The co-owner of what was initially billed as a family-friendly pizza place on Chestnut Hill Avenue now says he is spending every night at the front door, turning away 200 to 250 underage BC students trying to take advantage of his restaurant's beer and wine license.
"It's just shocking," Dimitrios Liakos, co-owner of Agoros Bar and Grille, told the Boston Licensing Board of his three weeks on doorman duty. "It's mind blowing to me. ... It's crazy. It's absolutely insane to see that many students go out with fake IDs and try to get in." And the students are persistent - he said one young woman has been trying for five weeks to get into the bar.
Liakos was before the board to answer the two most recent citations issued for underage drinking.
In one case, on April 6, police detectives said two underage BC students managed to worm their way to the bar. Liakos actually denied entry to one, a 19-year-old from Connecticut, but the guy then went to semi-separate pizza-by-the-slice area Agoros has, then, when nobody was looking, slipped through the door to the bar.
The second, a 20-year-old pal of his from DC, went out back and waited until a kitchen worker opened the back door to throw out trash, then slipped in through that door, detectives said. Detectives said that when they entered the bar area shortly before midnight, they found the two at the bar, enjoying Bud Lights.
In the second incident, on Feb. 17, an underage woman had the bad luck of hoisting a friend's beer to her lips just as detectives entered the restaurant and spied her. Although they agreed they had no evidence she purchased any beer herself, they said they confiscated a fraudulent West Virginia license from her.
Liakos said he's doing what he can to stem the tide - he asks particularly young would-be patrons the capital of the state their licenses are from, for their Zip code or for the name of their favorite restaurant in their alleged hometown; as police have learned, the kids often trip up in their answers. He said he paid $1,000 for a license scanner, but returned it after a couple weeks because it was approving too many fake IDs.
Board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said that despite his night hours and the questioning, Liakos needs to do even more. She noted that the board cautioned Liakos before he opened last year in what was the former Roggie's, that he'd face a tough job keeping the young BC students away from alcohol.
"Obviously, your plan is not working out so far," she said, noting Agoros has faced other violations, including one in which a new bartender, himself an of-age BC student, was caught serving beers to underage BC students.
Pulgini suggested Liakos talk to the owner of another Cleveland Circle bar, which she didn't name, but which was obviously Mary Ann's, about how it has cleaned up its act and stayed out of trouble for the past year.
The board decides what action, if any, to take on the two citations at a meeting on Thursday.