Grand Canal, 57 Canal St., is defending itself against new allegations its bouncers beat up a would-be patron they didn't like.
This time, the bar is fighting back - saying it had nothing to do with the man having his head cracked open after he was turned away at closing time on March 16, at a hearing this morning before Patricia Malone, the city commissioner of consumer affairs and licensing.
The bar's owner and manager said they have an all new crew of particularly mellow doormen and bouncers, a requirement now that wise asses wandering by and drunks trying to get in try to goad them with taunts about its past history of hiring bouncers disposed to stomp patrons.
At the hearing, BPD Det. William Gallagher read a police report in which the victim said that after he was asked to leave the bar at 2 a.m., the bar's Asian manager had five white bouncers escort him around the corner of Canal and New Chardon, where they allegedly beat him to a pulp. Gallagher said the man had "a significant amount of dried blood" on his face when he waved down a police officer early that morning.
Bar owner David Murray said the guy showed up right at 2 a.m. closing and demanded entry. He said he refused a request from a bouncer to leave and instead grabbed his shirt and tried to gain entrance.
He acknowledged bouncers escorted him around the corner, but said that was the end of the truth of his story. He said the bar manager that night was white and there were only two white doormen on duty. The Asian guy, he said, was an off-duty Boston cop who tried to calm the guy down as the bouncers walked him to New Chardon. And he said the bouncers left him there, untouched.
Malone said she might be a bit more inclined to believe the story from a bar she still considers on probation from last year's "very, very, very serious incident" if either of the bouncers or the cop had shown up at the hearing. Murray said one of the bouncers was in Detroit, the other couldn't get time off from his day job and the cop has yet to get back to him.
Malone said Murray could have asked for a continuance for the hearing in advance if he knew none of his sources for his account would be present. But when Murray asked if the hearing could be postponed, Malone said it was too late for that.
The alleged victim did not attend the hearing, either.
Malone and his manager said they are serious about turning around the bar and said they are being unfairly singled out by people who think it's funny or who have a grudge.
They said Friday nights after Celtics or Bruins games are the worst - obnoxious people on their way past the bar will pause in front of the doormen and proclaim "I'm not going in here, I'm gonna get beat up!" The over-soused who are refused entry snarl at doormen, "What are you going to do, beat us up in the street?"
Malone said that she now faces the difficult decision of which story to believe, given that none of the key players testified.