City continues crackdown on Korean rice-liquor service
Another Korean restaurant has been cited for serving soju, a distilled rice beverage not allowed under its beer and wine license.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, a lawyer for BonChon, 121 Brighton Ave. in Allston, blamed a liquor wholesaler, whom he said told the restaurant soju was OK to sell under its license. The restaurant inquired after seeing that other restaurants in the neighborhood had started serving the liquor - which Koreans prefer over the fermented-rice sake served in Japanese restaurants. A police detective cited BonChon for soju service during an inspection on Sept. 13.
Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer told him restaurant owners should check with the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, not liquor wholesalers if they have questions what they can serve. In this case, only restaurants with "full" liquor licenses can serve the stuff.
The lawyer apologized and said the restaurant packed up its unsold soju and returned it to the wholesaler.
In September, the board ordered license suspensions for Apollo Grill and Sushi on Harrison Avenue and Ropponngi on Comm. Ave. in Allston for serving soju under their more limited malt-and-wine licenses.