By SCOTT JACKSON
A Copeland Street bar will be forced to close for five days and had its hours cut permanently for serving alcohol to a minor and having patrons inside after hours, its third and fourth infractions this year, and could lose its license if another violation occurs.
The Board of License Commissioners imposed those punishments Tuesday on Callahan’s Tap. The barroom at 296 Copeland St. will be forced to close from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5 for serving alcohol to a minor during a compliance check on Sept. 9, and had its closing time moved from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m., effective immediately, for having patrons inside after hours on Aug. 27.
In April, the board suspended the bar’s license for a total of six days after patrons were found inside after hours in January and again in March. In 2015, Callahan’s Tap’s license was suspended for five days after a bartender assaulted a patron, and the bar also failed compliance checks in 2012 and 2013.
Police Chief Paul Keenan warned Anthony Donnelly, the bar’s owner, that the board will move to rescind the license if any more violations occur.
“If there is any further violations I strongly urge you to bring an attorney with you next time, because we will be going for revocation,” Keenan said.
Lt. Peter Turowski, the Quincy Police Department’s liquor inspector, said a 20-year-old male was sent into the barroom on Sept. 9 and was able to purchase a beer during the compliance check, one of several conducted throughout the city that day. The compliance checks had previously been advertised in a local newspaper.
Donnelly did not dispute the failed compliance check.
Turowski said a patrol officer was dispatched to the vicinity of Cross and Crescent Streets at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 27 after receiving a report of a group of loud males. When the officer arrived in the area eight minutes later he saw a group of five males standing in front of Callahan’s Tap drinking beer and being loud. The men told the officer they were waiting for a cab after leaving the bar, Turowski said.
Turowski said the patrol officer then walked to the front door of the bar, which was locked, but was able to look inside and saw several patrons at the bar drinking bottles of beer. The patrol officer knocked on the door and was told to leave, then knocked again and identified himself as a Quincy police officer. The patrol officer then watched the bartender gather up the beers and put them behind the bar before opening the door. The officer then spoke with Donnelly, Turowski said, and the owner denied the men had been drinking.
Donnelly told the licensing board that the five men outside the bar had been drinking elsewhere and headed to Callahan’s Tap to catch a cab.
“The reason why the door was locked was because I didn’t want these guys to try and come in,” he said.
Donnelly said the patrons found inside the bar that night were also waiting for cabs.
Under the city’s regulations, no customer is allowed to have alcohol after 1:15 a.m. and all patrons must leave an establishment no later than 1:30 a.m., Keenan said, and the patrol officer arrived on scene that night at 1:55 a.m.
“That’s a long time after 1:15 and a long time after 1:30. They were still in there consuming alcohol. Even if they’re waiting for a cab, there is no reason for them to have alcohol,” Keenan said.
In addition to the afterhours infractions that night, Turowski said Callahan’s Tap also violated city and state law by allowing patrons to take alcohol off premises, locking patrons inside the bar, and interfering with a police officer during an investigation.
The five-day suspension can be appealed to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission within 10 days. Health Commissioner Drew Scheele, the licensing board’s chairman, said the rollback in hours is a local decision not subject to ABCC review, but could still be appealed in Superior Court.
Donnelly declined comment following the meeting.
Five other establishments failed compliance checks on Sept. 9: Presidential Pub at 29 Temple St., Wollaston Wine & Liquors at 54-60 Beale St., Presidential Liquors at 25 Scammell St., Hancock Liquors at 229 Quincy Ave., and Lucky Wine and Liquors at 66 Newbury St. The owners of each appeared before the board Tuesday, and none disputed the violations.
Turowski said the licensing board had not cited any of those establishments for violations of city or state rules under their current owners. The board issued a written warning to each of them.