The owner of a Cleveland Circle pizza place that replaced a troubled bar vows the neighborhood won't see a repeat of an Oct. 21 incident in which BPD detectives found the place seriously overcrowded and full of college-age people walking around with drinks in their hands.
Agoros owner Dimitrios Liakos told the Boston Licensing Board this morning word has already gotten out at nearby BC that they're not getting in - although detectives found the restaurant exceeding its licensed capacity of 180 patrons by 87 people that night - the place now rarely sees more than 40 people at a time.
Detectives only cited the restaurant for two underage drinkers - one found in the basement with a vodka and soda, one on the first floor with a Bud Light - Det. Daniel MacDonald said there were probably a lot more in the crowd that night. He said that when he and his partner went downstairs around midnight and began questioning the first young-looking person they saw with a drink, "there were dozens of young patrons who appeared to be under 21" with drinks - almost all of whom immediately fled when they realized cops were in the house.
Liakos and his attorney doubted so many of the people were underage, however. Liakos showed the board a stack of what he said were 70 fraudulent IDs he said his staffers had confiscated that night.
Liakos said the Thursday incident happened during the restaurant's second full week in operation. "We're making noise that we're not going to be that bar that tolerates and underage drinking at all," he said, adding that despite the proximity to BC, he's going for the 25-35-year-old set.
He said the following Thursday, only about 20 people showed up and that he's now seeing maybe 40 people at a time in the place, so that word seems to have gotten out.
His attorney added that Liakos now has a bounty program for employees to encourage employees to be especially vigilant about finding and confiscating fake IDs.
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take. The restaurant has another hearing tomorrow on a request to have live music. Board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini asked Liacos to prepare a security plan by then.