House of Blues gets three-day suspension for beer kegs in front of exit, smoking back stage

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday voted to suspend the House of Blues' liquor license for three days because of a March 19 incident in which fire inspectors ordered the place shut down when they found beer kegs and a trash barrel partially blocking exits during a concert - and band members toking up backstage.

Meanwhile, the board voted only to warn the Avenue Tavern in Mattapan Square for a bloody March 6 brawl that sent three people to the hospital.

The board did not set a specific date for the House of Blues suspension, which the music hall can appeal to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

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Sounds like someone from the

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Sounds like someone from the HoB forgot to hand over the padded envelope on time.

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Jeez

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Their lawyer is Dennis Quilty, the go-to guy for licensing problems in this town. Maybe, just maybe, a board in the same city as the Cocoanut Grove fire and 30 or 40 minutes from the Station fire is a bit touchy about fire issues - especially for a venue with a capacity of 2,800 people.

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Exactly

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It sounds to me like the obstructed fire exits are the bigger issue than the weed. Frankly, hearing that they're lazy about fire routes keeps me from wanting to go to shows there...well, that and the fact that the only show on the current schedule that I'd have the slightest interest in is the New Pornographers.

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Yeah, you're right

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They spent far more time discussing the partially obstructed exits than the smoking. The BPD detective who actually ordered the place shut during the show specifically brought up those two fires. Plus, HoB had been cited a month earlier for letting patrons obstruct exit aisles.

As for the weed, it wasn't so much the weed itself that seemed to bother the board (o tempora!) as the more general idea of smoking, since smoking is banned in Boston these days (at least, in places such as the House of Blues).

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The Station and Cocoanut

The Station and Cocoanut Grove both did not have a sprinkler system. A place like HOB has state-of-the-art. I'm not defending blocked exits, but I think safety systems in place would go a long way in preventing such a disaster to begin with.

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Not enough

Patrons trying to escape a fire might not burn to death or die from smoke inhalation, but there could easily be injuries and deaths resulting from the crush at those blocked exits.

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Well, then by all means

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Go ahead and block all the fire exits! Why not, they're gonna die anyway...

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