PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Thayer Street restaurant whose owners allegedly paid former House Speaker Gordon Fox a $52,500 bribe to obtain a liquor license in 2008 has been sold.
Stephen Del Sesto, the court-appointed receiver for Shark Bar & Grille, said Tuesday a Superior Court judge approved the sale of the restaurant Silver Linings Restaurant Inc., for $300,000.
The sale is contingent on the new owner obtaining a liquor license from the Providence Board of Licenses and a temporary manager being named to oversee the business, according to Del Sesto. If and when the liquor license is approved, Del Sesto will no longer serve as the receiver.
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Fox is currently serving a three-year prison sentence after admitting he was paid $52,500 when he served a vice-chair of the Board of Licenses in order to help the owners of Shark Bar & Grille secure a liquor license in 2008. Fox was also charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return.
Law enforcement officials have never named the three partners who bribed Fox – and no one has been charged – but corporate filings list Bahij Boutros and Ray Phillip Hugh are Shark’s owners. A third man, Joseph Dalomba, was listed as a partner in Shark in 2008, but has not appeared in the company’s corporate filings since 2011.
Del Sesto said Silver Linings Restaurant Inc. is owned by Carlos Silva, who has no previous experience in the restaurant business. He said Silva has acknowledge he is a friend of Boutros, but that the former owner will not have any role in the new restaurant.
Del Sesto said there were two lower bidders on the restaurant.
In March, Boutros filed a petition with Judge Michael A. Silverstein to place the business in receivership. The filing came after the city’s Board of Licenses moved to strip Shark of all of its business licenses. The board has not voted on the future of the restaurant.