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Dorchester restaurant says it's working to stop its patrons from annoying nearby residents

A manager at Dorset Hall, 367 Neponset Ave. in Dorchester, says the restaurant has taken several steps to keep sometimes boisterous patrons from disturbing residents of nearby homes at closing time.

Her comments came at a Boston Licensing Board hearing today on a Dec. 22 incident in which blue lights and even a blow of an air-horn failed to get rowdy customers to keep quiet as the restaurant closed.

The hearing was one of three originally scheduled for the restaurant. But the board postponed the other two, because they relate to an incident at the beginning of December in which an off-duty state trooper was charged with breaking his girlfriend's leg in a fight that began inside the restaurant, and the criminal investigation into that incident has yet to finish.

Sgt. William Gallagher told the board that in response to other closing-time problems at the restaurant that month, he and his partner, Det. Daniel MacDonald, were monitoring closing at the restaurant around 1 a.m. He said they arrived to see 25 people outside, with no apparent Dorset Hall staffers, milling about, "quite boisterous and loud" and with "several males pushing each other." Then a cruiser showed up, directed there by a 911 call. An officer inside turned on the cruiser's blue lights and set off an air horn to try to get people to quiet down.

Gallagher said he and MacDonald went inside to talk to managers, saw even more people milling about inside - and then, as they were talking to a manager, noticed a second cruiser pulling up, this time in response to a call about a fight outside.

Dorset Hall manager Erica Pittman and attorney Carolyn Conway acknowledged that night was particularly busy - the last Saturday before Christmas and the place filled with college students home for the holidays. But they said there was no fight outside and that, in fact, there were two bouncers outside trying to quell problems; just it was cold and they had coats on over their normal bouncer attire.

And they said the restaurant has a unique problem: Most of the people outside were waiting for Ubers, but restaurant staffers don't want to try to push them away from the restaurant, because that would just move them onto even more residential streets, potentially creating even more of a noise problem for neighbors.

Still, Pittman and Conway said the restaurant has since taken a number of steps to try to keep from becoming a neighborhood nuisance: The restaurant now has a minimum of four staffers outside to monitor the crowd and it's put up signs asking patrons to be mindful of the restaurant's neighbors and be quiet on exiting.

Also, because the restaurant has a sort of rolling closing time - starting with a downstairs dining room and bar - staffers now urge patrons to hail their Ubers while they're still inside, instead of waiting until they get outside.

MacDonald, however, said he is concerned by what appears to be a trend among certain Boston restaurants that stay open later than most restaurants in the city - they seem to be morphing into nightclubs, which attracts a different set of customers than a place focusing more on food. He included Dorset Hall as an example, and said they need to cut that out.

The licensing board decides Thursday whether the restaurant merits any punishment and, if so, how much.



Calling Dorset a "club" is reallllly stretching it.

Voting closed 9

In all the news stories I could find the off-duty state trooper did not have any prior acquaintance to woman's whose leg was broken. Is this new information?

Voting closed 5

When this project was proposed, the residents who live on the streets immediately adjacent to the property were worried about Dorset being more of a bar than a restaurant. What restaurant needs to be open until 1:00 AM. Show some respect for the community and roll back the closing time to 11:00. Try promoting this business model in Squantum or Braintree where the owners live. Thanks to the BPD for standing up in this situation. The Licensing Board needs to do more than promote the alcohol industry.

Voting closed 13

Faulty question.

And on what (expletive) planet does the Licensing Board "promote the alcohol industry?" Did Nicole Murati Ferrer put on booty shorts* and hand out Smirnoff samples?

*Yes, I know she's not on the board anymore, I'm just trying to get Eeka going

Voting closed 4

More of them.

It is very difficult to find any restaurants in Boston open after 11pm if leaving a show, theater, sporting event, job, whatever the case may be.

Just because you may never eat in a restaurant that late doesn't mean others don't desire the option.

Of course screaming and making a cacophony at closing is inappropriate no matter what neighborhood you are in.

Voting closed 7

There no theater or stadium in Neponset. If the owners can't control the closing crowd then an earlier closing will keep the last call near home crowd away. It would be a good thing to have more late night food options nearby, but its not financially sustainable without booze.

Voting closed 1

When Dorset Hall was proposed, it was known that they would have a 1:00am license and entertainment.

Voting closed 1

Remember your fine friends in the Popes Hill Civic Association that were frothing at the mouth for the Minot St Dev, and take a GOOD look at who is making the $$$$. It was a done deal,communitty got nothing but another soules GREY building, a parkinglot, and a giant bar which is great if you love drinking culture and some people can't live without the chaos of alcohol and violence. It is not your neighborhood anymore it has been cannibalized by a few short sited, greedy, untalented, business people so they can take their sorry selves to Nantucket without knowing they are to gauche for anyone there to associate with.

Voting closed 5

What color did you want? Purple? Neon Pink?

It's a good bluish grey like beach shacks and drift wood. I guess I'm not picky but the design isn't the problem.

I thought this was another gastropub. I didn't know about the basement. They took a risk opening here. If they have to close earlier, too bad. All those new apartments need a place to eat and have a drink, they don't need a club.

Voting closed 1

Have non profit status yet are able to be open til 2AM and patrons disperse into the residential neighborhood intoxicated, littering, yelling often using the streets as a urinal. Calls to 911 and 311 seem to be ingnored. These places should have earlier closing hours so they are not the last place to arrive at night.

Voting closed 10

People could stop yelling. Embrace voluntaryism.

Voting closed 2

It is the way of the people in this world. Selfish ignorant jackasses that could care less regarding behaving like an adult. Everyone wants to be the drunkest loudest look at me cretin. Uber will take care of me I can be as drunk as possible. Maybe the Uber person will tuck me in as well. Complete morons.

Voting closed 5