Council suspends Faroles’ license

Council suspends Faroles’ license

PAWTUCKET – The City Council last week went with Councilor Tim Rudd’s recommendation and suspended Faroles Restaurant’s Class B (victualer) license for two weeks. The suspension won’t take effect until owner Jose Ruiz gets his needed certification from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The council had initially suspended the Main Street restaurant’s license on Aug. 28 pending the outcome of the Sept. 6 council meeting. That suspension came in response to an after-hours stabbing and shooting at the restaurant early on Aug. 25.

Rudd and others peppered Ruiz with questions, saying the restaurant is “out of control” and needs to abide by city regulations. Rudd asked how he can trust Ruiz if the owner doesn’t even pay attention to the fact that he needs a health certification. Ruiz is too experienced in the business to make mistakes like that, he said.

“All of a sudden you just forgot that you needed them?” asked Rudd.

Having police catch the restaurant with people in it three times after hours was “like a slap in our face,” said Rudd. Ruiz doesn’t seem to be understanding the gravity of the accusations against him, he said.

“These are very concerning things to me and this board as a whole,” he said. In the last few months, Faroles has served liquor after the 1 a.m. closing time at least three times, according to police.

In addition, after being advised by the police last week that he couldn’t remain open because the restaurant’s two Rhode Island Department of Health food licenses had expired, Ruiz opened again on Aug. 26, the day after the stabbing and shooting.

Rudd hinted last week that the violence was “gang involved.”

“You’re not in downtown Providence,” he reminded the owner.

Ruiz and his attorney said he understands the seriousness of the violations he’s had, and he is intent on maintaining his livelihood while following the rules.

Council members chided him for making excuses and blaming staff members each time someone cited a violation.

Rudd and others warned that the next penalty for Ruiz will be far more severe.

Councilor John Barry III said he shared “the same incredulousness” as his colleagues that Ruiz was open three times after hours, twice after 3 a.m., and that the owner and his girlfriend were even in the restaurant drinking on one of those occasions.

“It’s mind boggling,” he said. “I’d be very, very leery of you.”

Barry said he’s concerned not only for restaurant patrons but also for the police officers who have to respond to Faroles.

In addition to the 14-day suspension, the new closing time for Faroles is midnight instead of 1 a.m. Ruiz must hire a two-person police detail each day. “Based on the severity of the last incident,” said Rudd, he doesn’t want a police officer being there alone.

“These sort of things don’t happen in the city of Pawtucket at establishments, especially at a banquet hall,” he said.

The council will review the matter again in 30 days.