Owners of two shuttered Hyde Park restaurants to get second chance to explain why they shouldn't lose their liquor licenses

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday deferred any action on revoking the liquor licenses for Townsends on Fairmount Avenue and Drifter's Restaurant and Lounge on Hyde Park Avenue, both of which have been shut for several months now.

The owners of both licenses failed to show at cancellation hearings on Tuesday. The board yesterday scheduled new hearings - Nov. 13 for Townsends and Dec. 11 for Drifters.

At the Tuesday hearing on Townsends, its landlord, the mayor's office, the office of City Councilor Rob Consalvo and Hyde Park Main Streets all urged the board to immediately revoke its liquor license so that the landlord could move to fill the space with a new restaurant.

Because the law prohibits the issuance of two liquor licenses for the same space, and because the Tallons have yet to try to move their restaurant to another location, nearly nine months after it was shut, landlord John Button can't sign a lease with another liquor-serving restaurant. The elected officials and Hyde Park Main Streets say it's unfair to both Button and the neighborhood to let the prominent space in what was once an up-and-coming part of the neighborhood's main commercial strip simply sit vacant for so long.

State law also prohibits holders of liquor licenses from simply sitting on them without using them in actual restaurants or bars. It's an especially critical issue in Boston, where demand for licenses exceeds the city's state-restricted supply.

Unlike Townsends, which had been open for several years, Drifter's lasted barely a few months before shutting down. It had replaced one of Hyde Park Avenue's hole-in-the-wall bars.

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Townsend Liquor License

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Write a letter to City Councilor's Rob Consalvo, Steve Murphy, Mayor Menino and Senator Angelo Scaccia urging them to amend the liquor law so this doesn't drag on, or even worse, happen again to someone else. The problem with the law is that the existing license is held at the address until it is sold or relocated and only one license can be at an address at any given time. The simple and fair way to fix this would be to have the ABCC hold the existing license until it is resolved, that way the landlord is not unfairly held hostage for month's. This would allow the landlord to move forward with a new tenant and a new liquor license, and it would give the existing license holder a fair amount of time to sell or relocate their license.

"At the Tuesday hearing on

By on

"At the Tuesday hearing on Townsends, its landlord, the mayor's office, the office of City Councilor Rob Consalvo and Hyde Park Main Streets all urged the board to immediately revoke its liquor license so that the landlord could move to fill the space with a new restaurant."

At the hearing, the mayor's office and the councilor urged them to immediately revoke the licenses so they could be granted to restaurants in the beacon hill/south end/downtown areas, run by bigwig entrepreneurs who have hired the sole lawfirm that successfully petitions the licensing board.

Fixed that for ya.

Not this time

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The landlord hired the sole law firm that successfully petitions the licensing board. Also, say what you will about Rob Consalvo and Hyde Park Main Streets, they have no interest in seeing the Townsends license go downtown.

Fixed that for ya.

The reason why there is a

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The reason why there is a delay is because Tallon (Townsend's previous owner), is trying to buy an establishment down the street. The license he had at Townsend was a restricted license that the city gives out to help economic growth in an area. This type of license can not be transferred or sold. His goal is to buy the establishment with a non restricted license. He if successful in getting someone to fund this venture, he will sell the unrestricted license that he purchases, will make a profit by selling it to a downtown entrepreneur big wig - eliminating a license in the Hyde Park area, and will move the non-restricted license to the new location.

Making double profit was not the spirit or intent of the restricted licenses and he is hurting the community by selling the unrestricted license outside of the area. Less for the community and less competition for him. Not to mention he's hurt the community for the past 10 months by blocking others from entering the location because they can't get a license.

Can't imagine he'll have many patrons as he sold thousand of $ in gift certificates before he voluntarily closed his doors via a sign "temporarily closed for renovations". No notification to anyone, including his staff. Took everyone by surprise. Thanks boss.

License should've been taken away from him a long time ago.