The Boston Licensing Board agreed today to give John Tyler one last chance to show he can actually run a restaurant in the Maverick Street building he and his ex-wife co-own and if he can't, it'll yank the place's liquor license and give it to somebody else.
At a meeting today, board members expressed skepticism that Tyler would, after several years of opening and closing his Maverick House Tavern with a series of managers, successfully transition to a Latino-based restaurant with a consultant - the owner of a Chilean hot-dog restaurant on Bennington Street - in September, as his attorney promised at a hearing on Tuesday.
Still, they agreed to hold a meeting in September to let Tyler formally introduce what would effectively be a new restaurant to the board, more specifically, to ask the board for approval of the restaurant's new name and any changes in seating or hours. But the board then added that just in case, they would also schedule a hearing in October at which to discuss canceling the restaurant's liquor license. If it then voted to do that, it could then award the liquor license to another restaurant in Dorchester, Mattapan or Roxbury or any of the city's Main Street districts, including the one in East Boston.
Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said she is "very concerned" about a series of management issues between Tyler, his former wife and the operators one of them brings in to try to run the place.
She added it's unfortunate everybody keeps trying to wrap the license up in seemingly endless litigation between the ex-spouses, because the license is a "restricted" neighborhood license, which means it has no value on its own since, unlike other liquor licenses in Boston, it cannot be sold but must be surrendered to the board should the restaurant go out of business - or the board determine it is no longer being put to "good and proper use."
Should the board revoke the license, it would have little trouble quickly finding another restaurant that could use it - Boston has long been unable to offer licenses to every restaurant that wants one, because the state legislature limits the number of liquor licenses in Boston, a legacy of anti-Irish animus back in the day. Another holdover from that time - that the governor appointed members of the licensing board instead of the mayor, was only changed in the early days of Marty Walsh's first term in office.