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Board hopes to see no trouble with a capital T at new Allston bar

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the owner of a bar being built in Allston buy a billiards table.

In a holdover from the days when authorities worried about the corrupting influences of billiards on young men, the board controls who can offer pool or sippio tables to customers.

Mayor Walsh is seeking state legislation that would get the city out of the billiards-regulating business (along with ending its oversight over fortune tellers, video games and bowling lanes), but until then, the board still gets to play Harold Hill.

Douglas Bacon, who is working to convert the old Shanghai Social Club at 1277 Comm. Ave. into a neighborhood bar called Hopewell Bar and Kitchen, told the board at a hearing this morning that he wants to offer a single billiards table, that it would be coin-operated and cost $1 a game and that, like the rest of the establishment, bar employees would monitor its use to ensure that that game with the fifteen numbered balls doesn't turn into a devil's tool surrounded by young men using words like "swell" and "so's your old man."

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Comments

...Our House was derided as being too rowdy as a neighborhood bar, then a couple of failed restaurants take the space and die and now they want to put a neighborhood bar back in. Will it be open until 2 again or has that ship sailed? Model is the only Allston bar able to stay open until 2 AFAIK. Well, at least the only one I'd ever go to, and THAT is saying something.

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I can't name a single Allston bar that ISN'T open until 2 AM.

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Sunset, Patrons, The Sil?

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Apparently Deep Ellum is now.

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Will he bring back Brewbakers? RIP Our House West.

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... the requirement to get permission to buy a pool table should be up near the top of the list.

Calling Michelle Wu. Can you help to stop this type of historic licensing nonsense?

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As said in the article, it is state law, which the city has already filed to change and there have been hearings held.

Unfortunately, the same bill is tied to expanding the hours of bars, so it has heard a lot of opposition.

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That place couldn't possibly be licensed for dancing.

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That's regulated by the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing - on the other side of City Hall.

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but holy shit do they need to get the hell out of controlling who has a billiards table.

i mean shit, i grew up in arlington and the boys and girls club there had a number of pool tables. great times, actually.

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of controlling billards immediately. Somebody wants a billards table - AUTOMATICALLY approve it, no questions asked.

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Marty has been in office for 2 years, why do we still need permits for pool tables? For dancing? A DJ vs. a jukebox?

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need to just start putting pool tables in their establishments willy-nilly and let 'the board' come after them. should incite change pretty fast.

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For dancing?

I still can't believe people need a permit for dancing... gosh for bid..

It's like it's Footloose again.. where's Kevin Bacon?

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Vestige of the days when the governor appointed members of the Boston Licensing Board. Sometimes the legislature moves a tad slowly.

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When people think of dancing and jukeboxes they think of teenagers wearing hoop skirts with poodles on them with guys in sweaters wrapped around their waists...

When I first got involved in licensing issues I was shocked at the number of restrictions and permits that were needed. Dancing, amplified sound, television sets... But once you start seeing how people get around these restrictions you see why those restrictions are there. When that restaurant decides it wants to become a defacto night club by putting in music and moving tables. All well and good, except the neighbors may have been under the impression they were in a quiet area... neighbors being other businesses or residents. I spent a long time working at a business association and an even longer time in local city issues and have seen lots of different ways people twisted their permits and licenses around or just outright broke the rules. Everyone hates zoning until it affects them and you manage to shut down that bar that is causing problems, or convince that establishment that maybe they should not promote to people who will pee in other peoples yards.

That all being said, I have yet to see a billiards table be the cause of problems...

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When that restaurant decides it wants to become a defacto night club by putting in music and moving tables.

*cough*cough*Las Palmas*cough*cough*

LasPalmas was a restaurant near my house that had many many issues.. but like Matt said, became a defacto nightclub with loud music. Matt was instrumental on getting this place shutdown... of course some of the crap they did also didn't help.

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You need to learn how the state legislature works.

Once every 2 years, there is an opportunity to file bills at the beginning of the session. The only opportunity in Marty's administration was January 2015, when he filed this bill via Will Brownsberger.

It then took ~10 months for the state legislature to have a hearing. And now we have to wait to see if they decide to move it out of committee, which generally won't occur until March 2016.

The state legislature moves extremely slowly. That isn't Marty's fault. He got the ball rolling on this one.

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Good heavens, we can't let such devil's playthings go unregulated. Why, if you let every ha'penny watering hole in town have a billiard table, it's but a short road to spittin', cussin', gamblin', and sharin' a chocolate malted with an unescorted young lady.

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I love Adam's article, but I'm curious how many readers will remember the references... :)

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It's going to be stuck in my head all afternoon now...

THANKS, ADAM.

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I heard that the owner plans on putting in a shuffle board as well as a couple pinball machines! I for one am very excited. The only bar that has pinball is the Model and people are usually using it as a table rather than playing.

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Like selling snake oil. If anything, I'd like to see it more regulated-- it exploits the vulnerable.

(edited for typo)

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But what criteria would you use to determine whether or not fortune tellers are properly trained to perform their craft? Perhaps we need a "Division of Professional Fortune Teller Licensure", like we do for engineers, architects, plumbers, and the like? "I've told you your fortune, now I'll certify it by stamping your head with my seal" perhaps.

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New regs:

1) All fortunes must be given to the client in writing

2) All fortunes must be specific and detailed (names, dates, times, etc)

3) If said fortune does not come true, fortune teller is liable.

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