Felt on Washington Street and Caprice on Tremont Street had to explain themselves to the Boston Licensing Board today over brawls involving women.
In Felt's case, board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer told bar owners they need to get a handle on why they keep having trouble with women; in Caprice's case, managers had to listen as police described a large brawl that saw women taking off their shoes and forming a fighting ring in the parking lot next door.
"You seem to be having a lot of trouble with women," Ferrer told Felt owners after police described a March 26 fight that left one woman bleeding from the back of her head where another woman smacked her with a high heel - and a bar manager nursing his own bruise from the same shoe. After that, police described an April 1 fight that started when a woman responded to a man's request to dance by throwing a hard-plastic cup at him, cutting his nose.
Ferrer said part of the answer might be getting bouncers who are better able to reject feminine wiles. "Women tend to be cuter than men" and try to use that to their advantage with bouncers, she said.
Caprice was before the board for an April 11 closing-time incident that ended with three women under arrest for assault and battery. According to police and bar officials, two groups of women were about to get into it in the bar, when bouncers escorted one group out a side door to their cars and the parking lot, and the other group out the front door. Unfortunately, bar officials said, the front-door group joined the crowds exiting the club and then into the parking lot, where they confronted the side-door group.
According to a police account, "they gathered in a large circle and began to yell and scream at each other." One detail officer tried to quell the brewing fight, but he was outnumbered. And then one woman "kicked off her shoes and began throwing punches."
The officer tried to arrest that woman, but she was flailing her arms, making it hard to cuff her. And then her sister jumped him, startling him and letting the woman escape - after elbowing him in the stomach. As reinforcements arrived, the women, many of them now barefoot, kept fighting.
Police did say bar bouncers were in the thick of it trying to quiet things down - and that without them, the disturbance could have escalated even more.
The licensing board meets Thursday to decide what punishment, if any, to mete out - although it agreed to continue one of the Felt hearings to let the bar call a detail officer who was present to explain what happened.