The owner of a South Boston Chinese restaurant that has had issues with its legal closing time in the past told the Boston Licensing Board today he had no choice last fall but to stay open late into the night: He needed the extra money because his son was dying of cancer.
At a hearing today, Boston Licensing Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer said she was sorry for the situation Golden House owner Xian Wan found himself in. But, she continued, if he wants to keep his West Broadway restaurant open later than his current 2 a.m. closing time, he needs to formally request longer hours - a process that would include notifying nearby residents and meeting with a neighborhood association before the board would take action.
Ferrer declined Wan's offer, made through an interpreter, to show her his son's death certificate.
A Boston Police sergeant told the board he found Golden House open at 2:50 a.m. on Oct. 6, with six people inside either eating or waiting for orders.
Board members said this was at least the third time the eatery has been caught serving after its licensed hours.
Another Chinese restaurant on West Broadway - Nanning Wok - also found itself before the licensing board today for operating past its licensed 2 a.m. closing time, on Oct,. 7. The same sergeant found it open around 2:20 a.m., with eight to ten people inside. As the sergeant watched from outside, three more people walked in to place an order.
A worker testified the owner had only bought the place the day before and was unfamiliar with his license restrictions.
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take against the two restaurants.