fb-pixelProvidence leaders launch campaign for ‘nightlife mayor’ - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Providence leaders launch campaign for ‘nightlife mayor’

Seven Nightclub on Spruce Street in Providence, which was closed by city officials in the aftermath of the June stabbing death of a patron after he left the club.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and if Saquon Barkley is the next guy to force his way to the Patriots, I’m quitting sports. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

After a summer of bad headlines for violence outside of various nightclubs across Providence, city leaders are launching a campaign to appoint a “nightlife mayor” who would be in charge of addressing concerns of residents and advocating for the nighttime economy.


City Councilwoman Kat Kerwin and School Board member Travis Escobar will lead the PVD After Dark campaign, with the goal of creating a new nightlife czar, streamlining the city’s business licensing process, and lobbying the General Assembly to repeal a law that bans live music in certain neighborhoods.

“After many acts of violence outside of our clubs and bars it’s clear we need to start thinking creatively about how to improve our nightlife for all residents,” Kerwin said in a prepared statement that will be issued widely today. “If we create safe places to enjoy our city after dark we will allow our musicians, artists, and creatives to flourish in these spaces.”

The concept for a nighttime mayor is modeled after New York City, which created the same position in 2017. Other cities also have wrestled with whether to hire a nightlife guru.

The proposal comes at a tense time for nightclubs in the city. A man was stabbed and killed outside of a Federal Hill establishment this summer, and several bars have been temporarily closed following violent incidents. The City Council is planning to hire a consultant to study Providence’s challenges with nightclubs.


But the bars and clubs remain an attractive part of Providence for young people. Escobar, who also founded the Millennial Rhode Island networking group, said he’d like to establish a nightlife district that would offer incentives for clubs to leave neighborhood locations for more isolated sections of the city.

“It would allow for focused public safety patrol, as well as an orderly approach to nightlife economy challenges,” he said.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• A former police officer who served prison time for sexually assaulting a woman has quietly been working in the State House for more than a decade. Ed Fitzpatrick has the story on the $58,000-a-year “manager of House operations.”

• Smart piece in the Globe’s Ideas section from former Providence Phoenix editor David Scharfenberg: How President Trump has conservatives dropping their “reflexive fealty to big business that dates back to the Reagan era and focusing more intently on the struggles of everyday Americans.”

• One of the best reasons to read the Globe: We have the story on Dave Dombrowski being fired as president of baseball operations for the Red Sox and a perfect analysis piece from Dan Shaughnessy to go with it. Remember, this all happened after 10 p.m. on Sunday.


• Brown University confirmed it has placed its director of development for computer science and data initiatives on leave after The New Yorker reported the man helped conceal donations from Jeffrey Epstein when he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

• Winner: Loyal Rhode Map reader Raffaela Kane says Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield is the best place in Rhode Island to go apple picking. She reports they also have blueberries. What could be better?


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• Four Democrats seeking to replace former Providence councilman Luis Aponte in the Ward 10 special election will participate in a debate at 5:30 at the Lippitt House on the East Side.

• Several weeks after a guard drove his truck into a crowd of protesters, the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation’s board of directors will meet tonight.

• Need something fun to do tonight? The John Allmark Jazz Orchestra is performing at the Met in Pawtucket.

• Enjoying Rhode Map so far? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.