It’s not easy being a moose.
It’s even more difficult these days being a Revere Moose.
The often-charitable social club has found itself in a heaping mess this week, as they forgot to renew their liquor license last year and are scurrying to find a way to hold their popular Super Bowl party at the Broadway hall.
For a while, it appeared as if the License Commission would bend over backwards for the group and call a special meeting for the day before the Super Bowl, Saturday, Feb. 4, to grant the Moose a one-day liquor license. However, on Tuesday, that accommodation was thwarted when the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) vetoed the plan on a technicality.
Now, it appears the Moose will be dry.
The situation began last December when the club – despite numerous phone calls from License Commission officials – forgot to renew their liquor license and other licenses.
When Manager Ron Marciello realized the oversight, it was more than a week late, and the Commission couldn’t accept the late application due to a more stringent regulatory push by the state ABCC.
So, at December’s Commission meeting, the old Moose club lost all of their licenses, including the liquor license.
The only way to get it back was to apply for a new license in January – though ABCC officials did tell the Journal the club could have applied to the state for a temporary waiver.
That, however, didn’t happen, and last Thursday the club found itself in a predicament at the License Commission meeting.
First of all, they applied for and were granted all of their new licenses, but those licenses would not be in effect until some time in February after the ABCC considers them. All liquor licenses approved locally must also be approved at the state ABCC before they become official.
That left the Moose hanging out to dry for the popular Super Bowl party on Feb. 5.
“That party isn’t going to happen anyway because even if we approve this, it still has to go before the ABCC and the ABCC is not going to act on this until the first of next month,” said Chair Thomas Henneberry. “You’re just not going to be able to have any functions until that’s done.”
But several members of the Moose were in the audience and they had a number of public officials ready to go to bat for them, to ask if any accommodations could be made to ensure the Super Bowl is a super time.
“They have spent a significant amount of money to come into compliance with the Fire Department,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo. “It comes down to a late application which would have been approved under normal course for them, but was seven or eight days late. Try as best you can to keep this organization going as best you can…A 4-day temporary license…I think would be a terrific thing for them because in terms of the bills, they had to pay to come up to speed with the Fire Department and the regular monthly expenses that they have and cannot meet.”
Councillors John Correggio and Ira Novoselsky also spoke in favor of making an accommodation.
Additionally, Fire Department officials testified that the Club had some serious issues with its fire protection systems, but that those had been corrected or would soon be corrected.
“They’ve made a tremendous good faith effort; they just fell behind on the management aspect here,” said Chief Gene Doherty.
As things unfolded, it became clear that time would be of the essence and a special Saturday hearing would be the only way to get the Moose temporarily back on its hooves.
“In the meantime, we are amenable to having a Special Hearing to consider a one-day alcohol license,” said Henneberry.
For that to happen the Moose would have had to advertise it for two weeks in the newspaper and then they could have their hearing. The only day left for that hearing under the time constraints would have been Saturday, Feb. 4th.
Begrudgingly, that seemed to be the course of action to help the Moose until early this week, when the ABCC ruled the Moose couldn’t have their Super Bowl cake and eat it too. The ABCC indicated that the Moose could not have a one-day license at the same time that they are in the pipeline for getting a permanent license.
It seems like things are back to square one for the Moose, and many are hinting that this faux pas might spell the end for the club unless someone is able to save them.