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Kells 'not a troublespot,' official says

The Boston Licensing Board will hold a hearing sometime next month to consider this weekend's murder that prosecutors say started as an argument inside The Kells on Brighton Avenue.

Board Chairman Daniel Pokaski said today there was no need for an emergency hearing on the issue, in part because press reports indicated the fight that led to Gregory Phillips' death happened outside the bar, in part because there are no other outstanding issues with it. It typically takes about a month to schedule a hearing, he said.

"We do not consider them to be a troublespot," board member Michael Connolly said. Pokaski agreed, praising the Kells for its "level-headed" management.

The licensing board routinely holds hearings on any liquor license holders linked to police issues. Today, for example, the board discussed an Aug. 21 incident at Harper's Ferry on Brighton Avenue, in which a woman escorted out of the club after a "hair-pulling match" came back and started talking trash outside as the bar was closing and patrons were leaving.

Pokaski chided club owners for failing to call police when the woman was initially escorted out of the club and said that simple act would have prevented the later incident, in which a number of Boston officers were called to break up a large group of people blocking traffic and watching the woman.

"Had you called police right then and there (after the fight), none of the rest of this stuff would have happened," Pokaski said, noting this was the second time in a year Harper's Ferry has been cited for letting patrons block the sidewalk. "People have a right to the sidewalk; it's not just for your patrons.

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I don't buy it. Blocking the sidewalk?

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now that was a place where you could get stabbed inside the bar. i saw stuff going on in that place that i still cant believe. the kells is pretty tame but drunk people are going to fight.

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I used to go to Molly's but that was so long ago, I can't now even think of what the exact location was. Yeah, quite the interesting place to hang out in the late 80s.

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i knew someone that got into a fight at mollys one night. the bouncers removed him and the guy he was fighting with. the guy(much bigger and the aggressor) bit my friend and ripped his lip off his face on the sidewlk in front of the bar.multiple surgeries by plastic surgeons were needed. mollys was sued and closed making way for the revamped Kells

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Thanks -- I was thinking it was the same location, but not completely sure. I was really quite drunk on most of my Molly's occasions. I always thought it was a bit odd the way they would bounce everybody involved in a fight which only encouraged the fight to continue out on the street. Made for good theater though, so long as you weren't the one receiving a beat down.

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These types of things can occur outside any bar on any given night. It might be a "trouble area" in the sense that it serves gallons of liquor to crowded 20-somethings until 2:00 AM, but that doesn't differentiate it from hundreds of other places in Boston.

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Yeah, the Kells is not a trouble spot.... if you live in another neighborhood.

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So the second person in 3 months gets stabbed after an altercation at The Kells and this post gets turned into Harpers Ferry being the bad guy for having an unruly sidewalk? Are you on The Kells payroll?

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I mentioned Harper's Ferry because a) it backs up my assertion that the licensing board holds hearings on police activity involving licensed clubs and b) the board had a hearing on the incident today.

You might want to look at the headline and the first two or three paragraphs to refresh your memory on what the main point of my post was.

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Harpers Ferry cited for serving one too many
Thu Dec 03, 2009, 12:24 PM EST

Brighton - Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave. in Brighton, received a license premise violation on Nov. 18 at 11:30 p.m. for overserving a patron. Police had to escort Kim Tashkandi, 34, of St. Petersburg, Fla., from the bar, noting that she appeared to be intoxicated and was unsteady on her feet.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/allston/news/police_and...

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The difference is that the Kells doesn't throw anyone out..their patrons *choose* to go out and kill people...whereas Harper's Ferry threw someone out for starting a fight...and gets in trouble when the combatant comes back later looking to continue her fight at closing time.

Yeah. That makes a ton of sense.

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.....a problem spot.....if you don't live anywhere near the area

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You know, maybe someone should play the Vagiant song (featured in Guitar Hero II) on the subject of The Kells. It's called "F*** the Kells!" or "FTK."

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How did this article go from someone being MURDERED to praising The Kells for anything? You realize they changed their format a few years ago and now attract out-of-neighborhood-figures who are constantly under the watchful eye of the Boston Police Gang Unit. Now in the last 2 months Allston has seen two stabbings in the same location (one FATAL) with patrons coming from The Kells both times, but we're supposed to "praise" management? Meanwhile a hair pulling match occurred across the street. Management removed the individual, and said individual then came back and assaulted staff. But we're supposed to "praise" The Kells management team and criticize Harpers Ferry's? Is this not completely ass-backwards? Is the licensing board on The Kells payroll? Is Adam Gaffin?

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Can't possibly be our own home grown thugs and losers, no siree! Them outsiders, always causing trouble! We ain't got no bad peoples here - except them outsiders!

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The alleged perpetrator is from Dorchester, while the victim is from W Roxbury. yes maaam, them boys sho aint from these parts.

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All the people arrested in connection with both stabbings has a Dorchester residence. I live in Dorchester, it's nowhere near Allston.

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In this case, it _was_ outsiders who were involved in this. Try reading, it might broaden your outlook. Or something.

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This piece here:

You realize they changed their format a few years ago and now attract out-of-neighborhood-figures

... wasn't talking about the specifics of any particular incident ... it was making the GENERAL statement that "it's all out side people".

Stop me if I've heard this one before ...

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Please stop, then, I beg you, for the sake of logic, and the English language. Think of the children, Swirrly!

More to the point, have you been in the Kells, late at night, on a weekend, in recent years? No? Then shaddup and listen: There is an element that comes in there, from outside, that is markedly different from the usual BC/BU dipshit crowd. Why they're at the Kells, who knows? But for anyone who's been around that place in recent years, this can't come as a huge surprise that it happened there rather than at the other bars in the area.

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Swirlygrrl, you have managed to firstly miss the entire point of the quoted statement, then project your own interpretation of sections in this quoted comment as indisputable fact, and finally somehow asserted that it is crazy to blame people from other neighborhoods while the person accused of this crime is in fact from another neighborhood, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And then when called on it (admittedly sarcastically), you came back with just as much sarcasm to match.

Just summing up.

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Bravo!

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What would I do without my morning dose of SwirlyGrrl.

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I can't speak for the licensing board, but I did speak *to* the licensing board today.

Given that there was a murder over the weekend that seemed to be related to the Kells, I thought the board might hold an emergency hearing on the issue, much like it did when four people got shot outside Packy Connors in Roxbury. So I went to their meeting today. Nothing at all about the Kells. After the meeting, I asked Pokaski why and he and Michael Connolly, who was standing right there, explained. You might not like their explanation, but seems kind of a slender thread to hang a bribery charge on.

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Adam - thanks for going to the board meeting and asking a question that needed asking. The inaction on this definitely should raise some eybrows. Let's hope The Herald gets a whiff of this and starts asking questions. I don't think anyone at the Globe has been to Allston since 1978. It's nowhere near Wellesley.

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to cover the dispute between Harvard and its residential neighbors over development, for instance. They also recently ran an article about the Allston Cafe disaffiliating from Herrell's Ice Ceram.

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Im still surprised the kells got away with "power hour" for so long, considering its illegal in this state.

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who the kells employees to represent them...

Let me guess.

McDermott, Quilty and Miller, if not them, then maybe Mike McCormick. Or maybe another pay to play specialist.

Answer that question and you will know why the licensing board is not asking the tough questions, but rather praising the establishment someone was murdered in front of.

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The Kells has been drifting from a bar/pub/food place, to a night club like place.

It also seems to be attracting an different crowd, most likely through promotion and choice of DJ's.

It's def got a different crowd and feel then what I remember 2 years ago.

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The kells used to be a BC/BU meat-market for frat boys. These days its a hang out for thugs from Dorchester.

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I completely agree. Haven't been there in a while, but was driving by at closing time one weekend this summer and the entire crowd of 20 or more people seemed to be dorcester thugs. I guess that kinda of crime will be spilled over into Allston unfortunately.

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I'm not arguing that the crowd may have looked like thugs, but how exactly were you able to determine that they were from Dorchester when you were driving past?

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If they were thugs, they were thugs-- that's the problem, not which shitty neighborhood they happen to be from. Are you being deliberately naive, or are you just a moron and can't help it?

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Naivete doesn't enter into it, and there's no need for you to insult me for asking a question: if you were driving past, how did you know that the thugs you observed were from "dorcester"? Allston has plenty of thugs of its own, unfortunately, as do many other Boston neighborhoods. I'm curious as to how you were able to pinpoint where that particular group lived?

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allstonian is right. There are plenty of thugs that live in AB that frequent that place. Even some Watertown thugs make their way over the river sometimes.

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It's those visibly identifyable "dorcester" thugs what's causing the troubles! Didn't you see the bit above?

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Not to mention, real Dorchester thugs have plenty of thugging to do in Dorchester. Why migrate to Allston? Most of the Kells' patrons are college students who like to look thugish.

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did you misspell Worcester? Also, how could you tell what town the thugs were from?

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Which I'm doing right now, results to be posted upon completion: Do a Google search on

kells dorchester brighton violent

And see where the alleged offenders are from.

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I don't think that's very reliable, given that some of the search results are things like:

Somebody tried burning down Dorchester court with a Molotov cocktail

Allston/Brighton is the second-largest neighborhood in Boston in terms of population, behind Dorchester

The group rented a basement in Dorchester for office space

Election Day Shooting in Dorchester

to spend $6M to restore the Strand Theater in Dorchester

Dorchester's Ashmont Grill

(these are from just the first two pages of search results)

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Which is why, Ron Newman, we're going to pay close attention to what adamg posts and ignore yours, cuz I'm betting adamg is going to toss away the hits you list, and give us actual information rather than pile up raw data.

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I still don't see how someone can tell what town a thug is from just by driving by him.

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Adam, I would hardly call what Mr. Pokaski did "chiding". I know because I was the one in the suit being "chided". Had you attended the original hearing at the Mayor's office for the incident, or read the police report, you would know that the large police presence in the area that evening was actually the result of an incident at the Kells and not merely the result of the one female patron Harpers had thrown out. The fact is, the Kells has over 20 license premise violations this year while Harpers typically gets about one per year for failure to supervise line. Know the backstory before you post BS.

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But I didn't hear Pokaski attempt to cut anybody off during that hearing and I would think explaining why Harper's was not to blame for all those people on the sidewalk would have been relevant.

Also, after having attended several licensing board meetings now, I realize Pokaski tends to be a bit strident, but assuming you're one of the two folks who were sitting at the table, I think you'd have to agree he told you that you should have called police right away that night..

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The reason Pokaski didn't attempt to cut anybody off during the hearing is because it's pointless to bring up such details. You being such a veteran of these proceedings should understand that. In cases such as these it's merely a formality and clubs that do not establish a pattern of behavior for getting written up, ex: Harpers, get the benefit of the doubt on such matters. Therefore, arguing every detail and refuting different points of the police report is pointless and only serves to raise your profile in a negative way. It's admit your mistakes, ie not calling 911 for every little fight and disagreement, promising to improve your practices, and get back to your dayjob.

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For years of going to the Common Ground just around the corner, where I have never seen a fight, I've been asked to walk female friends of mine past this place every single time. And that's usually *including* crossing Brighton Ave. just to head down it. Why? Because of the constant harassment of women (or men for that matter) from every single loudmouth lowlife smalltime thug who makes his way to this haven of machismo and near-date rape,all the way to the corner in front of the Store 24. I don't care what town they're from, this place attracts more douchebags than RiteAid.

In other words, if you're defending this place, you're either an employee, a patron, or don't live in Allston.

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I agree with you're entire assessment of the situation on the block, but I didn't read anything in the original post that indicated Adam was "defending" the Kells.

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I wasn't trying to imply that the writer himself was putting forth a defense, by "you" I meant "anyone". Sorry for that.

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Your, not you're.

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....Adam, for going to the hearing and at least having your ear to the ground on this issue.
Didn't seem to me that you're endorsing the place.

But. I have to agree with the sentiments in the post. They're quite well put.
As far as the owner, he's got quite a reputation for being a stand-up guy, helps a lot of folks out....(was ABC News' person-of-the-week some years back...) anyhoo, it would be nice if he'd be a part of this discussion...and part of the solution.

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Aw crap, I just realized I knew this guy.... his name is Gregory Phillips, and he worked at BU. He was in no way a thug, a really nice guy.

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He worked some nights as a bounder in Allston, though I dont remember the name of the bar. I wonder if that was related to this incident.

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...who actualy owns the Kells? Is it an individual or a group, and do they own other establishments.

Just wonderin' is all...

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Jerry (cant remember his last name) and a partner. I believe they also own the Corrib in Brighton and 2-3 other A/B places. The Kells was run by a seperate manager (Bob) who basically had a full time job down there.

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And he's inviting everyone down to the Kells for a free Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 26. Really.

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Which is a company only associated with one guy, Jarleth M. Quinn, at least according to the MA Secretary of State's corporations website. But that's just the real estate, and it could be outdated.

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Question to those that were at the hearing. Was this incident brought up at all? http://www.wickedlocal.com/allston/news/police_and...

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Because there wasn't a hearing on the Kells. There was a hearing on Harpers Ferry and a bunch of hearings on other places nowhere near Allston. And after the meeting was over, I walked up to the front and asked Pokaski why there wasn't an emergency hearing on the apparent Kells-related murder, which gets us back to the very first thing I wrote up at the top - that the board will likely have a hearing on the Kells sometime in December. Once a notice is posted for that, I'll post a copy here.

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for alcohol related fines and whatnot. I know for a fact that when the ABC goes into anyone of these bars in Brighton on a Fri or Sat night (Harpers Ferry, Kells, Big City, Sunset) they find someone underage 100% of the time. I know the bars pay some hefty fines, I would love to know how much money the City has actually made off the Kells or Mary Anns.

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The fines are pointless. Most places charge ridiculous cover just to walk in the door (which I think should be illegal, but that's another story). So if they get a huge fine, they can just pass it off to the customer by raising cover a few bucks.

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Pokaski said so. End of story.
Are you deaf or somethin? ; )

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