City doesn't wait for hearing; shuts stabby Neponset Circle bar immediately

The Globe reports the city has ordered Ups N Downs in Neponset Circle shut immediately, following yesterday's seven-stabbing closing. An emergency Boston Licensing Board hearing has been set for Wednesday.

The Herald, meanwhile, reports police think just one guy did all seven stabbings.

Luke O'Neil, who wrote the book on Boston's best dive bars, explains how he went to Ups N Downs despite a warning from a Dot barfly:

That upstairs downstairs demarcation is where things get a little interesting here, if by interesting you mean racially fucked up. The name of the place implies a sort of segregation. Upstairs is for hip hop, downstairs is for Sinatra. Or to put it another way, upstairs is for blacks, downstairs is for Irish. It's the same old shitty story of Dorchester race relations played out literally every night in the place people in the neighborhood go to get drunk. Like that's not asking for trouble. The bar, formerly known as the Pony Room, has been in operation for about 50 years.

The last time the city shut a bar before a hearing was when four people were shot outside Packy Connors in Roxbury in 2009. After the emergency shutdown, the licensing board let the bar re-open, but with reduced hours. A Roxbury man was convicted last week for those shootings.

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Comments

Luke nailed it

An emergency session of the board illustrates the folly of city government. The crowd from Packy's obviously moved to Upstairs Downstairs and the mellee was between the Downstairs whites against the upstairs blacks. Race relations is the third rail of politics in this city so a segregated bar in Dot becomes the latest battleground fueled by liquid courage and an economy where poor whites and blacks are fighting for the bottom feeder jobs against illegal immigrants

Luke didn't nail it

You don't know what you're talking about, anon.

I speak from experience having been both upstairs and down at this establishment numerous times.
The crowd from Packy's didn't go here when its closing time changed. There's been a last call crowd here for years and with the same demographic.

Downstairs isn't exclusively white and they don't play all Sinatra all the time. There's a digital jukebox with all kinds of music.

Upstairs is predominantly, but not exclusively, black and they do play hip hop/dance music up there.
I like that music, I'm white and I never had any trouble with black people up there. (Don't get me wrong, it's a very troublesome spot and I did have trouble there once, but it was with a white guy.)

The Pony Room, as I still call it, is far from the most racist bar in Boston. Not even close. Just the fact that there is a mixed crowd coming thru the door attested to that. I know a few true racists and they wouldn't set foot in the place due to the presence of blacks.

i'm sure there are still a few bars in Boston where blacks and other minorities would be made extremely unwelcome. This isn't the case here b/c they pack the place.

Likewise I'm sure there are a few bars where white people would not be welcomed.

I'd bet a month's pay that this was just a bar fight and not racially fueled mini-riot.

Business s usual

The City promotes and encourages alcohol consumption in bars/restaurants through out the City. When things go south ie: stabbings, diving off roofs etc. etc. and becomes public knowledge, then the 360 backpedaling begins.