Licensing Board officially fed up with Cleveland Circle pizza place

After its seventh hearing on an underage person found with alcohol over the past year - compounded by the fact that it was an employee - a co-owner of Agoros Bar and Grill on Chestnut Hill Avenue got a stern message from the chairwoman of the Boston Licensing Board this morning:

"We're putting you on notice," board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told Dimitrios Liakos. "This is it. This is a disgrace. You've been here seven times. We will roll back your hours [after another citation]."

Agoros currently can stay open until 1 a.m.

The most recent incident came around closing on Sept. 10, when two licensing detectives arrived for an unscheduled inspection - just in time to spot a young man, later IDed as a 20-year-old restaurant employee, BC student and Air Force ROTC cadet - with a beer bottle in his hand.

Liakos and his attorney, Curt Bletzer, acknowledged the faux pas. They said the guy had shown up just to find out when he was working next and, as he was leaving, a friend handed him the beer, they said. Liakos said the kid's been a good worker but said he had no choice but to suspend him from his job for several weeks, especially given the scrutiny the city's been giving the restaurant.

That scrutiny has led to increased tension between Liakos and detectives: Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said that during the inspection - in which Agoros was also cited for serving alcohol nine minutes after its official 1 a.m. closing time, Liakos asked him why the detectives were insisting on "busting his balls."

Bletzer apologized for the intemperate language. He acknowledged Agoros has been before the bar far too many times in its one year of operation and that Liakos and his brother, who own the place, have gotten over the painful learning curve of realizing that an upscale pizza place aimed at young urban professionals has particularly exact requirements when it's located in one of the main hangout areas for Boston College students with an intense thirst for alcohol.

Bletzer said that other than the Sept. 10 incident, Agoros has not had any problems with inspections since July. He credited the hiring of older workers with no BC connections and especially with the Liakos brothers' decision to buy an expensive license scanner that he said has finally discouraged underage students from trying to get a beer or cordial.

And he noted that all of the problems have been over underage drinking - not of violence or other problems.

Barely open a year, Agoros has already racked up 13 total days of license suspensions for letting people under 21 get alcoholic drinks - although in one case, two minors denied entrance managed to sneak in anyway.

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    Comments

    I chuckled when I saw that

    I chuckled when I saw that they are referring to this place as "an upscale pizza place aimed at young urban professionals." This place is just a pizza place aimed at college kids. The only time I ever see people in there is on Friday and Saturday nights when drunk BC kids are lined up on the sidewalk waiting to get in. It's basically Roggie's 2.

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    21

    Seriously this place is

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    Seriously this place is always dead except when it's being swarmed by college kids on Saturday nights.

    Good riddance

    The Licensing Board makes it

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    The Licensing Board makes it sound like this place is committing atrocious crimes.

    The amount of resources spent here could best be utilized elsewhere.

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    25

    And, pray tell, what happens to all these underage blokes

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    caught using fake IDs. Absolutely NOTHING.

    But I guess it's easier to harass business owners just because they cannot 100% control something that is increasingly difficult for them to control.

    Perhaps if we started seriously prosecuting those using false government ID, instead of always giving them "continued without a finding", then word would get around pretty quickly that using fake ID is no longer a "rite of passage", but is serious.

    Oh, and reconsidering the current drinking age and our other idiotic restrictions regarding alcohol would also help.

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    18

    My apologies for not including that, but you're wrong

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    In fact, all the kiddies nabbed with drinks in hand area always summoned into court to face, at a minimum, a charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol - sometimes supplemented with a charge of presenting a false ID to an agent of the license board or using somebody else's ID.

    Now, if it's their first offense, and they're not also charged with something more serious, chances are their cases will be continued without a finding for six months, which means that, if they stay out of trouble for that long, the case is dismissed and they have no criminal record. But yes, they wind up in court first.

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    I ordered from there once

    On MLK Day. Ordered online, drove over to CC...and saw an empty pizzeria with the lights out. Walked over to Pino's instead.

    Based on that, what level of competence do you expect from these people?

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    Detectives right in getting tough on underaged drinking.

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    The detectives are right about getting tough on underaged drinking, because that, too, in itself, often produces a good many problems. Teenagers' brains are still not completely developed, they're even more likely to lose control when they've had excessive amounts of alcohol, and they're even more likely to be permanently damaged by excessive drinking, due to the fact that their brains are still not completely developed.

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    13

    So

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    How many teenagers have you raised?

    Personally?

    You have nice DARE-based theories I see.

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    Please explain

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    Explain how teen and young adult drinking and driving is way less than baby boomer drinking and driving.

    Why is the US is the only developed country with a drinking age higher than 19. Countries with data-driven polices legalize beer and wine as young as 16.

    Why does the US have a drinking age similar to Arab countries? Maybe it is that whole "data driven" versus "moral panic" thing?

    Agoros

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    I occasionally visit Agoros during weekends and from my experiences I am surprised to read all of the negativity present on this thread. I’ve had lunch and dinner dishes at the restaurant and I have been satisfied each and every time I chose to dine there. This article is overly biased and poorly written. To call this work quality reporting would be an overstatement and simply, not true. Find out for yourself about Agoros in Cleveland Circle, they won’t disappoint.

    Agoros "the pizza bar"

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    Not only does this article sound like it was written by a two year old but the poor representation of a great place is mind blowing. I have been into Agoros on multiple occasions and every time I am greeted by Dimitrious and his brother Nico and I can't explain to you have great of people they are. I can speak on there behalf they are not there to break any laws. The amount of Boston College underage young adults that show up to that place with fake ID's or ID's of there younger brother or sister. How are you suppose to stop that licensing? That's not there fault that's your fault for not cracking down on these kids and keeping them away from these bars as they are no good for the town or the businesses. Wake up people!

    If you can't handle the problem ...

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    When you try to get an alcohol license, you agree to certain conditions, one of which is to not let people under 21 drink. You even have to specifically say, in public, that you understand rules like that. If you can't figure out how to do that, you need to sell your license. Pretty simple.

    Cityside never shows up before the licensing board, and even Mary Ann's hasn't had a problem in close to two years. Maybe this time Agoros really has figured out an answer, now that they realize Cleveland Circle isn't Somerset (where their first restaurant is). We'll see.

    Somerset

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    Does anyone under 60 live there?

    This is a joke

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    Agoro's is doing everything they can to prevent underage college kids from coming in. The issue lies with fake IDs and kids having their siblings real IDs. They got a scanner and are consistently cracking down. Mary Ann's down the street is full of underage ages kids regularly, but because they have been around for years licensing doesn't come every other night...rumor has it that the police have ties with Mary Ann's. If that's the case this town is upside down and should seriously reconsider who they have in charge....

    The issue

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    Unreasonably ridiculous drinking age that does far more harm than good.