Two tables that had been trash talking each other enough to bring the manager over to see if everything was OK got more physical outside, where a member of one party sent a member of the other party to the hospital with a broken nose and a swollen forehead - in the middle of a snowstorm.
The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether Strega Waterfront, 1 Marina Park Dr., could have done anything more to stop the verbal fight from becoming physical in the snow outside on the night of March 13, when maybe 20 people braved one of the three'easter's for a bite to eat.
About six of those people were seated at one table, another ten at a neighboring table; mostly men at both. Both began kibbitzing fairly early on, at first restaurant workers thought it was just friendly banter, but as the evening went on, the talk turned more heated. The restaurant manager told the board at a hearing this morning he even went over to ask people at both tables if everything was OK, both denied any problems, but kept exchanging words - about what, exactly, nobody at the hearing said.
The smaller party decided to finish up quickly and leave. As one of them was paying the bill, he held his phone up and motioned at the other table.
Whether he was urging that table to "let's go outside" or just advising them he had called 911 and would be waiting outside depended on whom you asked - the restaurant manager and lawyer said they thought that was an invitation to some physical activity outside, one of the people at the smaller table said, no, it was just a warning the cops were on the way. The people still seated, however, took that as an invitation to clench some fists and take some names, which one member of the party seemed to particularly relish doing.
The suspects, police say, then ran off into the blizzard.