First the basement flooded at Ming Tsai's Blue Dragon on A Street. Then a water-main break sent water up into the restaurant's grease traps, causing a second, and smellier, flood.
Tsai explained all that this morning to the Boston Licensing Board, at a hearing on the citation issued by detectives on Aug. 17 because workers had piled up furniture and equipment from the basement in front of a rear emergency exit. The detectives also cited him for not having the restaurant's various licenses displayed in a prominent location, as required by law.
Tsai acknowledged the citation was correct - stuff was piled up in front of the rear emergency exit and the frame in which his restaurant normally displays its licenses was missing.
He said that on Aug. 5, the basement flooded. Then about ten days later, a broken BWSC main nearby forced more water back into the restaurant, this time through the grease traps.
The furniture - and other items, such as three brand-new, still-in-the-box, $1,800 Dyson hand dryers - were brought upstairs in an attempt to dry them out, he said.
The licenses, well, were no longer fit for public display, he said, because "very large men with huge equipment" working on repairs knocked the frame into the sewage water on the first floor after the second flood.
"My biggest fear is sewage," board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said. "It will force me into retirement," Tsai replied. He apologized for the stuff being piled in front of the exit and said he promptly applied for replacement permits.
The board considers Thursday what action, if any, to take.