Grille Closes Doors After Series of Alcohol Violations

The embattled Crimson Sports Grille closed its doors for good on May 30, one week after it filed an application to sell its business for $250,000 to Grafton, Inc., the company that owns the Temple Bar and the recently closed Grafton Street restaurant.

According to the Grille’s lawyer, James J. Rafferty, the sale agreement was “directly related” to recent disciplinary action against the bar taken by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) and the Cambridge License Commission (CLC).

The Grille, which has a long history of violations, closed and surrendered its liquor license last Wednesday, the first day of its 18-day state license suspension for six counts of serving alcohol to minors.

If the CLC approves the transfer, which Richard V. Scali, its executive director, said was likely due to Grafton’s “good reputation,” Grafton would open a new restaurant in the Grille’s 59 JFK St. space as early as late August, according to owner Patrick Lee.

Grafton still plans to reopen its original Grafton Street restaurant in the space formerly occupied by the Bow and Arrow Pub at 1 Bow St.

Scali said that the Grille’s record of violations would not be passed on to the new owners.

The Grille’s lawyer, James J. Rafferty, won a one-week stay, from May 23-29, of the ABCC suspension so that his appeal could be heard in Middlesex County Superior Court, and the bar remained open until the stay expired.

The day after the transfer application was filed, the CLC found the Grille in violation again for serving alcohol to a 20-year-old Boston University (B.U.) student on a March 23 sting, but decided not to impose further sanction on the bar until it had heard the petition to transfer the liquor license.