Even these two veteran BPD detectives were unprepared for what confronted them in a Theater District club

The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether to punish Venu for a September incident that left people drenched in cheap champagne and two BPD detectives unable to ferret out the underage drinkers they suspected were part of the festive crowd.

At a hearing this morning, Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said he and his partner arrived at the Warrenton Street club around 11:55 p.m. on Sept. 13 to conduct an inspection after he'd noticed a Facebook post advertising a "champagne war."

He said he and Det. Daniel MacDonald saw a greeter handing out disposable plastic raincoats to arriving patrons. He said he spotted several people who looked too young to be legally drinking. But, he continued, he was unable to check IDs because he would have been showered in champagne - since they arrived at the height of the event, with numerous people shaking up champagne bottles and spraying everybody around them with the bubbly.

But although he did not go into the drenching zone to check IDs, he did write the club a citation when he spotted several people openly downing the champagne directly from the bottles with no evidence they were pairing the alcohol with a meal - a violation of state law.

Club attorney Mark Evlogiadis said the spritzing has long been a "standard celebration" at the club for returning college students and is a way for them to get back in the school spirit with a harmless bang. He said the club uses only very cheap champagne, since the whole point of the exercise is to spray the stuff, not drink it. People who really wanted to quench their thirst could still get the real stuff - after showing ID - he said.

"Isn't an event like this inviting bad behavior?" board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini asked.

Nope, Evlogiadis said - in the 12 years Venu has had a Champagne War night, it's never had a problem.

And besides, it's really no different than Red Sox players shaking up bottles and spraying each other after a victory season, he continued, as he handed board Pulgini two photos - one from a Venu drenching, one showing a similar scene in a Red Sox clubhouse.

"You're truthfully comparing the two?" Pulgini asked. Well, not really, Evlogiadis said, which prompted Pulgini to ask why he'd just given her the two photos.

Still, Evlogiadis and club Manager William Robinson said, in the future, the club will only buy non-alcoholic spraying champagne for the event - yes, that's a thing.



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    david price

    i prolly wouldnt be much interested in picking a fight with a 6'6 southpaw under most circumstances tbh

    They city is focused on real

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    They city is focused on real issues.

    This is really just clickbait for Adam. He posts these articles knowing people will attack the Licensing Board or the only two BPD Detectives who are tasked with stopping alcohol infractions.

    He knows it will generate tons of comments. How you people haven't figured this out yet baffles me.

    You so clever

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    You figured out my evil plan for world city domination!

    It couldn't possibly be that I go to these meetings because I find these stories interesting and, to be honest, I like them because other reporters almost never go to these hearings, and I like stories nobody else gets.

    Then again, maybe you're onto something with the clickbait angle - it obviously works with you.


    The key difference is

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    One needs a liquor license to sell champagne, whereas the very nature of throwing out a cone to save a space when you drive off means there is no way to truly know who put the cone out.

    Also, both space saving and cracking down on crazy drinking parties predates Walsh, but whatever.

    Just because it predates him doesn't mean he's not

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    In a position to make a change to policy. Perhaps not with the liquor rules, but he could certainly end space saving if he wanted too.

    I also find it funny that the deceives were concerned about under aged drinking, but not concerned enough to get their cloths dirty.

    I'm shocked!

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    Shocked I tell you!


    He said the club uses only very cheap champagne, since the whole point of the exercise is to spray the stuff, not drink it.

    I've never met anyone who'd want to go to such an event yet has such refined tastes that they'd consider the crap champagne to be undrinkable.


    How is this

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    causing problems for anybody that didn't willingly choose to go to the event? Why is Boston more obsessed with being a nanny state than supporting local businesses?


    They should've hired a burly guard to check ID's beforehand.

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    First of all, it seems that an extra security guard or somebody like that should've been hired well in advance of the spritzing celebration to be really firm about checking ID's and not letting underage drinkers onto the premises.

    Secondly, even though the behavior at the spritzing party wasn't as awful as it's been at other events, like some soccer, hockey games, etc.,, it still sounded like it got enough out of hand so that it wouldn't have hurt to have somebody on hand to keep things under wraps a bit.


    They should've hired a burly guard to check ID's beforehand. [...] to be really firm about checking ID's and not letting underage drinkers onto the premises.

    Because height and muscle mass vastly increases your ability to spot a fake ID?

    First block of Newbury Street

    25+ years ago, I worked at a restaurant in the low numbers of Newbury Street. One Sunday evening in late May about 10pm, a small party of 5 or 6 arrived. They wanted to be seated in the outdoor cafe. There were two problems, the cafe was not open (the furniture actually was chained together) and more importantly, it was raining, lightly, but raining nonetheless and we didn't have cafe umbrellas

    Other staff members tried to dissuade them by pointing out the locked up chairs or the rain, but the party persisted. As it was slow, I took them on, unlocked the furniture and set up two small tables for then,

    They were very nice, ordered 3 or 4 bottles of Moet, and when I delivered them with glasses, they asked if they could open them. They then took the bottles, released the cages on the corks, opened them, then shook them and sprayed each other while they all cheered and laughed. The whole process took about 3 minutes.

    They then thanked me profusely, explained they were all best friends and finishing a major milestone in their education and had decided on this celebration on the spur of the moment.

    The rain promptly washed away all the sticky champagne, they paid their check, left me a very generous tip and were on their way. My fellow servers had been watching the whole episode from the windows and were applauding when I came back inside.

    Thank goodness they hadn't posted their plans on Facebook. Although 25 years ago, they probably would have had to buy an ad in the Boston Phoenix as there wasn't the internets like today, lol.


    It's just alcohol. We need to

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    It's just alcohol. We need to stop being so uptight about it. Go to Europe and you'll see 18 year olds or sometimes even younger allowed to drink


    Is there a law saying clubs

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    Is there a law saying clubs can't spray liquids around, so the cops can stay dry while checking IDs?

    Just a guess ...

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    He wanted to explain why he didn't do what he went there for - to check for underage drinking.