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GRACIE’S TEAM: Gracie’s Ventures owner Ellen Slattery, second from right, with, from left, Melissa Denmark, executive pastry chef; Matt Varga, executive chef; Brian O’Connell; Griffin Vosbeck; Jordan Fleischer; Johnathan Maccini; Andres Rodriguez; and Josh Berman. Slattery said the biggest challenge has been hiring but the restaurant has had the same team for a year. / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Gracie’s founder Ellen Slattery looks to bridge the divide between special-occasion...

Gracie’s Ventures Inc. will have plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, including a milestone not many restaurants can tout – a 20th anniversary.At...
DECLINING ATTENDANCE: Monsignor Raymond Bastia, vicar of finance for the Diocese of Providence, said scandals involving priests who have been convicted of molestation have been a contributing factor to declining attendance at parishes, but other factors, such as a shortage of parish priests and a shift in American culture away from organized religions, also weigh heavily in the situation the Catholic Church is facing. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Catholic dioceses are contracting, creating unique opportunities for the right buyers

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence, was the boyhood church of Monsignor Raymond Bastia, now the vicar...
CHARITABLE GIVING: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, left, meets with William F. Hatfield, center, market president in Rhode Island, and Trevor Koenig, communications executive, at the bank’s customer call center in East Providence. In addition to its customers, employees and shareholders, Moynihan said the bank has an obligation to its communities. He says the bank contributed about $200 million in charitable giving this year.  / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY


Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says a ‘high-tech and high-touch’...

When Brian Moynihan became CEO of Bank of America Corp. after Ken Lewis stepped down in 2010, he took the helm in a period...
SERVICE SHIFT: William F. Hatfield, Bank of America’s market president in Rhode Island, said financial centers have become less a destination for a transaction and more a place for advice and a conversation.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Technology turns BofA branches into ‘financial centers’

William F. Hatfield, Bank of America Corp.’s market president in Rhode Island, discusses the bank’s local growth and ways it can help spur development...
TAKING STOCK: Volunteers Ruth Balzano, left, and Dorothy Villani stock food at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence. Villani said the food bank has lost a lot of volunteers over the years, while Balzano said donations are distributed quickly and more are always needed. / PBN PHOTO / EMILY GOWDEY-BACKUS

Each year Rhode Islanders face the ever-present need for food, clothing...

On a rainy, mid-November morning, five longtime volunteers sorted donations at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank headquarters in Providence.Aged 68 to 84 and...
COMFORTABLE SURROUNDINGS: Jeffrey Kerkhoff, owner of Jephry Floral Studio on Broadway in Providence, with customer Melissa Lamoine of Cumberland. Kerkhoff said he feels comfortable in a neighborhood that has improved in value and esteem since he first opened his floral business 20 years ago.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

As investment boosts city neighborhoods, can developers avoid displacing the poor?

Twenty years ago, Jeffrey Kerkhoff opened a floral ­studio in a narrow backroom of an upholstery business on Broadway, on the west side of...

Despite false start, transformation of Jewelry District taking shape

On a recent gray, autumn afternoon, early rush-hour traffic was backing up along Point Street in the old Jewelry District in downtown Providence. Most...
CHANGING INDUSTRY: Cheryl Burrell, right, associate director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity in the R.I. Department of Administration, is heading the state’s efforts to further diversify the construction industry. At left are Dorinda Keene, assistant administrator of MBE, or minority business enterprise, and Elvys Ruiz, chief supplier to diversity officer.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

White men still dominate construction, though some companies are committed to...

Born to immigrant families struggling to get by in Providence, Edwin A. Montas and Christopher L. Calderon had a lot in common growing up.Similarly...
BUSY DEVELOPER: Arnold “Buff” Chace is the managing partner for Cornish Associates LP, which has several ongoing projects in downtown Providence, including three historical buildings on Westminster Street that are being renovated into apartments/retail. Chace stands in front of one of the properties, The Peerless Building at 150 Union St.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Despite some permitting improvements, developers often ‘going nowhere fast’ in Providence

The developer of a riverfront hotel proposed for Providence gained initial approval from the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission a year ago, giving him clearance...

Will 2018 be the year Rhode Island voters take a stand...

“Embarrassing,” is how R.I. Department of Education Commissioner Ken Wagner described the state of local public elementary, middle and high schools.“When I visit a...
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