East Boston restaurant punished for wonton disregard of licensed closing time
For the next six months, the restaurant has to shut at 1 a.m., the board ruled, adding the restaurant can reapply for a 2 a.m. closing time after that.
The board voted to roll back the hours after Lt. Christopher Hamilton said at a Tuesday hearing that the restaurant continued to serve people coming out of bars after they closed, which meant lots of noise and urinating in an alley near the eatery. He read from a letter by A-7 Captain Frank Mancini that restaurant owner Guang Hung had refused repeated requests from both himself and beat cops to stop staying open until 3 a.m. and that he had proven he had "no intention to be a responsible member of the business community of East Boston."
Restaurant attorney Stephen Miller acknowledged Canton Eatery had been staying open later than it should last year - the result, he said, of employees who just wanted to help out Hung by making him some more money. He said Hung has since re-programmed his cash register so that it shuts down promptly at 1:30 a.m. and that the restaurant has had no problems with police since December.
And as he presented the board with petitions signed by hundreds of people, including Merdian Street residents, in favor of the restaurant, he charged that all of the complaints come from just a single resident with a grudge against Canton Eatery, who blames every last problem in the area on his client.
"Allegations that we're delivering at 3 in the morning are absolutely false," he said.
Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer, however, noted the restaurant had had its license suspended twice last year for serving after 2 a.m. and said that it really didn't matter if it was just one person or 55 people complaining about the problem - after hours is after hours.