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South Boston state senator denounces degenerates, 'vidiots' and East Boston in push against proposed Andrew Square tavern

Entertainment Application Hearing 03-21-24

The entire hearing. See below for Collins's statement.

Update: Collins offers conditional support.

State Sen. Nick Collins (D-1st Suffolk) unleashed a barrage of invective yesterday against plans by the owner of the Quiet Few tavern in East Boston's Jeffries Point to open a similar tavern at 400 Dorchester St. in South Boston's Andrew Square, calling it a potential hellhole catering to the very sort of losers the neighborhood doesn't need - despite testimony from people in Andrew Square they can't wait for it to open.

At a hearing before the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, Josh Weinstein, who hopes to open Small Victories in early April, said he is planning a convivial place with a photo booth, shuffleboard and a weekly trivia night to replicate what he said was the Quiet Few's role as a neighboring gathering spot, an extension of people's living rooms, where residents could catch up with local happenings and news and just relax and have a bit of fun.

He said he would like to have a DJ for Sunday brunches - imagine soul 45s at 2 p.m. on a Sunday - and that while he was seeking a 2 a.m. closing time, he said he would agree to a 1 a.m. end of any live entertainment; that the 2 a.m. closing time would let him offer the tavern for private events or for occasional other events, such ringing in the New Year.

Through an aide, City Councilor Ed Flynn (South Boston) supported the proposal for an entertainment license - based in large part on the vote of approval the Andrew Square Civic Association gave Weinstein - to go along with the liquor license the Boston Licensing Board agreed in January to let him buy. Through an aide, City Councilor Gina Coletta (East Boston) vouched for Weinstein and the Quiet Few - as did the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association.

But Collins went ballistic, warning that if the Mayor's Office approves the entertainment license, it will be sorry.

"Exhibit A was Sunday," he said, referring to what happened in South Boston during and after the parade. "We have a whole youthful society who does nothing but go on dating apps and play video games. That's the last thing we need. We need people socializing in these establishments, not playing video games and being degenerates."

Even after Weinstein said he would not have a DJ playing late at night, Collins blasted the idea of having a DJ playing late at night, because what South Boston really needs is live music and socialization.

"The last thing we need are more vidiots," he said.

And he continued: The last thing South Boston needs is a bunch of people from East Boston telling it what to do. That's downright "offensive," he said. "I'm taken aback that East Boston thinks it's their obligation to weigh in on behalf of a business owner in East Boston for a proposal in South Boston."

And for somebody who claims to care about South Boston so much, Weinstein never once contacted Collins to arrange to kiss his ring and win his approval, he said.

"I have no idea who this is," he said. "The only person I know is Josh Weinstein is a character from Entourage, which is a show from the 2000s. I never met this individual, I have no idea, as much as I'd like take on faith what people in East Boston have to say, I love the community of East Boston, but the fact they're coming to weigh in on behalf of a project outside of their district speaks volumes. ... I think it's a bad idea, it's a bad precedent that we're having organizations and elected officials from other parts of the city weighing in on what's good for the neighborhood of South Boston."

MOCAL Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce - who also chairs the licensing board that had earlier granted Weinstein the right to buy a liquor license - told Collins that part of her job is to ensure a proposed tavern operator has the "proper character and fitness" and so she welcomes testimony from people who have actually worked with the individual up for a license.

Collins told her to give him a break, said that he's been around for 14 years and has never once met this Weinstein guy and so he remains opposed to creating a new location for all of the "hopped up" degenerates to go when all the other bars close and that the board should, to use a vidiot term, "hit the pause" and require this Weinstein fellow to have meetings in the neighborhood.

But, sure, "go right ahead" and approve a license, he told Joyce. "You're going to own everything in the aftermath."

Lydia Polaski, the South Boston liaison for the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, noted that the Andrew Square Civic Association overwhelmingly voted to approve Weinstein's proposal at a Sept. 25 meeting, in fact, the group called it "a big victory for Andrew Square."

Collins snapped at Polaski, too, grilling her on whether she was on the group's board when that vote was taken, even though, unlike under past mayors, ONS no longer takes a position on licensing or zoning issues before city boards. Polaski denied ever serving on the Andrew Square board, saying that, as a local resident, she had been active in local issues.

Andrew Square Civic Association President Linda Zablocki, though, strongly supported Weinstein. "We have a lot of faith in this young man," and especially appreciated his willingness to compromise on hours, especially because an earlier proposal for the site was for a 24-hour diner, which she said "would have been absolute mayhem in this area." And she said she appreciated hearing only good things from Jeffries Point about Weinstein's bar there, because it helped convince her and other group members that he had a good record and would be a good neighbor.

"We're trying to clean up the area," she said. "Andrew Square needs this."

John Piekutoski, who lives on Jenkins Street, agreed with Collins, saying nobody on his street belongs to the civic association and that Weinstein should be doing more outreach before going ahead.

But another resident, Mary Moore, said she was so moved to hear Weinstein's description of a true neighborhood watering hole.

"I almost cried when I heard Josh say the things he did about what this tavern will be for our community," she said. "If you have been to Andrew Square, you know there's nowhere, literally nowhere, that needs it more than we do - an extension of our living room, a place we can go and gather as a community, something to lift our spirits. Josh used the word 'fun,' my goodness, Andrew Square needs some fun and life and a place to go. I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm happy East Boston gives me hope it will work similarly for us."

She added, "Goodness knows we need to turn a corner."

As is their custom, Joyce and MOCAL Director Rebecca Phu took no vote on the proposal; Joyce said she would issue a written decision later.

Collins blasts the proposal:

Neighborhoods: 


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Comments

In defense of Collins, nobody likes vidiots.

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I think he's the one who is the vidiot here - he made a complete ass of himself on the public record on video.

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Lived in East Boston for a few years and Josh and everyone at Quiet Few are some of the nicest hardworking people in the business. QF opened up shortly before COVID and was very innovative in keeping Jeffries Point together and getting some lifelines thrown to business. Josh is one of the nice most welcoming guys I've met. The state sen seems unhinged.

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...But Jeffries Point is not Andrew Square. Andrew square directly abuts South Bay Plaza, the Red line, Southampton Street (short connection to Mass & Cass), and the much of the industrial and shipping infrastructure of Boston. Its an area that trends towards seediness, no doubt about it. And having a bar open to 2:00 a.m. (or God forbid the original 24-hour diner idea) honestly does seem like a really bad idea. 1:00am closing is more reasonable.

If you think I'm being unkind, just look at Universal Hub's own records for the types of shenanigans that happen in this area. On the front page right now is the assault at the Starbucks over the tip jar at South Bay. Panhandlers have died being hit by cars at the nearby interstate ramps (going to be great when there's more drunk people trying to cross). You literally can watch people walk down from Mass and Cass along Southampton Street all day long. The AMC brawls. The Target at the South Bay which was just featured in the Boston globe for being the only Target to remove its Self Check Out lines.

Anyway. Nick Collins is an a**. But there's plenty of reasonable reasons to expect a bar open late in this neighborhood could become a real nuisance and problem if not managed properly.

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Tqf caters to a different clientele.
Seedy low life’s aren’t gonna go buy craft beer or 16 dollar shots of whisky

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Way to show your true colors.

What, exactly, is this guy's problem other than a week-long hangover? Did he have a friend who wanted the space or something?

That was some truly bizarre projection at its most extreme.

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euro parties!

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Wow. What's up his ass? Financial interest in a competitor? Wants to be paid to play? Favoring another interest? Just plain old corrupt?

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about that vomit on the wall behind him.

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But, sure, "go right ahead" and approve a license, he told Joyce. "You're going to own everything in the aftermath."

I thought that style of political threatening went out with Louise Day Hicks.

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A drag brunch, oh, the calamity of it all

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clearer understanding of the old adage about the risks of seeing how sausages and laws are made.

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Is Collins drunk?

He seems hugely upset that this business owner didn't come to kiss the ring before applying for the license.

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87

Okay, Boomer -- I mean, Senator Boomer.

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And as a boomer, I am personally offended by the comparison. Now what we DO need is the return of old man bars, with cheap drinks and bags of chips for sale behind the bar. A place where one may contemplate one's irrelevance in peace while awaiting death's gentle embrace.

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"Exhibit A was Sunday," he said, referring to what happened in South Boston during and after the parade. "We have a whole youthful society who does nothing but go on dating apps and play video games. That's the last thing we need. We need people socializing in these establishments, not playing video games and being degenerates."

This was worthy of Abe Simpson. I'm not sure wtf any of this had to do with East Boston.

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I was wearing an onion on my belt……as was the fashion at the time.

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and pickled kielbasa as wrinkled and stained as the old men.

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You beat me to the pickled eggs but you forgot the pork hocks.

Something I learned when I delivered beer in the 70's. When a bar opens at 8:00 AM, you see a lot.

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Collin’s is pissed and probably embarrassed about the shenanigans and shameful debauchery that took place at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Very unfair to take it out on this business owner.

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This would have happened in old Southie.

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Sheeesh
It’s a miracle anyone even bothers opening a business with this whole dog and pony show you have play!

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He didn't once show up before me to explain himself before spouting off like an idiot at this hearing. The only Nick Collins I know is an ex-football player for the Packers who got carted off the field with a serious neck injury ending his career and even though he took all those hits to the head for 7 years, he's still more intelligent than whoever this guy on the video is.

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who returns phone calls. People who have lived in South Boston for all or most of their lives are completely fed up with the alcohol-centric culture. Dudes and dudesses binge drinking enriches the carpetbaggers, but poisons what remains of a real neighborhood.

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what do returned phone calls have to do with anything? just something you're particularly proud of?

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Started taking tough guy pills huh? Like slow it down buddy, you’re a state senator- doesn’t mean much to the average person. And really means nothing in this situation where you have no authority or oversight. The people that live around there want it so move on with your day.

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At Kavanaugh's hearing it was obvious that he was exhibiting liquid courage. Collins sounds like he is under similar influence.

Connecting the most recent Evacuation Day Parade to the bar is a total non-sequitur. It just doesn't fly. Europarties? Whoa. That was a reach.

Something is going on behind the scenes. His outburst just doesn't make any sense at face value.

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What an unhinged outburst! What would he prefer, Aces High II? He seems under the influence of at least a delusion.

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Aces High was one scary joint.

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Has anyone beckoned for resignation yet?

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I can't, there was a bar on every corner twenty years ago. I am dying laughing over here!!!

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