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Braintree votes to suspend Landing Pub's liquor license 2 days

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  February 27, 2013 02:43 PM

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The Landing Pub in Braintree is facing a two-day suspension of its liquor license after allegedly serving alcohol to an intoxicated patron, the Braintree Licensing Board decided Tuesday.

Licensing Board members have been debating what to do about both The Landing Pub and Four Square Restaurant and Bar, since both bars allegedly served beer to a drunk man in September.

In a hearing on Jan. 22, both bars denied any wrongdoing and said they don’t serve to patrons who appear intoxicated. However, neither pub brought sufficient witnesses to support those claim. The meeting was conintued to Feb. 12, then postponed and continued to Feb. 26.

Four Square was not properly notified of the most recent change and will come before the board for a continued hearing on March 12, officials said. However, The Landing Pub did move forward with its hearing

Though the restaurants will be tried separately, Licensing Board chairman and Town Clerk Joseph Powers said it wouldn’t change how the board handles the latter case.

“It’s possible that the decision by the board [regarding Landing Pub] could impact the deliberations for the next matter [on Four Square], but that could have been the case whether they were here today, tomorrow, or any other time.”

The bars were brought to the Licensing Board after an incident in September, in which two Weymouth brothers visited both establishments and then got into an argument on the streets outside.

Braintree police officer Jack Twohig, who investigated the incident, said the brothers had gone out for the younger man’s 21st birthday.

According to Twohig, a friend said the younger brother had gotten “pretty banged up”, and the other brother recalled being served at both places. The younger brother didn’t remember the incident.

At Tuesday's hearing, The Landing Pub owners said the bartender who was on duty that night has since left the bar and was not available to appear at the hearing.

With the testimony of several others - two managers, one who was on duty that night; a patron; and an investigator - board members were unanimous in finding the bar at fault.

“The finding was it was unanimous by the board by a 5-0 vote that in fact the Landing Pub had served an intoxicated person,” Powers said.

According to Powers, The Landing Pub had a previous liquor license offense in 2009, but due to a technicality that expunged the violation from the record, the board had to treat this most recent violation as a first offense.

Under first offenses, the board has discretion to impose a warning or a consecutive suspension for up to three days.

The Landing Pub is scheduled to serve its sentence on April 12 and 13. The restaurant has five days to appeal the ruling to the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Control Commission.

Mike Modestino, an attorney representing The Landing Pub, said the owners are disappointed with the ruling and still exploring their options.

In the meantime, the restaurant is planning some changes, he said.

"They are reviewing their policies now, and I'm sure they will come up with new policies for their employees and more training," he said.

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