FRAMINGHAM – With multiple alcohol license violations, Framingham Selectmen unanimously voted to suspend the alcohol license of the Portuguese Club for 14 days.
Framingham Deputy Police Chief Ron Brandolini said the Portuguese Club allowed a comedian and his wife to use the South Street club at no fee. The couple then charged attendees, including non-members of the club, a $20 fee to enter the door. Bracelets were given at the door for those 21 and older by doormen, who did not have their Framingham server certifications. All were violations of the club’s all-alcohol license.
The club also held events in October, November, and on December 2, 2016, that may have had issues as well, but were not investigated by Police. Police focused their investigation on the one event on Dec. 29, 2016.
Deputy Chief Brandolini told Framingham Selectmen Tuesday night that the Club “accepted responsibility” and agreed to a several changes, in addition to the 14-day mutually negotiated license suspension.
The Portuguese Club agreed to have no live bands and no “club-like” atmosphere. The Club management will meet monthly with Framingham Police for one year, to discuss management and policies, starting in March. And the Club agreed to reduce its hours to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The Club will also pay a $300 fee to the Framingham Police, and agreed not to appeal the 14-day license suspension to the state’s alcohol licensing commission.
Attorney John Del Prete speaking on behalf of owner Pablo Maia, who is an elected Town Meeting member in Framingham, said his client has “accepted responsibility for the violations.”
He said management will hold training session with staff during the suspension.
“There will no live bands. There will be no renting out to production companies,” said Del Prete. “This will not be happening again.”
Del Prete said the owner agreed to get rid of the 2 a.m. closures, which should eliminate the neighborhood problems.
“What you did was despicable,” said Framingham Selectmen Jason Smith to Maia. “Glad you are taking ownership.”
Smith told Maia “This can never happen again.”
He said without the voluntary reduction of hours, he would have recommended Selectmen revoke the all-alcohol license.
He said if a violation happens again, Maia should not even come before Selectmen, he should just mail his license in and close the Club.
“If so much as a wrist band is found on the floor, I will ask for revocation of the license for 25,000 years,” said Smith. “You even come back before this club with a violation, and the club will have its license revoked.”
“You are on thin ice, it has already cracked, you are falling through and your arms are holding you up,” said Smith to Maia. “Don’t come back in front of this Board. There are no second chances.”
Fellow Selectmen Cesar Monzon agreed with Smith. “We are very upset,” said Monzon. “One little thing and the license will be gone forever.”
“Don’t want to see you back here with any violation,” said Selectman Charlie Sisitsky.
“We have given you your second and last chance. Make the best of that,” said Selectman Cheryl Tully Stoll, who agreed with her fellow Board members.
“You are getting a very good deal,” said Stoll, who said there is a possibility that additional violations happened between Dec. 29, 2016 and when the license violation hearing began in February 2017.
She said it was clear the Club abused the privilege of having an alcohol license, and that it can never happen again.