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Somerville Holiday Inn nightclub will not reopen

Posted by Jarret Bencks  January 25, 2013 03:34 PM

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The Holiday Inn in Somerville has accepted sanctions handed down by the city stemming from a large fight at its nightclub in December involving about a dozen women, and will not reopen.

In a statement Friday, Terri Almond, the Holiday Inn's general manager,  said the hotel was finished hosting a nightclub.

"The room formally used as a nightclub has been renovated into a private function room for meetings and special occasions," Almond said in the prepared statement. "That chapter of the hotel is gone for good."

Citing 13 violations in city licensing ordinances, Somerville's Licensing Commission banned the club, called Night Games, from serving alcohol until Feb. 23 and pulled its closing time back from 2 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the next two years, according to the Somerville city clerk's office. The club is also forbidden from forming lines outside or in the parking lot.

The Holiday Inn is required to receive approval from the city if it decides to have an independent contractor operate the space, according to the sanctions.

In handing down its sanctions, the city's Licensing Board pointed to violations ranging from distributing V.I.P. passes to operating over capacity to misusing security staff.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the city's sanctions were fair, and that he hoped they would serve as a warning sign to other businesses operating against city ordinances.

"I'm very confident that we've sent a loud and clear message," he said Friday. "Their bottom line of revenue and profit must fall in line with our community values.

Two women were arrested in the fight, which broke out shortly after midnight on Dec. 28. About 10 to 12 people were involved and police had to deal with a crowd of over 100 in the parking lot and club.

The club lost its occupancy permit the day after the fight, after city inspector found "life and safety" violations in the building's backup systems. The occupancy permit has since been restored, but with its maximum reduced from 500 people to 316, Curtatone said.

The sanctions were announced in a commission meeting on Wednesday, during which representatives from the Holiday Inn accepted them.

The sanction limiting the facility's hours of operation may be lifted after two years, if there are no further violations.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JarretBencks.

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