Update: The board found a violation for providing free drinks, but not for the possible drink spiking, which was not a subject of the bar's citation.
The Boston Licensing Board will have to decide whether a bartender at Game On on Lansdowne Street gave three young women free shots - possibly spiked with a date-rape drug - during a brief July visit, or whether something else might have caused their memory loss, heavy vomiting and odd behavior after they left.
At a hearing this morning, the bar says that while what happened to the women after they left the bar is horrible, nobody working there that night served them anything spiked, let alone for free. both of which would be illegal.
At the hearing, one of the women said she and her friends arrived at the bar after having a drink or two at her apartment and that they ordered a round of mixed drinks. She said that in addition to those drinks, the bartender offered them each a separate free shot, which they downed at the bar, although she said she recalled it had a particularly foul taste.
At first, she thought, maybe the taste was because it "was some weird type of vodka."
But, she told the board, she doesn't really remember much of what happened after they left - not long after they arrived - for the Lansdowne Pub, where they had more to drink, let alone being unable to get off the ground there without help, the Uber back to Allston, losing her phone a half mile from her apartment, the vomiting or waking up the next morning half dressed on her floor. And then there were the texts she got from a guy she doesn't know with a 508 phone number. She said that on waking, her friends realized they'd gone through similar experiences, they concluded their drinks had been spiked and they went down to D-14 to report what had happened.
Under questioning today, a police detective said that when he investigated, he found that none of the bartenders at Game On matched the women's description - a middle-aged Hispanic man. He said he had talked to the man who'd sent the texts - he was leaving a friend's place near the woman's apartment and was the one who found her phone.
The woman said that in the short time she was at Game On, she never let the drink she'd ordered out of her hands, never went to a restroom, never interacted with anybody but her two friends and the bartender.
She acknowledged that during the time at her apartment earlier in the evening and at the two bars, she had a total of five drinks, but that that was over the course of several hours and that just wasn't enough to get her as wasted as she was that night and morning.
"This is a horrible situation," bar attorney Dennis Quilty said. But, he continued, "there is no indication this was anybody on staff or anybody in establishment provided anything free or anything doctored to these individuals."