Friday, October 18, 2013

State Spanks Monkey Bar

Monkey Bar, 63 North Pleasant St, Amherst

The Alcohol Beverage Control Commission punished a downtown bar popular with "college aged youth" for, among other things, serving a minor -- their 10th such offense since opening in the year 2000.

In addition to losing their license to serve alcohol for the month of September (prime time business month in a "college town") owner Mauro Aniello also paid a $7,080 fine as a "compromise" on additional sanctions.


Dr. Ed said...

204 CMR 2.16(1) -- posting cover charge and giving a receipt -- I have NEVER seen that done ANYWHERE and I *have* always had an issue with the bouncers with rolls of bills and wondered exactly how much of that was declared as income.

Also wondered if everyone was even being charged the same price -- and on occasion had reason to believe they weren't.

The other side of this, of course, is capacity and overcrowding (Attention AFD) -- if there is no "paper trail" of how many patrons you admitted, then absent a fire and not everyone being able to get out in time, there is no way to document how badly overcrowded the place was.

And the fact that neither the town nor UMass is even telling people that this regulation (and apparently, a law as well) even exists speaks volumes.

As does the fact that Amherst authorities are arresting college kids for noisy house parties but can't even bother to tell the college kids about this regulation, let alone making an effort to see it enforced.

Why isn't the AFD making an issue of this? It'd seem to me that doing so -- and actually having a paper record of the number of people they actually let into the venue -- would be an incredibly effective means of enforcing capacity limits which, umm, do exist for a reason.

Anonymous said...


Your criticism of the Town of Amherst's handling of public record requests seems excessive. The PDF that you provided of emails between you and the Town shows that the Town appears to be in compliance with MA public records laws. It is nice to see that the Town allows for such casual interaction regarding requests. Although the law does allow for email requests, most municipalities and state agencies prefer a written request. It seems that your frustration should be directed to MA's public records law, not the Town of Amherst.
Has the Town provided any documents to you? I would suspect the Town's involvment would be minimal, given the detail of the ABCC's report that you provided.
Perhaps this recent article on will be of some interest to you: