Shades of the Kells: Tavern in the Square blames music, bad element for recent violence

The Allston Tavern in the Square has changed its music late at night in an attempt to ward off "a different neighborhood crowd" that has been causing trouble, its lawyer told the Boston Licensing Board today.

Attorney Robert Allen made his comments during a hearing on one of four separate incidents between December and Feburary during which punches were thrown, people were taken to the hospital and shirts were ripped off.

Allen said the bar, which occupies the 160 Brighton Ave. space that once housed the troubled Kells, recently started noticing its crowd changing from mostly college-age people to "a little different element coming in the place."

He said the most successful step the bar has taken to reduce problems has been to play calmer music late in the evening. "Certain styles of music" were attracting a bad element late at night, he said, adding, "music soothes the savage beast, I guess." He added the bar is looking to hire more bouncers - but that good bouncers are hard to find.

Allen did not further identify the "neighborhood" or specific type of music causing problems. In 2010, managers of the Kells blamed hip-hop concerts across the street and a different crowd from more distant neighborhoods for a spate of violence.

On Thursday, the board decides what, if anything, to do about the four incidents:

Dec. 23: A bouncer either did or did not sucker-punch a patron, who either did or did not sucker punch the bouncer, after which the patron's girlfriend either did or did not try to punch the bouncer in the crotch, only if she did, she missed and punch his leg instead.

Jan. 12: A patron punched another patron in the face, then threw a chair at him, near the coatroom. Allen acknowledged nobody at the bar called police, as they should have, saying both sides left quickly. The victim needed surgery to repair a broken face bone, police said.

Feb. 16. A party bus pulled up, rowdy passengers started grabbing food off waitresses' trays and, when told to leave, started a fight that spilled outside and ended up with a manager punched in the face, one of his teeth knocked out and his shirt ripped open. Police said video showed the bouncers trying their best to contain the rowdy bus crowd, but that the bus riders kept up their offensive until police arrived.

Feb. 16. A patron was punched while dancing. He showed up at St. Elizabeth's with a hand laceration that might have been caused by him getting stabbed in the bar or from scaling a fence trying to escape several men he says chased him out of the bar - he was too drunk to be sure.

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Comments

Wow, it really sounds like

By on

Wow, it really sounds like these assholes are just blaming black people.

Its bad enough that black people can't get into half the bars around Boston, now putting the blame down for a shithole bar's violence?

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I think they

By on

are blaming Ghetto punk "from da hood", i highly doubt they are accusing Black kids from BC/BU who are pre-med students.

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So Boston's new (white)

So Boston's new (white) yuppie population won't let black people into half of the bars in the city?

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well hey

By on

a day ago, we were blaming underground punk shows for the problems..
let's spin the wheel of blame and see who we get tomorrow

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all that talk, but...

By on

Why am I not seeing any of you living on Blue Hill Ave, or better yet demanding a housing project in your lily-white suburb? Or is talk alone enough to alleviate your white guilt pain? After all, talk doesn't drive down property values.

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Is the Herald site having technical problems again?

By on

If so, I understand your frustration about being unable to blame those people for everything that's wrong in your life.

But really, you don't have a clue who makes up the UHub audience, or why a lawyer blaming "a bad element" for problems that, at least based on the people who did show up at the hearings today, were white, might be perceived as trying to shift blame for something.

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Haha!

By on

"A different neighborhood crowd." No need to skirt around the language attorney Allen, I think you meant to say black people and other minorities.

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meant literally, it's accurate

By on

Right before the Kells went the way of musical chairs... they were getting a crows of people not local to allston-brighton area. And guess what, some of them were white kids from the south shore.

Don't assume "different neighborhood" means non-lily white, because there were plenty of bottle-smashing stiletto throwing melanin challenged types causing trouble too.

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Robert Allen, decoded

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"Tavern In The Square is going to stop playing hip-hop because it's attracting too many minorities."

Allston's been getting sketchy again. It's the only precinct in the city to have an increase in crime, and as a longtime resident, I've noticed the shift in the last year or two.

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As my wife said,

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...bring back the calming influence of bad chinese food.

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Their crab rangoons were

By on

Their crab rangoons were actually really good... i had them at Taste of Allston and not at the bar

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Kells had this problem too

By on

When he means a “particular crowd”, I’m not sure his intentions, but he is correct in simply local Hiphop/RAP and local DJ’s come to play that music exclusively, and typically have a hardcore local following or crew.

And it’s not just African Americans, but roided up, tough guy townie thugs of all races and creeds. Usually more white thugs show up there than African American, and it’s entirely possible that’s the issue in some sort of turf war. I heard townies telling people that they should take a walk more than once (happens in Southie too).

Kells used to have HipHop nights, and you’d walk in, take one look and get out of there because it looked like a powder keg once the booze started flowing. It was a delightful mix of all the wrong types of typically hot headed people looking to fuck or fight, packed in one small bar with a dance floor and opportunities to offend someones girlfriend.

It was nice on the off nights though. Maybe they should try a live band or trivial night more often?

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F U

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I'm a local White kid, and my friends a I don't go around looking for fights, however nor do we put up with smug assholes.

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YA actualy

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were all respectable individuals! We all have solid educations and good jobs, only difference is we don't act like assholes like yourself (see above comment by you), Smug Fuck!

You know, i read UHub quite frequently and i'v come to notice you're the equivalent of a Herald commenter with a slightly different political view. But just as ignorant nonetheless!

Maybe you should start looking at moving back to your place of origin, seeing how abhorred us Bostonian's are!

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Oh, I get it

You're a cast member in that reality show. Work hard, pahhhhty haaaahduh!

Congratulations.

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Swirly

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You're another one! You may have an education, drive a Prius, have a family, are learning to ride a bike and still haven't learned to wear matching colors. Butttttt, how you act and ridicule people on this site who dare be different than your AWESOME (HAHAHAHA) self is nothing short of Thuggery.

No i'm not some looser on a TV show! I have high expectations for myself (as does my family) and would never associate with people of that character, but nor would i ever choose to associate with the likes of a snobby, stuck-up know-it-all bike Nazi.

But thank you your being yourself, it helps others to reflect and ensure they don't develop the same demeanor as you and scratchie.

Sincerely,

A Simple Bostonian

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Perplexed

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So why are you subscribing to the very real type of people I said were the problem. Townie trash ain’t the same thing as Townie, just as living in the ghetto doesn’t mean you’re ghetto.

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Sorry Townie Wanka

By on

But I was describing the normal client of the old Kells. TITS might be different, but if they wen't back to Rap/RB/Local DJ nights, it's probably the same patrons as then.

If you want popped collar, roided jock dude bros; I'd suggest Tias or Marina Bay.

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Fistfights? Furniture thrown? Ho-hum

No need to blame any particular ethnic group or type of music for this run-of-the-ginmill drunken violence. When I would work downtown on the weekends I would see this stuff pretty damn regularly, usually after midnight "when it all hangs out", as it were. I always thought Boston should figure out a way to tax the hell out of alcoholic beverages served in clubs, to either 1)raise revenue from (mostly nonresident) young people with too much money to spend, in order to partially recoup the cost of law enforcement and EMS services that their idiotic behavior necessitates; or 2)reduce beverage consumption and thus cut down on said idiotic behavior.

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Not sure what you were doing out at midnight

By on

But if you were in the bars you’d know that drinks are already ridiculously expensive 9 times out of 10.

The real issue is the early closing times that lead to binge drinking and “catching up”. Closing times that line up to throw out patrons onto “club sidewalk” all at the same time, where they won’t find a way to get home quick. The lack of options, as most places are either clubs, or swill pubs packed door to door.

The culture is to drink as much, pack as many people in, ect. If the city was looser with licensing for both restaurants, closing times and liquor licenses you’d start to see more places that cater towards lounging and late night food. Just by the number of new places allowed, patrons per establishment would drop. Competition would force owners to get creative in how to attract people, which being the dive-yest dive isn’t exactly a plus.

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I was working on the Pine Street Inn Outreach Van

and I admit it's been a while since I've bought a drink in a bar, so I'm unaware of current prices. I was definitely impressed by how often there were incidents requiring large numbers of police and/or ambulances, and I wondered how much it cost the city to respond to these crises. Of course the monetary cost is insignificant next to the human cost of people getting their brains bashed in or falling and cracking their skulls and so forth. Also it seemed like there was a lot of drunk driving but not a lot of enforcement.
You could very well be right about the licensing and closing times. It's worth a try, because right now the situation at 2 a.m. is pretty disgraceful.

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Another way to put it:

It's not about hip hop and race. It's about a venue that plays the same ten songs everybody already knows remixed various ways, vs. one that caters to a niche - any kind of niche where a scene has to develop. It takes time, but then you get a crowd that's there for purposes other than hooking up, getting drunk, or starting trouble. Too many bars are going after the low hanging fruit. The immediate reward is good, but trouble follows.

I remember the Kells well. The management and staff were some of the nicest I have ever dealt with in that business. The customers at night - a whole other story. I guess you had to have a good disposition to work there. I would have quit.

I can't speak about this Tavern on the Square location. I haven't been. But back in the 90's, I would have stereotyped a bad Allston crowd as being full of guys with button-down shirts and white baseball caps, regardless of race, though most were white and associated with a university with a strong sports program. There would be women, but dressed more to impress each other and dance while guys stared at all the TV's. Heh - well I stand corrected - there's a niche for ya - that has way more options in any city on a given night than someone with my tastes.

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I've been to this bar

By on

I've been to this bar numerous times since opening (we practically watched every Bruins playoff game there the year they won the Cup) and I can attest it's gone steadily downhill since opening.

But it's not even just Tavern (or TITS as we call it)... It's really a simple formula a lot of these bars around here that try to become nightclubs afterhours follow: Attract civilized crowd until 10pm, clear out tables and bring in douchey DJ to play douchey top 40 at top volume, which attracts douchey crowd who like to show up hammered, wait in line, get more hammered, and fight.

If you pander to the douche, the douche will come. Ask the Draft...

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Sounds like they need

Sounds like they need more/better bouncers. I'm sure they're not the first club in the city to have a bunch of assholes show up to start trouble.

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Is there something about this location that's cursed?

When this was first announced, I said "it's boring, so it's got to be an improvement over the Kells." That doesn't seem to have worked out so well.

Tavern in the Square has never caused any of these problems at their Central Square and Porter Square locations. What's the deal with Allston, anyway?

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Oh Dear

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Somebody seems to have put on the Douchebag-shaped beacon again!

Not just for TitS, but Allston in general.

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When a Bar Allows Beer Pong...

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I suppose it is the location.
For starters the transfer was so quick that Kell's regular dudebros were able to just keep going to the same geographic location because it was not closed long enough for them to find somewhere else.
But you'll also notice that generation after generation that spot has always had bad crowds.

Molly's was, if possible, worse still than the Kell's just because it was so slimy. Besides being a total coke den, the clientele day or night was what you would expect to see in a 70s strip club in a townie neighborhood only without the strippers. I know some people that managed to book a few punk shows in the basement disco of the place in the late 80s, but even those did not go over well.

What they need to do is bring in Fish, Game, and Wildlife to run Allston like they do the Grand Banks. Once the dudebro population of the area gets too high they would temporarily raise the legal drinking age to 40 in Allston. Then after a few years of culling they can bring it back down to normal, but continue to administer it so they can re-raise the limit if needed.

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Lets just start Judging

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Im from the "ineer city" and listen to hip hop but enjoy many other types of music. Theres bad people from from all music fan bases. Im sorry to admit its tue that some peoplr from "other neighborhoods" dont know how to act when they hear some hip hop. They turn into the walking dead and take the music so literal. I have friends who love heavy metal and some of them turn the same way when they hear that music. Certain people just ruin it for the majority, so Start judging and be honest. its time to call out messed up people who ruin good times

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Allston bar violence

By anon on

Bar violence has been dropping for 30 years. I began working in clubs and bars when I moved to Boston in 1978. The move to 21+, Dram Shop liability, higher retail prices and the acceptability of marijuana have lessened bar crowds dramatically.

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Location