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Nobody expected a double stabbing during brunch at one Fort Point restaurant

#BentBrunch Halloween flyer

Flyer for what turned into a stabby brunch.

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Bastille Kitchen, 49 Melcher St., was nearing the end of just its third Sunday brunch after being closed most of the summer when a fight broke out that ended with two men stabbed and a third sliced in the hand.

The restaurant has fired the event planner that promoted the brunches and the restaurant's new manager - whose first day was the day of the stabbing - is no longer sure he wants to work there permanently. Residents of the loft apartments above the restaurant in the converted textile factory, already at odds with the restaurant over noise and trash, have grown even more outraged.

As police continue to investigate the incident, A hearing on the incident at the Boston Licensing Board today ended with as many unanswered questions as answers about what happened around 6 p.m. that day - like why the fight started and even whether the men with knives were part of the same party or came together in a fighting ball from different tables.

"We never really thought something like that would have happened," new manager Riccardo Coluzzi said. "It's just unusual to have a stabbing during a daytime brunch," board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce agreed.

Coluzzi, restaurant attorney William Ferullo and BPD detectives William Gallagher and Eddie Hernandez told the board that the restaurant's third straight Sunday brunch had been going well. Tables of up to six people, each table six feet apart, were having a good time dining on food from a menu - no more brunch buffets. A DJ played music when the live saxophonist wasn't playing. Based on reservations, about 100 people were expected throughout the 2-7 p.m. brunch service; about 40 were inside around 6 p.m.

Ferrullo said it was a welcome respite for the restaurant, which had shut in March due to Covid-19 and only re-opened in October, and then just for its new brunch series - promoted by a company called Bent Ballot Entertainment, which specializes in events aimed at young professionals and college students. For Coluzzi, who has worked as a manager at several Boston restaurants, it was his first day as Bastille's new manager.

But for residents of 49 Melcher, it was a return to the loud noise that they had enjoyed not hearing in the months since March.

Coluzzi said he was at the restaurant's front door, greeting patrons, when he heard a commotion at one table. He said other restaurant workers were already there trying to calm things down and that he tried as well. When the hubbub continued, he said, he told the patrons that's it, he's going to his office to call police - which he then did, around 6:14 p.m., according to his cell records.

Meanwhile, Hayley Marsh, who lives on the second floor of 49 Melcher, was getting fed up as well, not by arguing, but by all the music flowing straight into her living space, again, after several months of peace and quiet.

Around the same time as Coluzzi, she also called 911, with a noise complaint. She acknowledged she felt a bit silly, since it wasn't an emergency, but she and other residents had been told by 311 to call 911. And she felt a bit miffed because "I was home all Halloween weekend because I was instructed by the city not to go out," and here were all these people downstairs congregating in a restaurant, many unmasked, listening to somebody blowing hard through a saxophone.

She told the board she didn't get any sense of urgency from the 911 call taker. But then she went downstairs and saw and heard "10 to 15 cops cars and ambulances coming down the street," and thought, oh, goodness, did they overreact to her noise call? She asked a cop at the scene what was going on; he told her to leave right away because "it was a dangerous crime scene at that point."

Hernandez said he arrived on scene not long after to find broken glass on the floor, tables shoved to the sides, broken furniture and drops of blood. And in the middle of it all, he saw restaurant workers on the floor, applying pressure to one man's fresh stab wounds to the stomach and hip. Another man had been stabbed in the back. Paramedics took the two to nearby hospitals, one to Tufts, the other to BMC.

Later, a third man walked into the Mass. General emergency room with a freshly sliced hand, Hernandez said.

Gallagher also arrived on scene. The restaurant has surveillance cameras, and he asked for copies of the video, but Coluzzi couldn't retrieve anything from them, because he didn't have the password. It turned out that didn't matter, though - Ferullo said the restaurant had installed a new recording system that, it turned out, was incompatible with several of the restaurant's cameras, so ithe system hadn't actually recorded anything from those cameras that day.

Coluzzi said that nothing at all appeared amiss up until the fight broke out. Both patrons and the seven other employees on duty that day seemed to be having a good time and nobody appeared to be intoxicated. But, again, he could not say what happened, and he said none of the employees he talked to had any idea, either.

"So essentially nobody saw anything?" board member Liam Curran asked. No, Coluzzi replied.

Ferullo said that because of the incident, Bastille Kitchen is shut again, and will stay shut until owners find somebody to present to the board as the official manager of record. They had hoped that would be Coluzzi, but now "Mr. Coluzzi is still contemplating that after his baptism of fire here," Ferullo said.

The board meets Thursday to decide whether the restaurant could have prevented the stabbings and, if so, whether any punishment is warranted.

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Comments

Does anybody ever really expect a double stabbing?

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Voting closed 36

The thing that struck me was that two people were stabbed (three depending on how you define "stabbed") and nobody saw anything.

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Voting closed 26

I completely believe that this is possible. The place is a warren of baroque decor and structural items supporting the building.

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Voting closed 16

That's why I'm always expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

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Voting closed 15

I know Bostonians have weird linguistic habits, but I've never heard of a brunch that wasn't centered on noon (brunch = breakfast/lunch).

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Voting closed 35

I mean for some people brunch is about the food or a family outing to the local pancake spot, but for many it’s an excuse to start boozing somewhere between 11am-2pm and keep that party going into the evening.

Considering Bastille was only open for brunch and that Covid has dried up the sit-at-the-bar-and-get-sloshed business, businesses compensate. It’s not like they had to prepare the dining room for evening dinner service.

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Voting closed 28

Brunch should last until 3 and the staff are begging you to leave. Get your money's worth!!

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Voting closed 12

20+ years ago when nobody lived there.

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Voting closed 45

You just had to know some edgy types that bought "artist's workspaces" and added a bed and a kitchen and bath ...

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Voting closed 17

That was in that building too.

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Voting closed 10

and my comment stands

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Voting closed 1

Yes, I bought a unit in a building which has a restaurant in the first floor. It is very loud there and I am trying to enjoy my loft in the late afternoon. My unit is a very post industrial / SoHo space. Would you please (Hears clicking sound). Hello? Hello?

Reminds me of the guy who bought a unit over Boston Chops and complained about the noise and the smells from the restaurant below.

Caveat Emptor.

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Voting closed 74

Was the restaurant there when the condo units were being sold? I don't remember when Bastille Kitchen opened or what was there before them (the leather place?)

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Voting closed 6

One correction - 49 Melcher are apartments. So they rented an apartment above a restaurant.

The East Boston / Winthrop rule comes into immediate play - Don't complain about airplane noise if your residence is accessed via a tunnel from downtown Boston.

This is also why around the corner at 249 A Street, Gillette dropped any opposition to the property being developed as residential units as long as its was in the deed that the buyers understood that there was this big 24 hour a day factory across the street that makes noise therefore you could not complain about razors being made.

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Voting closed 33

Quick break to pick, pedantically, a nit. (not specifically in response to John's comment)

"Apartment", "Attached rowhouse", "Townhouse", and "Single-family house" are all physical styles of construction.

"Rental", "Condo", "Co-op", and "Fee Simple Ownership" are all forms of occupancy/ownership.

So any given apartment could be a rental apartment, a condo apartment, or a co-op apartment.

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Voting closed 5

In practice, most people immediately understand a question such as "Is that building apartments or condos?"

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Voting closed 5

Human language understanding is powerful.

"Is that place you rented in Miami an apartment or a condo?" -- you're probably asking about the physical structure of the building.

"Is that building over there apartments or condos?" -- you're probably asking about the ownership structure of the units.

I mean, you could probably make it more ambiguous if you really put your mind to it, but since we already have words like "rental" and "townhouse," why make other words work twice as hard as they need to?

-- Bob, who always makes sure that the thing does the thing.

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Voting closed 4

BPD instructs people to call 911 for noise complaints. That's why the residents were hesitant to call 911 vs a non-emergency number, because it's what police have instructed them to do even though it doesn't make logical sense.

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Voting closed 28

Basic queuing theory says that having a single call center rather than separate ones for emergency and non emergency calls is going to be more efficient, more flexible, and better able to handle surges in call volume.

BPD frequently explains that the 911 dispatch center is adequately staffed, easily able to shed non-emergency calls in times of peak demand, and is linked to all sorts of geographic and database capabilities that allow analysts to see patterns, such as frequent Tuesday night noise complaints on a specific block. Calling the local precinct deprives the department of a useful source of data and analytic capabilities.

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Voting closed 1

Dupe

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Voting closed 1

was the person who moved into a unit across from TD Garden and then complained that there were noisy crowds coming out of there late at night. Hmm, do you think that maybe you should have expected that when you decided to live across from a major venue that hosts 100+ events a year?

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Voting closed 39

I have a friend who is a long time backbay and so end real estate broker.

We were walking by Cleary's on Columbus Ave at 1am one night and he was like "I just rented the unit upstairs for xxx amount" I was like "wow, thats so cheap.."

Then we walked around the corner up Dartmouth, Clearys also had all the door-like windows open, and the music could be felt.

As we walked by the line of people smoking and talking waiting to get in, I said "This is why it is so cheap".

He looked at me and said "yep, great price if you work at night. But crappy place during the day and need to sleep".

I can't recall the exact rent it was but it was some insanely cheap rent like 700/mo for a 2 bedroom, even for 2006, as opposed to my 1375 for my 2 room studio a block away)

Still to put up with Clearly's noise Thursday thru Sunday for 700/mo. Meh

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Voting closed 12

My 88 year old MIL moved pretty much yearly with her mother, all over Boston, and lived in apartments until she was 30. She knows the pitfalls and was advising my sons who were thinking of moving into the city.

"Never get a place above a restaurant" was one of her key pieces of advice.

I'm guessing that little Ms. LuxuryLoft did not have access to anyone who wasn't suburban, and didn't bother asking the people working across the street (my husband worked there from 2011 to 2018) what the deal was.

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Voting closed 14

That’s why I spent a year in terrible Cambridge before commencing my active 16-year run in Brighton.

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Voting closed 7

And no, a double (or triple, depending on the count) stabbing at a "brunch," which is more like a "lupper" as it was between lunch and supper, is far from normal, but the idea that there was a hearing by the Boston Licensing Board into an incident like this makes me think that we are still facing the abnormal things that used to happen in the "before times," it kind of, sort of, makes me feel better. I mean, assuming the people who were stabbed are okay now, of course.

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Voting closed 10

don't bring a quiche to a knife fight.

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Voting closed 28

Quel Dommage.

A "Parisian-inspired eatery" with a Marseille vibe.

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Voting closed 19

The flowerless vases were purchased at Le Goods Du Maison. They had not taken off the price tags.

Nevertheless - a fun place.

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Voting closed 10

Put on the coffee, because there's plenty here.

1) Considering the name, I would have expected a guillotining, not a stabbing.

2)

For Coluzzi, who has worked as a manager at several Boston restaurants, it was his first day as Bastille's new manager.

Well, if he's so great, why has he worked at several restaurants? It's entirely possible that he's thoroughly competent, and that he worked for terrible owners, of which there's no shortage in the restaurant game...but it's also possible that he's another retread.

3) Say no to promoters, folks. You don't get regular business from the folks that they bring in outside of said events. If you need a promoter to succeed, then you probably don't have a foundation in the first place.

4)

Meanwhile, Hayley Marsh, who lives on the second floor of 49 Melcher, was getting fed up as well, not by arguing, but by all the music flowing straight into her living space, again, after several months of peace and quiet.

I'll defend her in a sec, but first, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Second Google hit for 49 Melcher is a stub from Apartments.com which tells me that the lofts there rent for $3,100 a month. Are you (expletive) kidding me? I don't make that after taxes in a month, and this lady pays that for something that she doesn't own?

She's six years my junior and is the vice president of some development company. Definitely high on the list of people for whom I have little sympathy. But not none...

5) Okay, I'll defend her in another sec.

And she felt a bit miffed because "I was home all Halloween weekend because I was instructed by the city not to go out,"

(Whispers) There's no gestapo that's going to apprehend you, lady. Also, you clearly have an obscene amount of money (but not as much as you could have, because you wildly outbid everyone else for shelter at age 31, even though you'll probably live another 60 years and might need the money then - seriously, haven't this lady's parents ever told her no or criticized her?), which means that, in this great country, you kinda get to do what you want.

Also, no, you were not instructed not to go out. Marty and Charlie might be morons and jerks, but they're not so stupid as to issue any kind of not go out order, and then NOT FORCE EVERY BAR IN THE CITY/STATE TO BE CLOSED ENTIRELY. They were open. You could have gone. You elected not to.

6)

But then she went downstairs and saw and heard "10 to 15 cops cars and ambulances coming down the street," and thought, oh, goodness, did they overreact to her noise call?

Yes. Yes, they did. For those of you scoring at home, if there's two cops in each of the 15 cars, and 60 patrons, that's one cop for every two patrons. Also, that's 3.33 ambulances for every stabbing victim.

Defund the police. Not because every single one of them is a jerk, but because there's just too many of them and they just cost too much money.

6A) Ms. Marsh, you're employed. You know those deductions on your paycheck? They pay the cops whom you summoned. They all work on salary. They get a flat rate whether you summon them for assistance or not. It's a sunk cost.

I vote against Democrats who want to overspend for this nonsense. I always lose. But the great thing about a democracy is that you get to abide by the results. Get every iota of value you can for your dollar. I have no idea why that's presented as a scold in political arguments when it's a feature.

7)

Ferullo said that because of the incident, Bastille Kitchen is shut again, and will stay shut until owners find somebody to present to the board as the official manager of record.

I need a full-time job, folks. I'll come do it for $50K. I've worked forever as a trivia host, and I know who is and isn't a schmuck in the Boston bar business, so I can get you good people.

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Voting closed 22

....Even though I don't agree with much that you said. Let us know when you start as GM.

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Voting closed 30

For Coluzzi, who has worked as a manager at several Boston restaurants, it was his first day as Bastille's new manager.

Well, if he's so great, why has he worked at several restaurants? It's entirely possible that he's thoroughly competent, and that he worked for terrible owners, of which there's no shortage in the restaurant game...but it's also possible that he's another retread.

I don't know if you are familiar with the industry. I am barely familiar, getting most of my news on it from, well, here, but there's been a certain level of problems in the Boston restaurant industry since about the second week of March of this year. I don't know this guy, but there is the outside chance he was laid off from his previous employer due to cash flow problems.

Other than that, quite an entertaining analysis.

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Voting closed 27

The flyer does have a Harley Quinn vibe so maybe the patrons were hoping for a *little* mayhem...

Usually the event doesn't live up to the hype.

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Voting closed 4

Meanwhile, at 75 Chestnut, somebody wore white after Labor Day...

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Voting closed 26

Could I please have a steak knife?

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Voting closed 14

IMAGE(https://img.ifunny.co/images/b2bd15ef7212e6a2674e0fc0bc62a283f4b47b2c674421193c96dc673595f0b9_1.jpg)

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Voting closed 19

Coluzzi said that nothing at all appeared amiss up until the fight broke out. Both patrons and the seven other employees on duty that day seemed to be having a good time and nobody appeared to be intoxicated. But, again, he could not say what happened, and he said none of the employees he talked to had any idea, either.

"So essentially nobody saw anything?" board member Liam Curran asked. No, Coluzzi replied.

So no employee saw anything, just like in the good old days, with the Charlestown "code of silence "

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Voting closed 10

Of course.

This story is far from being over.

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Voting closed 10

If I had seen the ad with that gorgeous pinkhead I definitely would have been there.

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Voting closed 1

Ferrullo said it was a welcome respite for the restaurant, which had shut in March due to Covid-19 and only re-opened in October, and then just for its new brunch series - promoted by a company called Bent Ballot Entertainment, which specializes in events aimed at young professionals and college students.

I call bullshit.

Unless "young professionals and college students" is just a euphemism for "21-30 year olds". And "brunch" just means "event name that started with a B for alliteration", since it opened doors at 2 PM and the stabbing happened at 6 PM. And since when did a nice brunch full of young professionals and college students involve bottle service (as advertised by BENT) and a DJ?

This was a DIY nightclub party in a place that the Globe described as straddling a line between French bistro (in atmosphere) and nightclub (in gaudiness)...so they just decided to appeal their more nightclub-y side in atmosphere too this time?

And so I do feel for anyone living upstairs if they were dealing with the equivalent of a traveling nightclub downstairs in the middle of a Saturday afternoon/evening when normally the place serves wine and patisserie. They didn't move in above Brighton Music Hall or Garage Boston (two other locations BENT has used in the past for its DIY nightclub events...in ACTUAL nightclubs). I've been to Bastille Kitchen on a random weekday for an occasional date and it's a pretty sedate place. This event is completely out of character for someone who might reside above the location.

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Voting closed 14

"It's just unusual to have a stabbing during a daytime brunch."

Not like, say, bludgeonings? Or maybe strangling?

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Voting closed 2

Less noisy.

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Voting closed 1