An Allston nightclub that has a heavy concentration of Russian-speaking customers found itself before the Boston Licensing Board for the second time in a few months because servers were leaving carafes filled with liquor - tequila and whiskey - on tables for customers to just pour by themselves.
"It's a little bit of a cultural thing with Russians," Crystal attorney Curt Bletzer told the Boston Licensing Board, this morning. But it runs afoul of Boston table-service regulations, which requires un-served alcohol to be under the control of a server at all times - and the server is supposed to carefully measure out individual drinks to customers at their table.
Bletzer and a club manager acknowledged servers made the mistake on March 10, about which they should have known since the club promised not to do it again after a similar hearing a few months earlier. Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce spotted the violations first-hand - she had gone along with BPD licensing detectives on a routine inspection of the club, owned by the Russian Benevolent Society in a large industrial building owned by a company that plans to tear the whole thing down and replace it with residential units.
Bletzer and the manager said that employees were re-trained to emphasize to employees that Boston licensing regulations take precedence over Russian drinking norms. Just as important, Bletzer said, the nightclub has thrown out all its carafes, to reduce the chances that servers would fall into bad habits again and dump liquor into vessels left on tables.
The board decides Thursday whether the incident warrants any punishment.