City officials and neighborhood leaders spoke out strongly yesterday against a request by the owners of Father's Six for longer operating hours at the Bow St. bar.
"Police records amply document the disgraceful record of this establishment. Any extension [granted] to this business would make a mockery of the licensing process," Cambridge Mayor Francis H. Duehay '55 told the city's licensing board yesterday. The board will consider the bar's request that it be allowed to serve liquor until 2 a.m., an hour past its current closing hour, in closed session later this week.
Duehay told the council that the bar "should have been shut down. We are the laughing stock of the people in this city because of the number of complaints against that establishment," Duehay said.
Neighborhood spokesman Dean Johnson, president of the Harvard Square Defense Fund, told the licensing board that the bar attracts "a young and rowdy clientele" not in keeping with the "particular character and charm of Harvard Square."
The treasurer and the manager of Thursday Afternoon Inc., which owns the bar, conceded that Father's Six has been a scene of problems in the past, but argued that they have improved the operation in the past year.
"No one has had any complaints recently--no one has even complained to the bartender we send around to pick up trash in the neighborhood," Barry Bornstein, treasurer of Thursday Afternoon, told the licensing board.
Father's Six manager Robert Walter added that the 1 a.m. closing time, an hour before many of the city's bars, cuts "very dramatically" into the bar's business.
"People come in and ask how late we are open, and then go to the bars that are open until 2 a.m.," Walter, who has managed the bar since last April, said.
"They might like those other places and they might not come back--we lose a tremendous amount of business," Bornstein added.
The license commission will consider the request for later closing hours and a similar request for Father's Fore near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this week. It will announce a decision perhaps as early as next week.