FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham License Commission will hold a public hearing to determine if Samba Steak & Sushi on Route 9 in Framingham has violated its alcohol license for the fifth time.
A police officer observed twice – once in May and once in June – the restaurant serving alcohol to patrons, under a tent with picnic tables in the parking lot before the City of Framingham approved the restaurant for outdoor seating.
“Look at what they done to me now,” said Samba owner Joseph Zhang to SOURCE, over the weekend.
“I became the target,” said Zhang, who sent the news outlet the certified letter.
In June 2019, Samba agreed to a fourth violation of its all-alcohol license and closed for 30 days starting July 1, 2019. The restaurant agreed to serve 16 days and to hold 14 days in abeyance for 2 years. But if another violation happened the 14 days would be served.
“It is very personal. Full of hate,” said Zhang. “My nightmare is city of Framingham.”
The latest allegations stems from visits to the 1138 Worcester Road restaurant in May & June.
On May 28, at 5;30 p.m., as a result of the Framingham Health Department notifying the Police Department of ongoing violations regarding outdoor dining, a police officer visited the 1138 Worcester Road restaurant, to see if alcohol was also being served and consumed in the parking lot, which would be a violation of the restaurant’s license.
The officer observed 14 vehicles in the parking lot. The officer also observed three patrons sitting at a picnic table under the tent. On the table, he observed “two glassine plastic cups containing a red and orange liquid over ice in what he believed to be a mixed alcoholic beverage known as a Mai-Tai. He observed a glassine plastic cup filled with ice, a lime wedge, and a clear liquid of which he believed to be a mixed alcoholic beverage known as a vodka soda. It should be noted none of these female patrons were wearing masks.”
The officer also observed a male and a female patron sitting at a different picnic table in the tented area. He observed two glassine plastic cups containing the red and orange liquid over ice which he believed to be a mixed alcoholic beverage known as a Mai-Tai. he observed these individuals consuming food from take-out containers utilizing chopsticks and a white takeout bag.”
The city wrote in the certified letter to the owner, that the officer observed the owner (Shiyun Zhang also known as Joseph Zhang) carrying white take out bags to the tented area in the parking lot for patrons.”
Samba was not approved for outdoor dining by the City of Framingham’s License Commission, until mid-June 2020.
Samba was cited by the health department in May, and hit with a $100 and a $200 fine.
Samba was cited for a $300 fine on June 10 by the Framingham Board of Health for serving food and issued a written cease & desist order for violating the Commonwealth’s re-opening order.
“I only trying to survive this crazy world,” said Zhang, who like many restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms due to the pandemic.
On Friday, June 12, the police department again visited Samba Steak & Sushi again. The same officer who visited in May, noted 53 vehicles were in the parking lot.
The officer noted a white tent with 12 picnic tables underneath. The officer observed patrons drinking & eating at all 12 tables. The officer observed waitresses in black uniforms serving the patrons at the tables with both food & drink, according to the certified letter.
Officer observed multiple patrons drinking beer, wine, Sake, and mixed drinks.
The Framingham License Commission did not approve Samba for an outdoor restaurant license for the parking lot & tent area until Monday, June 15.
A hearing to discuss the latest violation is scheduled for August 17 at 7 p.m. the Commissioner may suspend, revoke or cancel the all-alcohol license.
The day the governor approved outdoor dining, Samba which has a deck was allowed to serve patrons on its deck, but could not serve patrons in the parking lot, until approved by the City’s License Commission.