The following is a letter, signed by 90 people, that was submitted to the Boston Licensing Board and the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing before their hearings this week on the seven-stabbing closing in February at the Neponset Circle bar (the licensing board meets this morning to consider what action, if any, to take):
We understand there is a hearing and meeting that will occur this week with the owner of an establishment named Upstairs Downstairs (aka Ups n Down), 469 Neponset Ave, Dorchester, MA. This letter is to share with you some information you may not know about this establishment and there fore may be quick to judge it from the incident that occurred early Saturday morning February 18th, 2012.
First, this incident impacted each and every one of us. And to define 'every one of us', that means the regular crowd that calls this establishment 'their' bar. We are group of hard working people that vary in age, race, and economic status. This bar is a reflection of what this wonderful City of Boston is about. The bouncers who were hurt and impacted by this tragic incident are loved and respected by the patrons who frequent and support this establishment. We have all been traumatized by this unfortunate situation, but this is not a reflection of what this establishment represents in our community.
If you were to walk in one afternoon/evening/night, this is what you'll see. Anywhere from 2 to 30 people, from all walks of life, sitting at the bar. These individuals who know each other from years of frequenting at Ups n Downs from either sitting around the bar socializing watching football, basketball, hockey, the news or just to talk. There will be conversations about their work week, stories of life experiences, raising children … actually about anything at all. You'll see a bartender greet you with a big smile and ready to share wisdom and even a shoulder to cry on when needed. It's a powerful moment when an entire bar is having a conversation with each other, and 'this' happens on a regular basis.
Come on a Sunday afternoon and see what it's about. You'll walk in and see a bartender who smiles, knows your name and loves to dance. Then if you'd like stay later where a new bartender who starts and has the biggest heart in the world who knows everyone's birthdays and makes sure there is cake and a card! Or you can come on a Friday afternoon when another bartender has some of the best advice and shares her life experiences while you share yours. She has jokes for days and can make you laugh on your worst days. But don't stop there come on a Wednesday when upstairs is open and it's karaoke and everyone just has a blast with singing, dancing and most likely 90%, if not 100% of the people are mingling and talking. Oh and don't let it be your birthday because you can bet that you will get cake and a card signed by all the regulars!!!
Then try a Tuesday night where the bartender has the funniest stories and watch the dart team play another local dart team and catch some Celtics/Bruins games. Then maybe a Thursday when the DJ plays music that reminds you of growing up and the bartender who is young but knows every word of each song.
I'll even take it a step further to describe how much of a community/family we are by sharing a few recent stories which is a reflection of what we do on a regular basis. One of our Ups and Downs family member passed away. She and her husband have been long time regulars at this establishment. We all pulled together and contributed money to help the family with funeral expenses as well as comforting the family with visits, phone calls, cards and food donations.
We support each through so many situations. I know not many people understand the bond we have developed through this establishment but we can surely tell you there aren't many places like this, it's even better than a “Cheers”. This is a place if you need an electrician, plumber, mailman, lawyer, nurse, dentist, auto repair … or just a friend, it's at Ups and Downs.
We submit this letter in hopes that you look beyond what the media hype continues to portray this Boston establishment as and see that this is a place in the City of Boston that represents what the City of Boston is about, a tight nit community. Closing this establishment only takes away from the community, takes away a place of comfort and support for many people, us.