Check I.D., always

I have to admit I’m enjoying, in a slightly masochistic way, actually attending Selectmen’s meetings rather than just watching them on TV. You definitely get more of a feel for the personalities when you can see all of them at once, at all times and, if you’re taking notes, you can just ask someone for a spelling or a clarification rather than rewinding several times and hoping for the best.

Police Chief Crepeau was at the meeting last night to talk about an alcohol sting that his department conducted on Dec. 26. A plainclothes police officer from out of town — local cops are recognizable — accompanied a 19-year-old to various stores and restaurants around town to see who might be selling alcohol without asking for I.D. first.

The good news: All the stores with liquor licenses in town passed with flying colors.

The bad news: One restaurant, J&J Tavern at Highfields Country Club, served a beer to the minor.

Fun with liquor stings: At stores, the minor is instructed to buy a six-pack of Bud Light; in restaurants, he’s asked to order Bud Light as well. Are liquor stings sponsored by Budweiser?

“There is no defense for it,” John Magill, the tavern manager, told the board. “We were wrong. We were caught red-handed. I’m sorry about it.”

Isn’t that kind of refreshing? No excuses. They fired the bartender who failed to card. They’re going to put up signs noting that all patrons will be carded, go over the policy with their bartenders and attempt to ensure that it never happens again.

Selectmen, at the chief’s recommendation, agreed the tavern should be issued a warning and be required to provide proof that all personnel have received alcohol training to the chief. This is the usual recommendation for first offenses, Crepeau noted.

Word to the wise: the police department has received grant money and will be conducting periodic stings more often.

Fashion police: I kind of crave the Grafton officers’ leather jackets with the brass plate on the bicep. I kept looking at the chief and the officer who accompanied him and thinking “I’d totally rock those jackets.”

On a happier restaurant-related note: Cancuns was issued a music license, which will allow them to have acoustic guitar on weekends. Margarita night, anyone?


13 thoughts on “Check I.D., always

  1. Never heard of a “music license”. We’re getting fee’d to death.

    I heard there is going to be a fee for having a dumpster in your yard now.

    So if Granny is cleaning out the house soon, better hurry & get your dumpster!!!

    Fees for brush dump, fees for the recycling center, fees for your trash PAYT….it’s coming…..soon to a checkbook near you. July 1

  2. Oh yeah, did you also hear the Chief say that he thinks the restaurants & bars call one another to warn them of the impending sting operation!


  3. Entertainment licenses are very common. Let’s just hope that “adult entertainment” doesn’t come to town any time soon (although the men may disagree!). Does Grafton have adult zoning, I wonder? Milford ran into trouble with that last year.

    Yeah, the chief’s comment about the “phone tree” was funny!

  4. Hey About the Adult Entertainment… I have a funny side note about that and a friend of mine years ago to offer a solution to that type of red light zoning.
    In the mid to late 90s we had a town planner here named Megan, she took on an intern (my friend) that was doing a project for his degree in city planning from Westfield State, at that time Grafton had something of an red light district where it is i have no idea. Well his plan was to re-zone it and his idea was to place it in the middle of lake ripple. Yes the middle of lake ripple!
    Needless to say i do not think it was done as i am sure its illegal to zone something in the middle of a body of water…. But I am sure he got an A for effort! Too bad the planning board could not hold a public hearing on that one!

  5. I’m pretty sure I don’t have liscense for “Singing and Dancing and Generally Embarassing My Teenager in Public (usually to really bad 70’s music that only plays in my head)”. Oh well. C’est la vie! Guess I’ll carry on until I’m arrested by the Embarrasment Police.

    Civil Disobedience – the American Way….

  6. Love the adult entertainment story. There could always be floating strip clubs, if need be!

    I was covering Marlborough in the ’90s when the last adult entertainment wave went through the area. It started with the adult video store on Rte. 9 in Northborough (conveniently around the corner from the gun shop) and, in Marlborough, a storefront two doors down from City Hall, where managers said they were putting in a video store, one day made the windows opaque and added “XXX” in big red letters.

    Best. News day. Ever.

  7. In the late 80’s I researched, conducted site visits and wrote the introduction to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s publication relating to the “Mid-Town Cultural District”. At the time this was also known more succinctly by it’s popular nom de plume -“The Combat Zone”.

    But since leaving the “City on the Hill” I’ve discovered that the “Zone” exists in all sorts of unexpected places including the immediate Grafton vicinity. Look closely as you drive about…

  8. There is a white house across the street from the N. Grafton Post Office. At one point the Grafton News reported that in the “old” days, not sure when, it was a brothel.

  9. When I covered the town of Salisbury in the early 90s, a group announced plans to open a strip club on Route 1 (true manna from town-coverage heaven, complete with drug-dealing convictions on the would-be license-holders record and passionate NIMBYs with advanced degrees on the other side).

    Anyway, shortly after word got out, a group of residents thought they’d fix the situation with a zoning change that allowed adult entertainment on a single parcel of land.

    The warrant article cited book and page number of the parcel, which turned out to be … the town dump.

    Needless to say, the article was rejected the nanosecond town counsel got wind of it, but it was fun while it lasted!

    BTW, Grafton’s ZBL does address adult uses: They are allowed by special permit in the commercial business and industrial zones only.

  10. Good to know Grafton has pre-emptive zoning (Am I the only one in town who misses looking at the window for the stripper/club clothing store? My daughter always thought we should go shopping there) because it was a major PITA with the proposed strip club in Milford last year.

    Keith, I think every ex-reporter has at least one adult entertainment story. I completely forgot the Grafton angle on mine last night: the day Marlborough’s store opened, the person who went in with me to look over the merchandise (I referenced movie titles like “Hannah Does Her Sisters” and “Poca-humped-us” for weeks) was… Natalie Lashmit.

  11. Grafton Midget Porn, Red Light District, Brothel by the Post Office….now I know why I moved to G-town!

  12. Jenn, do you remember Marlborough’s video shop, in addition to being two doors from City Hall, also had a gun store adjacent to it? Somehow the new street lamps and faux-brick crosswalks don’t do too much for revitilizing the downtown when you have a XXX tenant…

  13. Oh, the gun shop was right next door to City Hall! The owner made a joke about how his business suddenly didn’t look so bad in comparison. He was always a great quote. I felt bad for Brady’s Menswear, stuck between guns and porn.

    The downtown manager that day kept yelling at me that I shouldn’t be writing a story and drawing attention to it. Story-wise, that store was the gift that kept on giving.

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