Hey, there! Log in / Register

Little neighborhood bar in Hyde Park selling its liquor license so that people can drink at the revamped Pru food court

Dempsey's in Hyde Park

Disappearing Dempsey's?

A Hyde Park bar so little known outside the neighborhood it has only one brief Yelp review wants to sell its liquor license to the upcoming Eataly going in where the Pru food court used to be.

The Boston Licensing Board considers Eataly's proposal to buy Dempsey's liquor license at a hearing next Wednesday. Eatly is proposing a three-level food court, with bars on the first floor and on a roof deck and stalls selling different kinds of food sandwiched in between.

The news comes only a few months after Dempsey's got a new owner, who promised to keep the place pretty much the same as it had always been.

Because Dempsey's, 1185 River St., is in the Hyde Park Main Streets district, it could theoretically sell the license and then snap up one of the new neighborhood-specific licenses approved by the state legislature. However, similar license swaps in the past have involved the place selling its regular license scheduling a new-license request hearing on the same day. There's no hearing for a new license for Dempsey's next Wednesday.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

God, I think I jgot in a barroom brawl just looking at that place ...

up
Voting closed 0

I will admit I was in there once, once, in the past 13 years. It is a true Irish bar, meaning real life Irish people from Ireland were the majority that day.

That being said, barroom brawl or not, still safer that Who's On First or getting mauled by a bouncer somewhere on Canal Street.

up
Voting closed 0

All these years covering the Boston Licensing Board and I don't recall them ever having had to show up for a hearing.

up
Voting closed 0

Eire Pub is still safe isnt it? The Stensons wouldnt even tolerate profanity.....
IMAGE(http://www.eirepub.com/Eire_Pub/Bartenders_files/10171755_765885833469642_6609234134395239623_n.jpg)

up
Voting closed 0

Oh, John. You know I like to joke. Let's check it out b4 it closes.

up
Voting closed 0

Get rid of all those old maps you have that have dragons and sea serpents south of the Fenway.

As long as you're there, don't forget Master McGrath's around the corner (and yet still on River Street - we love our bizarrely routed streets down here) and Cappy's in Readville. If you are looking for the kind of two-fisted drinking bar you were imagining is all that exists down here, the kind with no tables to throw and the smokers clustered just outside the entrance, well, there's always the Cottage Tavern on Hyde Park Avenue (sorta kitty corner from where Hyde Park's one bucket o' blood used to be, until it got closed down and turned into a succession of Haitian/Caribbean restaurants).

up
Voting closed 0

When there's a sportsball game on, Cappy's has been known to set out a free buffet of surprisingly good food. Also, skip Master McGrath's and go to the Haitian restaurant next door.

up
Voting closed 0

I saw the photo and thought it was the Cottage Tavern, even though the River Street sign is clearly visible.

Since I'm not a drinker, they all kind of look alike to me, but for the sake of those who like to tip one or two back, I will mourn the loss.

up
Voting closed 0

up
Voting closed 0

It's easy to miss. I'm usually too busy trying not to get run over by the traffic turning onto Central to notice the little bar on the corner.

up
Voting closed 0

Used to be a fish shack..........

up
Voting closed 0

Full kitchen abandoned in the back, the only time this place has more than ten people in it is on saint Patrick's day and they close at eleven pm.....seems the owner had this planned when they bought the place recently ? Such a disappointment! But on a higher note Bicaro is looking awesome :-)

up
Voting closed 0

Do you know when it's opening..?

up
Voting closed 0

...then this past summer, then this fall...18 days to go before it's "next" winter.

up
Voting closed 0

At the tree lighting last Sunday the owner mentioned he is hoping to open in January - he was giving tours of the space and had the window paper off - looks like he is down to the finishing touches, lights, paint, kitchen equipment, etc (hood is in). He then needs to train staff so I'd assume end of January or February to be realistic - Salamanders Café around the corner looks closer to opening.

And I don't see the need to preserve Demphsey's so this might not be a bad thing, and I would support the building being demolished and a small development (2-3 stories) units being developed on the site with retail on the first floor similar to what is under construction on Hyde Park Ave. where the former Eagles Building was.

up
Voting closed 0

Is bad public policy.

If the city is willing to allow on-premise alcohol sales at Eataly, they should pay their licensing fees and that's the end of it. Regardless of how nice this would be for this "little guy," allowing a private market for liquor licenses to continue puts this city (and state) in the dark ages of alcohol regulation.

up
Voting closed 0

It's the state legislature that sets the number of liquor licenses for Boston.

up
Voting closed 0

Why doesn't the City just sell Eataly a license for $300k?

up
Voting closed 0

As noted above, the number of licenses is set by the state legislature. With Boston booming, the only time the Boston Licensing Board ever has any all-alcohol licenses to dole out is on the very rare occasions when the board finally has enough with a license holder's bad behavior and revokes its license or when somebody does something really stupid and just turns it back in (this happened a few years ago with the Irish Social Club in West Roxbury; took a special act of the legislature to get them back a license).

So with artificially imposed scarcity, you get a gray market where licenses go for as high as $425,000 (I write "gray market" because you can't actually sell a license without approval of both the licensing board and the state ABCC), and licenses start migrating away from outer neighborhoods to chains with lots of money along the waterfront and downtown.

A couple years ago, the legislature agreed to give 75 new licenses to Boston (not all are all-alcohol, some are just beer and wine). These are geographically limited to Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan and 20 or so "Main Streets" districts (which includes such liquor-deprived areas as, um, Centre Street in West Roxbury) and the licenses can't be resold - if a holder goes out of business, it has to return the license to the board.

up
Voting closed 0

liquor-deprived areas as, um, Centre Street in West Roxbury

I only count 8 restaurants from Holy Name to St T's with alcohol (and at least 4 of them are beer/wine only.) The area could support twice that many restaurants if they could get at least beer and wine licenses. You NEVER hear of any trouble from drunks at any of these beer/wine places (like Commellas and Himalayan Bistro.)

up
Voting closed 0

Not with the current parking situation down there, bad enough that the people who live on the side streets off Centre got their streets made resident-only.

up
Voting closed 0

Or was it former Sen Wilkerson?

Anyway, I know there are politicians pushing for more licenses for neighborhoods over down-town places like Eatily. I've never been to Hyde Park, but I'd much rather see this little joint flourish than another Pru chain. Not matter how good the chain may supposedly be.

up
Voting closed 0

Wilkerson was so interested in all those licenses. And a lot of it ended up in her bra.

up
Voting closed 0

That's her baby.

I'm still not won over to her (her method of politics reminds me of John Connolly, which in turn gets me thinking about Stephen Murphy) but initiatives like trying to get licenses dedicated to underserved areas like Mattapan and Hyde Park in order to stir economic development makes me think that when she goes for the higher position she is angling for, she will probably do a good job.

up
Voting closed 0

You can probably find her without too much trouble - it's not like she spends extensive amounts of time in Florida or something.

I'm not sure this one bar possibly closing up will leave Hyde Park high and dry. There are a number of other places to drink (and eat) in the immediate area - with one more possibly, maybe, one of these days, finally opening up in the old Dottie's (sorry, old the Hyde) space. And, in fact, that place got one of the new liquor licenses Pressley pushed for. Rincon Caribeno, just down the street from Dempsey's, was able to upgrade from beer and wine to all alcohol thanks to Pressley as well.

up
Voting closed 0

I have lived in Hyde Park for close to seven years now and never went into this bar but a large number of bars and restaurants have come and gone in the area. It seems to me the biggest problem with Hyde Park's town center is simply the layout of the roads. First of all, there is a lack of parking. In addition the river kind of cuts off sections of the neighborhood from other sections. If you are coming in from another town like Roxbury or Milton or something to go to a bar or a restaurant, when you leave you either have to bang a tight u-turn or you have to drive through the neighborhood on a fairly convoluted path (potentially through some 'scary-looking' areas) to get back to where you came from.

All that said, I like living here and I really miss The Hyde.

up
Voting closed 0

Dont the Cavan house still have the big dirt parking lot? I know the other place further up HPA is gone, lots of drinking went on between the two of them , I declare.

up
Voting closed 0

Next time you go by the police station, look in the opposite direction. There's a large lot that I've never seen full.

And, I should note, we had our anniversary dinner at the Briar Rose this spring, and we had no trouble parking (and we didn't park in the lot I mentioned before.)

up
Voting closed 0

Is someone coming from out of town to go to eat at the Fairmount Grille, Briar Rose, etc. going to notice that parking lot or know that they can park there?

up
Voting closed 0

First, as I note, Briar Rose has no parking issues. As for the Fairmont Grille, yes Fairmont Street is bad for parking, but the lot is not that far away.

All I can say that when I have driven to Cleary Square, I've never had trouble finding a parking spot.

up
Voting closed 0

Not as bad as the pub next to AutoZone on HP Avenue.

up
Voting closed 0

On Hyde Park Avenue's most scenic stretch.

up
Voting closed 0

My boyfriends parents own the Cottage! I have spent many a fun night there. A lot of locals, but they have a DJ now on Saturday nights! Stop in!

up
Voting closed 0

..if they sell the license, what is this place gonna offer?
camraderie?

up
Voting closed 0

The owner takes the money and retires or builds a luxury-condo tower on the land (see: Pretty much every neighborhood bar in South Boston). There's not much of a market for luxury condos on River Street in Hyde Park, however.

up
Voting closed 0

Turned into condos, but they are far from luxury. Sold as such, though.

up
Voting closed 0

That bar looks like it could hold maybe 50 people, but the same license that covers that could go to the pru with two levels of bars and hundreds of people filtering in and out? It just seems kind of disingenuous that there's this entirely arcane, expensive, and ridiculous system to regulate who can sell alcohol and when and to whom (MA drivers licenses ONLY for example) but can be swapped between such vastly different establishments as long as there's a payout.

I understand this is all the legislature trying yet again to shit on Boston because how dare a city exist or whatever the bumfuck suburbs' problems are now, so there's not a lot the city can do to fix any of this, but god a rational system of obtaining a license, using it, and returning it back to the city for either a deposit or an administrative fee would be so much nicer.

up
Voting closed 0