The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether the young women staffing Crave Mad for Chicken on Kneeland Street should have been more assertive in trying to get a bunch of obnoxious men from New York out when they refused to leave at closing time, and if so, what punishment to levy.
At a board hearing this morning, BPD Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey and Crave Mad for Chicken owner Cassidy Lu agreed that the men were still at their table, still drinking, when Mulvey and his partner arrived around 1:55 a.m. on Aug. 5 - some 55 minutes after the restaurant's legal closing time - for an unscheduled inspection.
Lu said the restaurant turns up its lights and shuts off its music around 12:30 a.m. every night and that she announces last call, and that has always worked before. But on this night, she said, a group of young men at one table just wouldn't leave. And when the waitress asked them to finish up, they began cursing her, then ignoring her, she said.
Lu said that when she asked them to leave as the clock neared 1 a.m., one said, "Oh, we're from New York, we're usually out by 3 a.m.," to which she replied, "This is Boston, our license only allows us to [be open until] 1."
The men then returned back to whatever it is New York men talk about in a Chinatown restaurant after 1 a.m., she said. "They just ignored us. They didn't cause a scene or anything, they just ignored us."
Both Lu and the waitress are petite. The men had a change of heart when the much taller, brawnier and badge-wearing Sgt. Mulvey told them it was time to leave, even though it was still early by New York standards.
Lu said she didn't think to call 911 for help in moving the men along because they were not violent, and not abusive once they stopped cursing.
Mulvey said police prefer establishments to "self police" their closing times, but said that in a situation like Lu's, a call to 911 is always acceptable. He added he and his partner have driven past Crave Mad for Chicken after closing several times since the incident and always found it properly locked up.