The Boston Licensing Board on Thursday decides whether Royale, 279 Tremont St., could have done anything to prevent rising tensions over the impending World Cup final from boiling over into a fight between two students at MIT's Sloan School to Management students that, unlike the soccer match, ended with the French victorious.
The school was holding an end-of-semester party for its students at the club on Dec. 15 - three days before the final between France and Argentina - when a French student spotted the Argentine student wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with his country's flag in the men's room, made some comments, one thing led to another and the French guy punched the Argentine guy in the face five or six times shortly after 1 a.m., busting his lip, breaking his nose and possibly giving him a concussion. The Argentine guy, however, may have escalated the initial verbal jousting by throwing a drink in the French guy's face.
At a hearing this morning, Royale co-owner George Kalevas began his testimony by exclaiming: "Lotta nerds!"
Kalevas said the club had not put on extra security or requested a police detail for the event, because, come on, MIT grad students. "It's something you would never expect to happen with people who are in school together at that level and at that age," he said. "The Sloan School of Business, this is the last place you'd think this would happen."
But, he noted the nearness of the World Cup. "We know how some people are fanatics about their team," he said, adding, "The only thing I can say is Argentina got their revenge back because they won the World Cup."
Kalevas said he wasn't aware of the incident at first and that by the time he got down to the floor, pretty much everybody involved had fled.
Board members expressed concern that Kalevas didn't call police once he was alerted to the incident, saying that while he might not have been able to find the suspect, police might have. However, in their citation for the incident, police did not cite Royale for failure to call police.
At a meeting Thursday, the board will consider whether Royale could have prevented the fight, and, if so, what penalty to apply.