Managers at Earls Kitchen and Bar in the Prudential Center apologized to city officials today for renting out their enclosed patio for a corporate holiday party in December - saying they didn't realize the patio license they had previously agreed to required them to stop patio operations in November.
Earls, a Canadian chain, features heated patios at many of its locations and all the others are open year round, so the Boston manager didn't realize he couldn't rent it out for a Dec. 14 event, he told the Boston Licensing Board today - until police showed up shortly after 8 p.m. due to two calls to 911 from residents of the neighboring Mandarin Oriental condominiums about the sound from the nine-piece band hired to entertain patrons under its retractable roof.
Earls faces a separate hearing before the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, because the one-day license granted by that office - which has the same chairwoman as the Boston Licensing Board - was for a DJ, not a live band.
One of the licensing detectives who responded after the second call, Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey, told the board that when he and his partner arrived, there was another Mandarin Oriental resident on scene, talking to the manager about the music.
Both the Pru Earls manager and the chain's East Coast regional manager apologized for the oversight.
The Pru manager said he immediately stopped taking reservations for the patio until April, even though that has caused such a drop off in business he has been forced to lay off "quite a few workers" - many of whom told him that meant "they can't make rent and things like that."
The Earls managers, which said it had earlier worked with Mandarin Oriental residents to ensure soundproofing was put in place inside the patio area, said they will be applying for a year round patio license - and said they are confident they can win approval from those residents for that.
The licensing board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take about the Dec. 14 incident.