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Dave & Buster's in Braintree to have liquor license hearing over Jan. 7 incidents

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 20, 2012 11:46 AM

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Dave & Busters will have a hearing in front of Braintree’s Licensing Board of Commissions on Tuesday, Jan. 24 after two incidents involving alcohol-related offenses.

According to police reports, on Jan. 7, a Weymouth man and a Roslindale man started fighting in the midway area of the establishment, allegedly over a 10-year-old disagreement.

Both men were charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.

Later that evening, a man was found in the parking lot drinking an alcoholic beverage out of a Dave & Buster’s souvenir cup.

Officers didn’t see the man leave the establishment with the drink, and the man later admitted that he had concealed the cup as he walked out of the establishment.

Both incidents were reported to police and will be discussed at the hearing.

According to Joe Powers, chairman of the Licensing Board, hearings such as these are not uncommon, and the managers involved in the incident as well as the manager on record will meet with town officials to discuss whether or not D&B let the infractions occur or whether they took the proper steps to stop them.

“There is no presumption of any wrongdoing at this point. The hearing’s purpose is to hear the facts and the board will make determinations based on those facts,” Powers said.

A handful of other establishments have had similar hearings in the past year to ensure that licensed establishments are not permitting illegal activities.

At this time, Dave & Busters does not risk losing its liquor license, Powers said, as the regulations clearly spell out that first-time offenses can be penalized with anything from a warning to a three-day suspension of the license to be served on consecutive days.

Second offenses can be punished with a warning or anything up to a 4- to 7-day suspension. The third offense calls for a 30-day suspension to be served on consecutive days. The fourth offense is a hearing to revoke the license.

“I’ve never in my time as chairman and selectmen taken part of a revocation hearing based on multiple violations,” Powers said. “It is a fairly significant process to remove a license and invokes the [Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission] at a higher level. But if they were found guilty [for this offense], it does not allow us or require us to revoke their license.”

After months of controversy over permitting, Dave & Busters opened in December at the South Shore Plaza in the former Circuit City building. With 150 arcade games, and drinking permitted but not served in the game room, residents had been concerned that the establishment would draw negative energy and patrons to the area.

Although two infractions have occurred in the month the business has been open, Powers doesn’t expect any angry neighbors to come to the meeting.

“I haven’t heard, but it’s a public meeting in a public session. It's always open to the public, and we never turn anyone away. But I haven’t heard anyone saying they would or would not attend,” he said.

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