"A warning is equivalent to a first violation," said Andrew Upton, chair of the commission, at Monday's meeting. A second violation could lead to a several-days suspension of the Armory's license to operate or serve alcohol, Upton said.
It seems The Armory will, in fact, face allegations of another violation, which is said to have occurred on May 31.
"Apparently there's another violation in the pipeline," Upton said.
Armory acknowledges violations
Alderman At-Large Bruce Desmond reported the violation on April 20, which occurred during a wedding. A caterer was preparing food and washing dishes outside the venue until 11 p.m.
John Sullivan, an abutter, reported the May 18 violations, in which patrons were gathering outside. Sullivan said he also reported the alleged May 31 violations, in which guests at a wedding were drinking outside.
In a joint recommended disposition, The Armory accepted the facts of the April 20 and May 18 violations.
In addition to the warning, the joint recommended disposition restated a number of The Armory's license requirements, such that outside the venue cannot be used as a waiting area or a place to serve alcohol.
The Armory also agreed to have a police detail at all private functions that serve alcohol and aren't arts or culture events—in other words, at private functions like weddings and parties.
Adam Dash, an attorney for The Armory, said the venue has "cracked down on the caterers" who use the building for private events to make sure they comply with the rules. The caterer responsible for the April 20 violation was "blackballed," he said.
"It's not fair to the people at home," says abutter
Sullivan said he didn't feel The Armory was doing a good job making sure patrons arrived and left in an orderly fashion.
"They need to understand that it's not fair to the people at home" when events at The Armory disturb the neighborhood, he said.
He also told the commission, "I have 24 hour surveillance, plus I have portable cameras," and he would continue to monitor the venue to make sure it complies with the regulations.
Lea Ruscio, the interim executive director of The Armory, said after Monday's meeting, "We really are trying to improve our facilities and practices."
"There's great community support [for The Armory], but there's been a history of friction there with community abutters," she said.
Armory could easily be condos, says commission member
John McKenna, a member of the Licensing Commission, said he was supportive of The Armory, which he called "an experiment" because it's a unique space that serves as an arts venue and a function hall in a residential neighborhood.
However, when the venue receives three violations, "I'm going to vote to pull the license," he said.
"It could just as easily be six condominiums at The Armory [building] as The Center for Arts at The Armory," he said.