A total of 19 establishments applied for and were granted new, rolled forward liquor licenses last week – licenses that will once again allow them to stay open until 2 a.m.
Out of more than 45 pouring establishments in the city, fewer than 50 percent applied for the once-controversial licenses – which were rolled back to 1 a.m. in 2008 – and all were granted the new licenses after some questioning from the License Commission at its Aug. 14th meeting.
The Commission had held a public hearing on July 10th in which they voted 2-0 to roll the closing time forward once again. Member Linda Guinasso did not cast a vote.
“After we approved the move to 2 a.m., what the establishments had to do was to apply for the 2 a.m.,” said Chair Joe Quarantello. “Not all of the establishments elected to apply. I think there are 45-plus establishments that were eligible and only 19 applied for the 2 a.m. I was not surprised by the numbers. I anticipated about 30 percent of the establishments would apply. I didn’t think it would get up to 50 percent. I just could not see every establishment applying.”
Quarantello said the Commission had agreed to question each establishment about their history as a business and about the safety plan they would integrate inside the establishment and outside in the parking lot. He said each applicant was warned that there would be strict enforcement.
“We were very clear about what would happen,” said Quarantello. “We changed it to help the businesses, but we were very clear that we were not going to tolerate any bad behavior and if we had to roll back hours as discipline, we would do that.”
Police Chief Joe Cafarelli indicated that his officers would patrol the establishments with the later closing, monitoring how they conduct their businesses and whether they close on time.
There were some notable absences from the list of applicants, such as Volare on Broadway and Ristorante Ravesi on Revere Street. Many believed those establishments would apply, but they did not in the end.
Those applying for the extended license were:
•BK’s Bar & Grill
•Bill Ash’s Lounge
•Boulevard Bar & Grill
•Full Rack Smoke House
•Renzo’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
•Revere Loyal Order of Moose #1272
•Revere Lodge #1171 of B.P.O.E. of USA
•The Shipwreck Lounge
•Antonia’s at the Beach
•Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant
The new license took effect immediately.
“I believe the city is in a different place and I hope it work out for them from a revenue perspective,” said Quarantello. “I hope we don’t have to deal with disciplinary issues. My feeling from the beginning is that nobody wants to be broad brushed into a position where they’re being penalized for problems others caused.”