Managers at certain Boston restaurants and bars make frequent trips to the Boston Licensing Board to answer police citations for liquor-law violations. The Corrib Pub in West Roxbury is not one of them. Today, however, Corrib manager Tony Bligh had to explain why police on a routine inspection found two 20-year-old women with Coors Lites in front of them on Jan. 5.
Bligh offered no excuses - in fact, he read a statement that started, "I am embarrassed to be in front of this board."
Bligh told the board said an off-dutry waitress came in with two friends and the on-duty waitress failed to card them because she assumed the other waitress wouldn't let them try to buy beers if they weren't of age.
Unfortunately for them and the restaurant, Boston Police detectives William Gallagher and Robert Mulvey chose that moment to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the restaurant. Gallager said his attention was immediately drawn to a table with young-looking patrons and that when he asked for ID, the two admitted they were underage.
Ironically, the whole situation may have arisen because the Corrib is a restaurant that prides itself on its family ties and close-knit workforce. Bligh said the server had worked at the Corrib for eight years - and that her brothers before her had also worked there. The off-duty waitress had also worked at the Corrib for several years - and she has a sister who used to work there. All the women involved also had ties because they'd gone to Boston Latin School together, he said.
"There was a trust level there," one that was violated as police entered the place, he said.
"I had to let them go," he continued, adding he held immediate staff meetings to reinforce restaurant policy to card everybody and to schedule training in dealing with potential liquor issues. "I told them this can't happen," he said.
The Corrib's lawyer, David Eisenstadt, said the restaurant has never been before the licensing board in the 23 years for which he has records, and is an integral part of the West Roxbury community, to which it donates thousands of dollars a year for everything from youth hockey to Pop Warner. He added that only about 30% of its revenue comes from bar sales.
The licensing board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take about both this incident and an unrelated incident on Feb. 6, in which a man came out of the men's room covered in blood, claiming some guy had just smashed him with a glass. A Boston Police officer on detail duty that night - called in because of the Super Bowl - was unable to find the alleged assailant, although he did report finding a smashed glass on the floor of the men's room. The man declined medical attention.