Club Karma to remain closed while board decides fate

WPRI-TV/Corey Welch

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The downtown nightclub where two men were shot in January will remain closed while the Providence’s Board of Licenses determines its face.

Board members denied a request from a lawyer for Club Karma to allow the Richmond Street establishment to reopen during a meeting Wednesday afternoon. The board will render its decision within the next ten days.

Club Karma was shut down after two men were allegedly shot in the early morning hours of Jan. 25. Kenneth Leslie, 24, and Rodney Hoskins, 26, were rushed to Rhode Island Hospital after they were shot inside the Richmond Street club, according to a police report obtained by They were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made. Police say both victims were from Massachusetts and have gang affiliations.

According to the report, police heard the DJ tell patrons that the shots fired were just balloons popping even though officers didn’t see any balloons in the club. Officers said they also heard bouncers repeating the DJ’s comments. Police then forced the DJ to turn the lights on and music off.

Club Karma is co-owned by Providence restaurateur Gianfranco Marrocco and former state Rep. Peter Petrarca, who is also representing the venue in front of the city liquor board.

Last week Marrocco confirmed to he plans to sell Karma as well as Smoke Lounge, Amici Sports Bar & Grille and Skarr Hookah Lounge on Federal Hill, but said the decision was not related to the shooting.

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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