senate Dems Event Last Year

Pearl has hosted several political events over the years, including a $125 per-head Senate Democrats PAC event last May. The lounge also hosted a meet-and-greet in 2010 with Councilman Nick Narducci and Angel Taveras, who had just won the Democratic Primary for Mayor of Providence. Over the past decade, Aloisio himself has contributed thousands of dollars to former Mayor David Cicilline, various Council members, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, former House Speaker William Murphy and former gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio.

Last summer, GoLocalProv found that Pearl was violating a 2004 Consent Order agreed to between the lounge (formerly known as Club Confetti), a local neighborhood group and the Providence Board of Licenses. The agreement made it clear that the lounge was not allowed to operate as a nightclub, to have a DJ or to allow more than 75 patrons after 11 p.m., but Pearl was found to have advertised itself as club throughout the summer.

At one point, Pearl hosted a “7 Year Anniversary Party,” which featured Ronnie from the show Jersey Shore, also promoted a special guest appearance from a DJ known as DJ Head Honcho. At another event, hundreds of patrons turned out to meet adult film star Sasha Grey, who was also promoted as a guest DJ.

The agreement was reached after neighbors complained about underage drinking in the club. In a statement to GoLocalProv, Aloisio said the problems were in the past.

“The past is just that, [the] past,” he said in a statement to GoLocalProv. “Pearl restaurant & lounge has no interest in reliving it. Since 2004 we have continuously strived to remain good neighbors and a very big supporter of the entire community. We have consistently expanded our dining menu, made improvements to the restaurants interior and exterior, as well as held numerous charity fundraisers, special events, and community events. We feel strongly that over the last seven years of operations that our commitment to the community, our guests and team members show more than anything else we are not here to relive the past.”


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