It was the first full weekend back for Boston University and the kids quickly spread the word on Snapchat: Everybody head to Tavern in the Square. Ahorde of thirsty, hungry BU students quickly descended on the Brighton Avenue bar - forming themselves into an impenetrable knot of a line that went down Brighton Avenue and around the corner to where Common Ground used to be. Police, of course, quickly came to investigate.
And that was why two bar managers were before the Boston Licensing Board this morning, to explain what happened - and what they'll do to prevent similar mobbing in the future.
BPD Sgt. William Gallagher told the board this morning that he and his partner were patrolling Allston the evening of Sept. 12 when they spotted a huge line outside the bar. With just one bar worker outside to try to corral the herd, he said people were spreading out, preventing people with no interest in mingling with boisterous BU students from using the sidewalk and forcing them to walk in the street.
He said he and his partner talked to the manager on duty, who agreed to send additional people outside - and said that perhaps they should tell some people at the end of the line that the place was full and they might want to go somewhere else.
A bar manager admitted the problem caused by the "mass influx of guests at one time." He said the bar was actually far from full at the time, but was just unable to process so many people at once.
He said that going forward, Tavern in the Square will always assign at least three workers to outside crowd control on busy nights and will deploy stanchions to help keep the line narrow enough to permit the rest of the world to traverse the sidewalk.
The board will decide Thursday whether the remedy is adequate enough to prevent future problems.