A Chatham Street watering hole had to explain to the Boston Licensing Board today why a patron appeared to be drunk one September night: The bar said he wasn't drunk, he was just a hard-working local iron worker who had gotten off a double shift and dozed off while waiting for a ride home.
To add insult to injury, the waitress the Wild Rover who had served him four Bud Lights over a four-hour period on Sept. 14 - he only drank three of them - marked him as "old guy" on his tab to keep track of his cash payments. Aside from some gray in his beard, the man did not appear at all old at today's hearing.
The man, who said he had worked 16 hours straight at a local construction site that day, is a regular at the bar, and attended the board's hearing for a citation on "intoxicated patron passed out inside premise" to dispute that he was drunk or passed out. He and a bar manager said he was sitting at a high top in the bar's back room and had plugged in his phone to recharge it. With his head in his hand, he dozed off - just as a BPD licensing detective entered for an unscheduled inspection and spotted him.
"I didn't realize I had nodded off," the worker said, estimating he was out for maybe 15 minutes. The bar manager said that when the detective alerted him to the seemingly passed out man, he went to the back room and tapped the man and he woke right up and was able to walk out front. The man exhibited no signs of being drunk, he said.
The bar's attorney, Andrew Upton, noted how incredibly rare it is for somebody who has gotten a bar written up for a licensing citation to appear before the board. The construction worker said he agreed to testify because he felt badly that his tiredness got the bar into any sort of possible trouble.
The manager added that he's instructed his staff to no longer identify customers by their physical characteristics.