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Rick Simone / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Five Questions with: Rick Simone

Rick Simone | Founder, Ocean State Coalition; executive director, Federal Hill Commerce Association 1. What exactly is the Ocean State Coalition and how and why...
BOTTLE OF VINO: Armando Bisceglia, owner of Bacco Vino & Contorni on Providence’s Federal Hill, serves wine to Sarah Long of Swansea on a Friday night. On Fridays and Saturdays, Atwells Avenue is closed to vehicle traffic so restaurateurs can set up tables outside along the street. / PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

TOURISM PIVOT: Struggling industry shifts focus closer to home

Ella Gonzalez is used to hearing families from faraway places bustling into the lobby of the Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina during the summer....
LEMONADE FROM LEMONS: COVID-19 has curbed traffic and customers on Providence’s Federal Hill but restaurants there such as Ristor­ante II Massimo have fought back with Al Fresco On The Hill. / COURTESY FEDERAL HILL COMMERCE ASSOCIATION

Federal Hill restaurants offer a lesson in perseverance

While the immediate future for Providence’s normally thriving restaurant scene is decidedly uncertain, an experiment underway on Federal Hill offers hope – and perhaps...
ITALIAN FLAVOR: Restaurants along the normally heavily trafficked Atwells Avenue in Providence have reported about 90% of their capacity booked in advance during the recently launched “Al Fresco On The Hill” dining initiative. / COURTESY FEDERAL HILL COMMERCE ASSOCIATION

Al fresco means survival for restaurants on Federal Hill

Rick Simone doesn’t mince words when it comes to the success of closing part of Atwells ­Avenue in Providence on Friday and Saturday nights...
PROTESTERS march in New York City on June 6. Calls to  “defund the police” have spread nationwide in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody last month in Minneapolis. / AP FILE PHOTO/RAGAN CLARK

How far should police reform go?

The national movement to make police agencies more accountable for their use of force and treatment of black people has led to moves toward...

Providence giving troubled e-scooter, e-bike programs another go, but not everybody’s...

Seemingly overnight, rentable electric bikes and scooters began popping up on Providence streets last year. The Creative Capital was in the regional vanguard of...
FAVORABLE CHANGES: Rick Simone, executive director of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, said merchants in the Federal Hill section of Providence are pleased with changes to the city’s licensing and permitting system that have made the process faster and easier, adding the city’s Board of Licenses has been more responsive to merchant concerns.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Providence mayoral candidates vie for pulse on small businesses

It may be hard to think of the many rundown and abandoned houses that have tarnished Providence’s neighborhoods in the context of small business...

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