The Revere License Commission held its monthly meeting last Wednesday during which the commissioners took up the matter of whether a local restaurant, Fajita’s Bar and Restaurant at 46 Revere St., had violated the state’s COVID-19 orders issued by Gov. Charlie Baker.
The restaurant’s attorney, Cosmo Karalolos, appeared before the three-member commission and explained that the restaurant had closed at 10 p.m., per the COVID-19 regulation, but then the employees held a private birthday party for a co-worker after hours.
“There was no doubt that the restaurant was closed,” said Korolos, though acknowledging that it was wrong to hold the party.
According to Commissioner Robert Selevitch, he went down to the restaurant on January 16 around 10:30 p.m., “and could hear music from inside.“ Selevitch said he knocked on the door and the bartender opened it.
Selevitch then said that he showed his Revere License Commission Identification Badge and noticed that people were not wearing masks and that alcohol was being served to the remaining workers. He also added that he took a few pictures of the event.
Commissioner Daniel Occena noted that since this infraction, Gov. Baker has amended certain aspects of the COVID-19 order, including the relaxation of capacity limits and other measures.
“This is not the first complaint for this place and any remedial action that you can do would be greatly appreciated,” said Selevitch.
“It is up to the board to place strict limitations on the license,” Commissioner Linda Guinasso noted.
Attorney Karalolos then laid out a four-step remediation plan before the board. The plan consists of: reaching out to each neighbor individually and addressing their concerns; posting a staff member at each exit at closing hour to ensure that patrons are quiet and orderly when leaving the premises; addressing the neighbors’ concerns about finding debris from the patrons in the neighborhood; and lastly, not having any more private gatherings.
The commissioners noted that there have been no issues with the restaurant involving either the police or the Board of Health.
“The remedial measures seem appropriate,” said Occena. “This is a good restaurant with good food. We should move forward and not address the January 16 restrictions as they have been rescinded.”
“We cannot hold the restaurant accountable for everything,” said Guinasso, adding that neighbors complained about nip bottles on the street, but pointing out that the restaurant does not sell or use nip bottles. “We should order a probation period.”
The commissioners then voted unanimously to issue a three-month probation period that they will revisit at its conclusion.
In another matter, the commissioners gave their approval to Kevin Auto Sales at 1087R Broadway to perform motor vehicle inspection stickers. However, the business still needs to obtain final approval from both the Fire Department and the Inspectional Services Dept. before a full license can be approved.
The commissioners noted that the new owner of Kevin Auto Sales, Anthony Mafo, has cleaned up the premises considerably and expressed their hope that Mafo can get the final city certificates to operate his business fully.
The commissioners are seeking to have a full-time, on-site manager be named on the license for the Comfort Inn and Suites. Gary Saunders, the owner, initially was named on the license to operate the Hotel, Parking Lot, and Common Victualler Licenses, even though he is not full-time on the premises. Saunders primarily is at the corporate office in Boston and is at the Revere location for only one day per week.
Andrew Bednarzh, representing the owner, noted that he used Saunders’s name, rather than that of the general manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the hotel, on the license applications.
Guinasso expressed her concerns about having a manager who is not on the premises be the one who is named on the license.
Selevitch pointed out that having the manager whose name is on the license and who is on-site full-time “assures accountability.”
Bednarzh said that the hotel will refile the licenses and henceforward will do everything by the book. The commissioners voted to allow the applicant to refile.
The commissioners voted to allow a revision in the seating capacity for Nick’s Deli at 750 Washington Ave. The original application indicated a 72-seat capacity, but that number was a typo and should have been only 50 seats.
Commissioners also voted in favor of the transfer of the Common Victualler License to El Tipico Salvadoreno Restaurant at 227 Revere St. from Sabor Salvadoreno Restaurant.
The following license renewals were approved:
Hasbegu, Inc. d/b/a Glen’s Roast Beef, 325 Bennett Highway; Happy Garden Revere, Inc., d/b/a Happy Garden, 80 Revere Beach Boulevard; and Bell Circle Associates, d/b/a Comfort Inn & Suites, 85 American Legion Highway.
Class 2 Motor Vehicle Dealer:
Charlie’s Auto Exchange, Inc., 655 North Shore Rd.; Touriya Aitelhadj d/b/a Wonderland Auto, 1176 North Shore Rd.; and Exotic Auto Group, Inc., 212 Everett St.
DTG Operations, Inc., d/b/a Thrifty Car Rental, 40 Lee Burbank Highway and Bell Circle Associates, d/b/a Comfort Inn & Suites, 85 American Legion Highway.
Bell Circle Associates, d/b/a Comfort Inn & Suites, 85 American Legion Highway.