Selectmen Lay Out Possible Conditions for Revised Splitsville Liquor Application

If Splitsville is to get a liquor license, a list of conditions as part of a memo from town counsel suggests that the establishment could be held to stricter rules than most restaurants and bars in town.

The memo, crafted by town counsel Cindy Amara and made public during Tuesday night's selectmen meeting, was based off of suggestions from individual members of the board.

The suggestions were discussed at the request of Selectman Jim DeVellis amid a desire to adjourn the meeting by Selectmen Chairman Mark Sullivan and Selectman John Gray in response to a misunderstanding as to whether the Kraft Group was suppose to propose a new application for Splitsville that could be reconsidered at a later date. 

“There’s multiple open meeting complaints that we’re dealing with so putting it off two weeks and fighting about it is not going to do anybody any good,” DeVellis said. 

Due to Sullivan ordering a halt to talks between the Kraft Group and town officials in the midst of the new open meeting law complaints, the Kraft Group believed that a new proposal was not to be presented during Tuesday’s Meeting.

Willing to discuss the suggested conditions, Kraft Group legal counsel Jim Cobery did find some of the conditions agreeable. 

“I do think we have a lot more commonality than we think,” Cobery told the selectmen on Tuesday evening.

Of the 11 conditions in the memo, Cobery said limiting access to the general public though floor plan layout and use of a concierge to check patron identification along with limiting live musical entertainment to three nights a week were possible.

“We can do that. The plan is to have a concierge station so people can get directed to the place they want to be directed to,” Cobery said.

Live entertainment from Howl at the Moon musicians is expected to take place only on Thursday-Saturday with access to the lounge area limited and controlled.

“When they are playing, we will control who gains access to that entertainment area and limit the number of patrons that get in there. I’m not sure how many you want to have as the maximum number but the concept of having a concierge and having limited access of the Howl at the Moon entertainment area, we’re on board,” Cobery said.

Curtains and temporary barriers would likely be used to block off the lounge to allow for free flowing traffic on days where there is not live entertainment.

Cobery also said Splitsville was willing to name an employee of their company, who is willing to transfer to Foxboro, as the manager of record on day one. The original application had Howl at the Moon co-owner Paul Holian as the manager of record on day one while the Splitsville employee became familiar with state and local liquor laws. Coppola and Selectman John Gray questioned whether it was a concession despite the assurance of acting town manager Bob Cutler.

“They’re not going to have a Howl at the Moon (manager). They’re starting right at the beginning with Splitsville. That’s a concession that they’re making,” Cutler said.

Imposing more stringent requirements on the size of drinks and pitchers set forth in the rules and regulations for liquor license holders was also listed as a possible condition. Splitsville officials have said in the past they would not serve drinks available at Howl at the Moon such as jello shots or the 86 oz. buckets of booze but the beverages to be served at Splitsville have been a concern for critics of the establishment.

According to the town’s regulations, no pitchers can be larger than 60 oz. and must be served to at least two people. 

It was also town legal counsel's understanding that the Kraft Group would be willing to withdraw, without prejudice, the application relating to the change in premise regarding the Dana Farber Field House as part of a resolution of the Splitsville license.

Prior to the rejection of the transfer of the field house's liquor license to Splitsville, the board voted 3-2 to reject a request from the Kraft Group to expand coverage of the stadium's liquor license to the field house.

A new proposal for the Splitsville liquor license application is expected at the Jan. 21 meeting.

The possible conditions from the memo were as followed:

  • Require the license holder to pay for an additional police offer, an annual amount of money could be required as part of the license condition.
  • Limit the size of the Howl at the Moon venue and otherwise segregate it from the general public by installing glass dividers. 
  • Limit access to the general public though floor plan layout and use of a concierge to check patron identification.
  • Limit live musical entertainment to Thursday - Saturday evenings and further define the entertainment to be presented.
  • Change the proposed manager of the liquor license so that said person is an employees of Splitsville and not Howl at the Moon.
  • Limit the number of people allowed at Howl at the Moon (lounge/entertainment area)
  • Impose more stringent requirements on the size of drinks, pitchers than set forth in the rules, i.e. prohibit jello shots.
  • Increase the penalties for violations of any of the license conditions.
  • Impose conditions on any separate entertainment license needed by Splitsville/Howl at the Moon.
  • Incorporate many of the conditions imposed in venue (i.e. use if wristbands, clothing restrictions)
  • Consider shorter hours of operation.

The following were proposed by Selectmen Ginny Coppola and Lorraine Brue but were considered non-starters by town counsel.

  • Reduce the size of the building significantly. (Brue)
  • Drop Howl at the Moon completely from the plan. (Coppola)
  • Replace the lounge area with more lanes for bowling. (Coppola)
Chris A January 09, 2014 at 08:34 AM
Other than the Brue and Coppola suggestions (appropriately listed as non-starters) the list seems somewhat reasonable. But why did it take so long to come up with these common ground suggestions? Shouldn't take this long to iron details like this out.
Steve January 09, 2014 at 09:50 AM
It took this long because Chairman Sullivan suspended all meeting between his board and the Splitsville/Kraft Org. He suspended the meetings after open meeting allegations were filed with the town that had nothing to do with member John gray meeting with them. It was a poor decision that may end up costing to the town thousands of dollars due to lost time.


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