After its seventh hearing on an underage person found with alcohol over the past year - compounded by the fact that it was an employee - a co-owner of Agoros Bar and Grill on Chestnut Hill Avenue got a stern message from the chairwoman of the Boston Licensing Board this morning:
"We're putting you on notice," board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told Dimitrios Liakos. "This is it. This is a disgrace. You've been here seven times. We will roll back your hours [after another citation]."
Agoros currently can stay open until 1 a.m.
The most recent incident came around closing on Sept. 10, when two licensing detectives arrived for an unscheduled inspection - just in time to spot a young man, later IDed as a 20-year-old restaurant employee, BC student and Air Force ROTC cadet - with a beer bottle in his hand.
Liakos and his attorney, Curt Bletzer, acknowledged the faux pas. They said the guy had shown up just to find out when he was working next and, as he was leaving, a friend handed him the beer, they said. Liakos said the kid's been a good worker but said he had no choice but to suspend him from his job for several weeks, especially given the scrutiny the city's been giving the restaurant.
That scrutiny has led to increased tension between Liakos and detectives: Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said that during the inspection - in which Agoros was also cited for serving alcohol nine minutes after its official 1 a.m. closing time, Liakos asked him why the detectives were insisting on "busting his balls."
Bletzer apologized for the intemperate language. He acknowledged Agoros has been before the bar far too many times in its one year of operation and that Liakos and his brother, who own the place, have gotten over the painful learning curve of realizing that an upscale pizza place aimed at young urban professionals has particularly exact requirements when it's located in one of the main hangout areas for Boston College students with an intense thirst for alcohol.
Bletzer said that other than the Sept. 10 incident, Agoros has not had any problems with inspections since July. He credited the hiring of older workers with no BC connections and especially with the Liakos brothers' decision to buy an expensive license scanner that he said has finally discouraged underage students from trying to get a beer or cordial.
And he noted that all of the problems have been over underage drinking - not of violence or other problems.
Barely open a year, Agoros has already racked up 13 total days of license suspensions for letting people under 21 get alcoholic drinks - although in one case, two minors denied entrance managed to sneak in anyway.