Dancing on the heads of pins: Why one Boston hotel got a warning for handing out free drinks while another didn't
The Boston Licensing Board formally issued a "warning" to the Revere Hotel yesterday because three police detectives found the hotel giving guests a free glass of sparkling wine when they checked in on Sept. 6.
The warning has no practical consequences unless the hotel is found violating the statewide ban on free drinks again. Hotel attorney Dennis Quilty vowed that wouldn't happen because the hotel immediately stopped offering free drinks to guests after the police visit and said the hotel has started setting up the accounting system it will need to offer free drinks to guests.
You may recall the board found the Liberty Hotel did not break the law when it was discovered handing out free flutes of sparking wine to guests as they checked in on Aug. 13.
The difference? The Liberty Hotel kept a detailed record of all the flutes of wine it handed out, then billed it to the hotel manager's account, while the Revere Hotel simply bought bottles of wine and then stuck them in silver ice buckets at the front counter and kept no records of who got served or what each drink cost.
As board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer explained, state liquor regulations only apply to really free free drinks, for which no accounting is made.
Quilty, who said the Revere got the idea of free bubbly from the Liberty, apologized. "They just assumed they had the right to do it, which they didn't."
Sgt. Det. William Mulvey said that when he and the other two detectives visited the Revere after receiving a complaint, they found two opened bottles and three unopened bottles on the front counter.