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Licensing Board to hold emergency hearing on whether North End restaurant owner is fit to run the place; he's currently on the lam on an attempted murder charge

The Boston Licensing Board has scheduled a hearing at 4 p.m. on Thursday to consider Patrick Mendoza's has the "character and fitness" to operate a liquor-serving establishment now that he is facing charges that include assault with intent to murder for an incident last Wednesday on Hanover Street.

Mendoza has not been seen since he allegedly fired one shot at somebody he's known for years - missing him but hitting a window at the Modern Pastry shop.

The board's "informational hearing," to be held online, will be "to review the character and fitness of the Licensee and manager of record" of Monica's Trattoria, 67 Prince St.

"Character and fitness" are among the criteria state law lets the licensing board use in determining whether to approve managers of alcohol-serving establishment. Establishments cannot serve alcohol without a manager approved by the board.

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Mendoza has not been seen since he allegedly fired one shot at somebody he's known for years - missing him but hitting a window at the Modern Pastry shop.

And before then, he was allegedly a Trump-loving, covid-ignoring restaurant owner like most on Hanover Street. North End restaurants were basically Florida during covid. They didn't follow CDC or MA covid regulations on indoor eating or size of parties. The city should've pulled all their liquor licenses back then but didn't....hopefully now we can "reset" our relationship with this neighborhood.

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Agreed but small correction: he didn’t hate Covid. He hated not being able to risk other peoples lives so he could make money. And he hated that an Asian American woman called him out for being a whiny brat. And then they proved Mayor Wu right by suing the city for hurting their fragile feelings.

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With the benefit of what we know now, pretty hard to make the case that allowing N. End restaurants to serve people who wanted to go to them hurt anybody but themselves, if that.

We all made our best guesses going into the pandemic. I think the March-April stay-home advisories and workplace shutdowns made sense given the fog of war. By the time the N. End started filling back up again we were past that phase.

Both sides became wildly overconfident of what they knew and dug in for partisan political rather than medical/scientific reasons. . It's absolutely not, no way, a lab leak. It's just the flu. It's not airborne. Masks are worse for you than nothing. Refusing the vaccine is selfish. The vaccine is only necessary if you're over 80. Zoom school is great for kids.

In hindsight an awful lot of what hard liners screamed on both ends looks pretty wrong. School closures have been devastating to a generation of kids at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. These have consequences. Maybe 100K or more people are in the ground because they wouldn't get vaccinated. The next 10 years are going to see some kind of gut-wrenching transformation in cities like Boston if the bottom continues to fall out of the office market. A friend's 90-something WWII vet grandfather spent the most of the last year of his life locked in a nursing home like a prisoner in solitary, only to die from Covid anyway.

The harms that came from these mistakes were astounding, and many, especially the early ones, were probably unavoidable. But many were made worse because people on both sides were unwilling to admit any sort of error if it could be perceived as giving support to the other side. Unfortunately our current partisan dialectic makes that impossible.

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By trying to split the difference between the "two extremes", you've basically gone with the notion that the "facts" that both sides were complaining about the other were right, so we should have done something "in the middle".

But you're wrong. The "facts" were decidedly on the side of the people researching, testing, and providing scientific conclusions. Your memory is hazy and you tell a good story. But the lockdown wasn't just "fog of war"...it was the only way to stop the spread of the disease. There wasn't a vaccine yet and it spread VERY easily and before you knew you even had it to self-regulate your appearance in public...it still does! Today, we just have enough immunity to prevent viral passage when people would have otherwise gotten infected.

People are still contracting COVID. In fact the numbers are even starting to trend back *upwards* again like they did 2 years ago when Omicron variant first spread. Maybe there's a new variant that slips past the immunity...maybe people in the area have gotten too lax about shaking hands and then licking their ice cream cone...who knows...oh, right, scientists.

Yes, our counter-measures *may* have had risks and side-effects. We're social animals. We took away society except largely through online means. But...actually...we didn't shut down the airline industry (like we did for the week after 9/11). Many airlines had to drastically reduce service, but the biggest ones didn't completely stop flying. In retrospect, studies have shown the flights still happening ended up being one of the BIGGEST vectors in spreading the disease. So, you could say we didn't take drastic enough measures...OR we deemed the risk of stopping all movement too great so we didn't.

We've hit a point where "one side" of the political system has chosen to ACTIVELY oppose scientific research and knowledge. Maybe the "other side" doesn't always get it right, but there's no way in hell we should ever entertain anything they claimed about the "facts" until they again start working from the same reality that science is built to observe, experiment, and conclude. Trying to "both sides" reality and fiction isn't going to find you standing in the middle on "common ground"...at best you'll be barely correct about the world around you.

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The North End was basically Florida during covid.

No, some of the restaurants in the North End, many of whose owners do not live in the neighborhood, acted like Florida wannabes.

Similarly, some of these same folks started pushing the narrative that Mayor Wu, in imposing some limits on sidewalk occupancy, was treating the North End unfairly or bigoted against Italians. That was a laughable accusation: what Wu did was listen to the North End, the people who actually live there and not the restaurant owners from out of town, and give the residents (many of course being Italian) what they had been asking for, namely a small break from commercial overuse of their sidewalks.

It’s not “the North End” being assholes here; it’s a couple of restaurant owners. “The North End” is 80 year old Nonna who just wants to be able to cross the street without climbing over a concrete Jersey barrier or get knocked down by a waiter bussing tables.

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Shooting at somebody or running a business has nothing to do with having a victualer’s license. This is just payback because he didn’t agree with Wu on street dining in the North End. He was probably on Wu’s Nixonian hit list.

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Are you saying that someone of good character would shoot at someone in the street and then flee?

Or is this some bizarre theory that the mind-controlling space aliens from Zeta Reticuli forced him to take out the gun and start shooting?

Do you happen to know how many members of the Licensing Board were appointed by Mayor Wu? Zero out of three.

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How's it going? You get into those anger management classes yet?

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so she could take his license away. She really tried it when she brought COVID over here but he was able to slip away. Wu needs to learn she can’t tread on a man’s right to fire a handgun in public

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The law disagrees with you. Actually, so does common sense, but since I don't have an infinite amount of time at my disposal I'm going to skip explaining that to you.

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Even down to this having to do with Monica's victualer license.

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Don't shut down Monica's mercato. Please. The place is meticulous and you can't find better sandwiches or employees. The army of fans are not tourists who salivate over the quality that hasn't changed since it opened years ago. Keep that seperate from what happened with Mendoza's stupid actions.

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They won't shut the restaurant down, just pull the liquor license.

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I always assumed that they were all related. Are they?

  • Monica's Trattoria
  • Monica's Mercato
  • Vinoteca di Monica
  • Monica's Pasta Shop
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From the most recent Globe article:

Aside from running several well-known Italian eateries in the North End, each called some variation of Monica’s, the Mendoza brothers are also known for taking part in the protests last year against Wu.

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The City was FAR too easy on the Hanover Street goon squad and by extension the local power structure in that little angry regressive corner of Boston.

And let's not forget about those (Yes, Frankie D. im talkin' to you) who lent them credibility by suggesting their claim of ethnic discrimination had any merit whatsoever.

You gave these people credence, Frank. And by extension permission to run roughshod over public safety and any attempt to keep the city safe.

My dirt poor, fungus foraging, milano ancestors would be dehydrated from spitting on the ground.

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Give him a chance to tell his side of the story at the hearing.

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I'm not claiming to be a particularly smart person, but even I would avoid a government hearing if I knew there was a murder warrant out on me.

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The part where he didn't know that he had a gun on him because one of Mayor Wu's invisible gay Asian trans secret wokesquad operatives bumped into him and planted a gun on him. And he had no idea that it was there and concealed and was a loaded gun. And he hit a bump and it just went off by accident in the general direction of someone he had a beef with who was coincidentally walking along the street and this is all a misunderstanding?

Right.

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stopped patronizing them when he turned out to be such a public-endangering loon in the wake of covid. That goes for his fellow pandemic scofflaws and anti-Wu bigots, too.

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This should be the shortest licensing board meeting ever.

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What if he shows up to defend himself before the board?

I guess that would make it the most interesting board meeting ever.

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Except with the good and bad reversed.

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Hopefully the metal detectors at the City Hall entrances will be functioning that day.

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BPD is probably salivating over the chance to track him down by IP.

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If you're the defendant of a civil suit and you don't show up in court, you automatically lose. Does the same rule apply to decisions of this board?

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A typical restaurant in a high volume area will lose an average 48% of revenue without a liquor license.

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they should, in this case

and yeah, we shouldn’t be handing out liquor licenses to people on a murderous rampage

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Getting this out of the way first: This guy sounds like a real problem, and I hope he sells the restaurant to a better person.

I'm about to switch to talking about the general case. Ready?

"Character and fitness" sounds like a way to say "I don't like that person's race/religion/whatever" and not get in trouble. Those kinds of subjective laws have been used in very damaging ways throughout our country's history. The state should set clear and objective guidelines for behavior and processes, according to what their actual concerns are.

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murder is a character flaw. The records of the board are public. It is lazy to what about this, if you can just look at the results and cite actual facts.

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Instead of vaguely mumbling about "character and fitness", the law should lay out actual actionable criteria, for example, "no felony convictions."

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So, we allow alleged, but likely, felons to use the proceeds of selling liquor to fuel their run from the law?

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As a general principle, I kinda like the concept that in the eyes of the law, "accused" means innocent until proven otherwise. But if you want, I'd also OK if the liquor licensing law said "Can't be under indictment for a felony." That's still better than "must be of good character."

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First, *that* is what would lend itself to a corrupt DA indicting you for a felony just to take away your liquor license whereas the current standard would require the licensing board to evaluate the character of your indictment.

Also, did you know that cohabitating with someone after getting a divorce from them is felony adultery under MGL 208 s40...but the punishment was repealed (only 5 years ago).

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleIII/Chapter208/Se...

Does living with your ex-wife/ex-husband mean you should lose your liquor license?

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Seems that you haven't read the requirements.

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that this guy has a flawed character? If you look back at my comment I think you'll see a very clear dividing line between the specific and general.

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is a concern that the writers of the guidelines might not have expected to encounter.

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The state ABCC seems to take a dim view of licensing boards not following procedure to the letter. I've read plenty of their cases (also posted online) where they overturn city/town licensing boards for doing things that might have been reasonable but aren't strictly by the book. Here, I'd wonder whether the licensing board is allowed to spontaneously review "character and fitness" [setting aside for the moment the wisdom of having that as a thing in the first place] of an existing licensee.

But that would require him to appeal any such ruling, which would require showing up somewhere.....

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The law just has the "good character" bit, but in other places like this FAQ on liquor licenses from the ABCC it says more bluntly, "No license shall be issued to any applicant who has been convicted of a felony."

Granted, that's not saying that it's the only reason they can't, but it at least indicates that it has to be something pretty concrete to deny someone.

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These goons places are over priced and way overrated. Stopped going a long time ago.

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And he's been running away on his bicycle so long his fitness shouldn't be a problem either.

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