Dorchester billiard parlor behind the eight ball over unlicensed food, beer and smoking

Columbia Billiard Co., 558 Columbia Rd., has trouble with a capital T and is currently shut as its new owner awaits word from the Boston Licensing Board both on a series of violations found in a February inspection and its requests for the licenses it should have had before that inspection.

The board decides Thursday what action to take about the beer from a bottle and prepared food two BPD detectives found on their inspection - both being offered for sale even though the place is only licensed to offer that game with the fifteen numbered balls, not Bevo and food.

At a hearing Tuesday, BPD Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said he and his partner, Det. Daniel MacDonald, responded on Feb. 25 to a complaint to the licensing board about some possible mass-teria going on inside the billiards parlor, accessed through the same entrance as Cafe Bida 123.

Mulvey said they were met by manager Thien Nguyen, with a lit cigarette in his mouth - something no amount of Sen-Sen could erase, and illegal because smoking is banned in commercial establishments in Boston.

The two detectives then spotted lots and lots of trouble; in all, one, two, three, four, five, six violations of various city regulations.

In addition to the smoking, the billards parlor now had a bar, with a "large commercial refrigerator" packed with Heineken - on offer for $2 a bottle, even though it has no beer license, Mulvey said. Further inspection revealed nine entire cases of the beer in a rear stairwell, he said, adding the place was also outfitted with "an unlicensed kitchen," in which food could be prepared.

Mulvey continued the parlor was also equipped with widescreen TVs and microphones for rag-time, shameless music, and other live entertainment - two more things for which it had no license.

At Tuesday's hearing, the terrible, terrible trouble continued when board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini asked why, if Nguyen is the manager, the place's license request from a year ago listed - and was signed by - Nicholas Verenis.

Verenis, who owns the building, attended the hearing and said he had rented the space to Nguyen a couple years ago. He could not explain why he'd signed the license renewal request last year, but said the beer and the food and widescreen TVs were all news to him and that he'd told Nguyen to knock it off.

Nguyen received similar advice from his own attorney, Michael Ford, who said he told him to just shut the place down until he could get all the licensing issues straightened out. Ford, who acknowledged the situation was not swell, begged the board for mercy and denied his client was saying "so's your old man" to the detectives when he re-opened last week with just billiards on offer even though the detectives had told him to close altogether last month.

"I have explained to him up and down you cannot do that," Ford told the board.

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Comments

Libertine Men and Scarlet Women!

I say that any boob can take
And shove a ball in a pocket.
And they call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.

Read more: Music Man - Ya Got Trouble Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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wow

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That place sounds awesome. No wonder they shut it down.

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Great Lawyer!

How much does Mr. Ford charge an hour to tell the board even he thought it was a bad idea.

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Unbelievable

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$2 beers, inside smoking, billiards, microphones! What more could you ask for?!?
Thanks a lot BPD

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What happened to their

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What happened to their bowling alley? Didn't they used to have a couple of lanes there?

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Most to young to remember

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Years ago Jackie Gleason played there along with comedian Norm Crosby. Leonard Nimoy, Minnesota Fats, Boston Shortie, and Willie Mosconi and many others
The best in the world. I use to rack balls for these guys. .25 or .50 a rack.
Gleason was playing a game of straight pool against Crosby Crosby was on the verge of making his 50th point when Gleason sais to him "Crosby you make that shot you'll never be on my show again" he made the shot and Gleason said to me. Little Bick get my coat. With that he put his long black overcoat on and got into the always waiting Limo and went back to Florida.
Bonds billiards in the combat zone, Cutlers at Morton and Blue, Barneys, Sam's in Mattapan.
all housed great pool players
Away we go

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