Officials at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street told the Boston Licensing Board today they had no idea a group of companies that organized a Christmas party for local tech start-ups was selling tickets - a violation of the state law that prohibits open bars at events open to just anyone.
At a hearing this morning, hotel officials said they're now taking a tip from the BPD Licensed Premises Unit, whose detectives regularly scour sites such as EventBrite looking for potential upcoming violations of state and local liquor regulations - and then make a visit on the night of the events to write out citations.
Hotel attorney Dennis Quilty said that hotel officials thought the companies that reserved space for a Dec. 13 bash - with proceeds going to charity - were running a private event, with a guest list and everything, at which open bars are allowed. Quilty said nobody at the hotel knew just any Tom, Dick or Harriet could buy tickets online to the event online until detectives showed up, observed people getting drinks without forking over any money or credit cards and wrote out a citation.
Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said the hotel and bar staff were very cooperative and immediately converted the operation to a cash bar, as required under a state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commisison regulation, 204 CMR 4.03. He added the hotel manager to whom he gave the citation "seemed to be taken by surprise," when informed the party was not actually a private one.
In addition to monitoring the Internet, officials say they now go over state liquor regs with people renting rooms for alcohol-enhanced events, and require them to provide copies of their guest lists if they are throwing a private party.