It was a night of addressing some minor issues before they become major problems for the Licensing Board Monday night, Sept. 10.
Several businesses came before the board to address some minor complaints, but no punishment was meted out for violations.
Oliveira’s Restaurant on Broadway has had several recent noise complaints lodged with the mayor’s office, according to licensing board Chairman Phil Antonelli.
“I’ve been getting calls, the mayor’s office has been getting calls, we can’t keep getting calls like this,” he said. “It’s becoming a problem. Saturday nights, it can get crazy on Broadway.”
Antonelli listed off several police reports citing disturbances at or near the restaurant over the summer. He also noted that while the restaurant has had a fairly good reputation over the past 15 years, there have been more issues since a backroom featuring music and a more bar-like atmosphere recently opened.
Restaurant manager Wilton Rangel said the business has taken steps to address the issues, including doing away with live music on Sundays and setting an earlier stop time for the entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Rangel said the noise levels at Oliveira’s are monitored, and he noted that there are other nearby establishments that are louder and rowdier.
“There’s a lot of noise; it’s not us,” he said.
Antonelli said the Licensing Board wants to work with Oliveira’s to make sure any issues are ironed out.
“If there is a problem, we get held accountable by the ABCC (the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission),” he said. “If someone were to get stabbed or shot and they run the police reports, it comes back on us. We’re not here to hurt you, we are here to help you, but if it looks like we are not putting parameters on you and let you run around like you are cowboys, we look like fools.”
Board members had a similar message for McCormack Liquors on Hancock Street and Karma Lounge on Ferry Street.
For McCormack Liquors, at issue was a recent spate of complaints of public drinking near the store. Board member Phil Arloro, who lives nearby, said the main culprits appear to be several gentlemen who appear to use an adjacent open garage space as a make-shift social club.
The McCormack representatives said they would do a better job policing the area, relying on cameras and better signage to discourage public tippling.
VarunPunj of the Karma Lounge, a cigar bar on Ferry Street, was before the licensing board for what was basically a clearing of the air between himself and board members.
Shortly after the lounge opened, the board placed it on probation for several violations, including a customer drinking from an open bottle.
Apparently, Punj made his displeasure with the probation known to the mayor’s office, and Antonelli was not happy with what he saw as a misunderstanding.
“I don’t appreciate you going to the mayor’s office and saying I was wrong,” Antonelli said. “I spoke to Kevin O’Donnell, the mayor’s chief of staff, and he said you told him you were concerned because the board mistreated you.”
Punj said he felt offended that at a previous meeting Antonelli pointed at him and said he had a bad reputation.
However, Antonelli said he had merely said that the building that now houses the Karma Lounge has a bad reputation.
“If you’re saying I said you had a bad reputation, that’s not true,” he said.
Eventually, feelings were smoothed over where Punj said he appreciates the help the board has given his business. He even asked for the board’s input in finding a location in the city for a potential virtual golf business.