Assholes up from New York get Chinatown restaurant in trouble

The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether the young women staffing Crave Mad for Chicken on Kneeland Street should have been more assertive in trying to get a bunch of obnoxious men from New York out when they refused to leave at closing time, and if so, what punishment to levy.

At a board hearing this morning, BPD Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey and Crave Mad for Chicken owner Cassidy Lu agreed that the men were still at their table, still drinking, when Mulvey and his partner arrived around 1:55 a.m. on Aug. 5 - some 55 minutes after the restaurant's legal closing time - for an unscheduled inspection.

Lu said the restaurant turns up its lights and shuts off its music around 12:30 a.m. every night and that she announces last call, and that has always worked before. But on this night, she said, a group of young men at one table just wouldn't leave. And when the waitress asked them to finish up, they began cursing her, then ignoring her, she said.

Lu said that when she asked them to leave as the clock neared 1 a.m., one said, "Oh, we're from New York, we're usually out by 3 a.m.," to which she replied, "This is Boston, our license only allows us to [be open until] 1."

The men then returned back to whatever it is New York men talk about in a Chinatown restaurant after 1 a.m., she said. "They just ignored us. They didn't cause a scene or anything, they just ignored us."

Both Lu and the waitress are petite. The men had a change of heart when the much taller, brawnier and badge-wearing Sgt. Mulvey told them it was time to leave, even though it was still early by New York standards.

Lu said she didn't think to call 911 for help in moving the men along because they were not violent, and not abusive once they stopped cursing.

Mulvey said police prefer establishments to "self police" their closing times, but said that in a situation like Lu's, a call to 911 is always acceptable. He added he and his partner have driven past Crave Mad for Chicken after closing several times since the incident and always found it properly locked up.

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Comments

At 15 minutes past closing...

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At 15 minutes past closing, it's time for a call to 911. They have been told the place is closed, they have been told the laws are different in Boston than in New York, and since the restaurant knows their license is at stake, they cannot afford to play around.

Yes, I get that the waitstaff is physically smaller than the patrons and didn't want to risk physical trouble...that's why calling in the police is the best course of action here. All the staff had to do is tell the dispatcher that no, it wasn't an "emergency" but the restaurant patrons had been informed of the legal closing time multiple times and refused to leave...and the restaurant wants it on record that they are not willfully breaking the law by having people inside the place after closing time.

I've heard of neighborhood liquor stores doing just that when minors (presumed or actual) won't leave the place...and those are the places that rarely or never end up in trouble with the local licensing authorities.

I agree

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but who knows what Lu's boss's opinion on the matter was.

I've worked at places where we were not supposed to call 911 unless it was absolutely needed, because "police/fire/ambulances out front are bad publicity." The catch being, in the middle of an emergency, you can't always tell that someone's severe chest pain is indigestion and not a heart attack, or that someone who's behaving in a violent and scary manner will actually leave if you ask politely. This usually led to people not calling 911 until the situation had escalated too far, out of fear of getting in trouble.

Lu is the owner

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I think Crave Mad is a franchise, but in any case, she owns the place.

An old fashioned barkeep's

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An old fashioned barkeep's trick is to get out a gallon of amonia, straight up, start putting the chairs on top of the tables, throw on a surgeon's mask, and start mopping all around their table. Make sure you don't dilute the amonia.

In my old-fashioned memory,

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In my old-fashioned memory, they just poured out the ammonia on the floor and waited. Rest assured there were no surgical masks involved.