Walgreens gets OK to sell booze downtown; JP bar gets rebuffed on bid for bottle service

The Boston Licensing Board today granted Walgreens a license to sell liquor on the mezzanine of the old Borders in Downtown Crossing, which it's turning into a chic-ish emporium that will also feature eyebrow trimming.

But the board rejected a request from Coco's Lounge on Washington Street to offer patrons with money to blow tableside bottle service. The vote means Bostonians who want the chance to spend extra money to have a server pour them drinks at their table will have to go to one of the few places downtown or in the Back Bay that the board has allowed to offer the service.

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    Comments

    It is.

    Bottle service is different in two substantial ways. First, if patrons buy drink by drink, it's easier to determine if he/she is intoxicated & should not be served anymore. The bartender/waitron can be held liable for any car accidents resulting from drunk patrons, and, frankly, having to deal with a real staggering drunk is not a fun part of any front of house job. As long as liability laws are the way they are, bottle service is a problem.

    Second, from a tipping/mercenary point of view, most people tip less if they get bottle service. Mind you, they don't necessarily need less attention-- they still want water and chasers and fresh glasses and other drinks and clean-up etc, and sometimes, because they have laid out the bucks for a bottle, they feel particularly entitled. I was still in the service industry back when P Diddy stood trial in that gun case and my big takeaway from the whole thing was that on the night the shots were fired, he had spent $1400 in the bar AND DIDN'T TIP.

    I have to admit, though, that I didn't even realize that bottle service was allowed outside of private clubs in Boston. I spent manymany years waiting tables and tending bar east of the Mississippi, and the only city I worked where bottle service was common was New York

    Ah, but this is Boston (land of the bean and the cod)

    Bottle service here is not the same as bottle service in the rest of the world.

    Lounges that have won the right to offer bottle service in Boston have to agree to have a waiter/waitress stationed at the table and they dole out the drinks. It's sort of like sitting at the bar, only at your own table, and with a dedicated bartender.

    And even with this, very few places have passed the muster of the Boston Licensing Board, to the point that, yes, this is still newsworthy, well, at least to certain bloggers who can never get enough licensing-board news on their sites.

    Target market?

    I live two blocks over from Coco's, so I say this with love: I am having some trouble figuring out who exactly Coco's thinks is coming to Egleston Square to blow hundreds of dollars on a bottle of liquor.

    You're killing me with the eyebrow thing

    Eyebrow trimming isn't chic-ish. It's a necessary evil. There are three Vietnamese nail places on Bromfield Street who can do trim your brows and Macy's does brow waxing too.

    I'm dying at the thought that this will be upscale in any way. It will be a magnet for the people of Boston who are, shall we say, sans homes.

    I do appreciate the future availability of booze in/near the financial district. I can go there at lunch, get my brows waxed and crack a 40 on the walk back to the office.