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Allston club that remains shut after double shooting last fall tries to get back in city's good graces with new manager, new security guards

Alex Matov at hearing

Matov in Zoom hearing.

The owner of the shuttered Garage on Linden Street and his new manager today gave the Boston Licensing Board a re-opening plan that would include having at least seven security guards trained in "de-escalation" on duty at all times.

Garage has been shut since a double shooting outside on Nov. 15. At a hearing in January, the board told owner Alex Matov to not even think about re-opening without first coming up with plans to prevent more violent incidents - and that even if it did approve a re-opening, the club would first have to serve a four-day suspension for the way its staff hindered the police investigation into the shootings.

At a hearing this morning, Matov and his attorney, Kurt Bletzer, introduced the club's new manager, Abraham Haile. Haile said he had hired a new security company, AmeriGuard Protective Services of Everett, which he said specializes in trying to calm things down, rather than just acting as tough guys in "SECURITY" shirts, as well as in cooperating with police.

Haile said that he has fired an employee he said was at the center of "exasperating the situation" when police arrived a few days after the double shooting and she refused to even tell them how to reach Matov. He added that the new bouncers will know to keep an eye on any people who look like they might be any trouble - especially when they go outside to the club parking lots, where most of the club's past problems have occurred. In 2016, a man was shot in the head in the parking lot.

Also, any promoters brought in to program particular nights will be forbidden from bringing in their own security guards.

Haile added he has visited D-14 in Brighton to try to mend fences caused by employee recalcitrance in cooperating with police after the double shooting.

Matov added his video guy has installed a brand-new cloud-based video system that will record to both a local device and a server somewhere else, to record video from 15 cameras around the club, in the hopes it will not suddenly go on the fritz again, as it did the night of the double shooting.

Before Matov can seek formal permission to re-open, he needs to file a detailed "dispersal" plan on how the club will get patrons to leave quickly and safely at closing time. He also has to fill in some gaps on his proposed security plan, including a number where he can be reached at all times.

In the long term, there may be no long term for the club - which started out as a somnolent place for Russian immigrants to down shots before Matov came in and began transforming the space into a nightclub. A development group - of which Matov is a part - has city approval to replace the building and others nearby with a 349-unit apartment complex.

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