The Boston City Council unanimously supported a homerule petition to give the Irish Social Club of Boston a permanent special full-alcohol license from the state, months after a member mistakenly returned the club's previous license.
If granted, the license would only be for the Irish Social Club of Boston and would not be transferrable.
Councilors Matt O'Malley and Stephen Murphy petitioned for the state homerule petition, which would need to be approved and signed by the governor, for the Club to get an alcohol license immediately.
At the Council's regular Wednesday meeting, O'Malley spoke of the Club's beginnings in Roxbury, 65 years ago, and eventual move to Park Street in West Roxbury. Last April, the club's former leadership announced it would close due to not being financially stable.
"The outcry was defeaning. It was a true testament of West Roxbury and the city coming together to save this Club," said O'Malley.
But a member mistakenly returned to the Club's previous full liquor license, which can often cost anywhere up to $250,000 and more. For the last couple of months the Club has used temporary licenses, which has been very hard to manage for the Club, said Mary Mulvey Jacobson, of the Club's Steering Committee, who was present at the council's meeting.
After the meeting Jacobson was happy the Council supported the Club attempt to get a license back, "We all need to feel like we’re moving forward. We've done so much to get in back on track, to get it opened, fixed, but there are more things to do. To aply for one-day liquor licenses - it’s untenable. We're very grateful it can be done, but it's not sustainable."
Also onhand was Club President Mary Maloney, club member Kathi Sullivan, and the Club's Sergeant-at-Arms Richie Gormley, also the Lord Mayor of West Roxbury.
State Rep. Ed Coppinger, D-West Roxbury, and City Councilor John Connolly, were both praised for their work and support in saving the Club. Connolly characterized Coppinger's efforts as "yeoman's work" for the Club.
While it was a very serious matter that admittedly made the Club members apprehensive, the City Councilors enjoyed their time discussing the club and fake "caucuses" in the council, in a very tongue-in-cheek manner, before supporting it unanimously.
Said City Council President Stephen Murphy, "The Irish Social Club has been reinvigorated as a jewel in West Roxbury. This club is so much a part of West Roxbury and Boston. A mistake was made by a member of the board, instead of placing the license onhold – they turned it in. Truth be told, if they realized what was going on, and only one person did this, the (Alcohol Licensing) board wouldn’t have let this happen."
Murphy, a member of the Club, asked his peers to "make it right with the Legislature, and lead (the Club) under new guidance with a who's who of West Roxbury."
Connolly thanked Lord Mayor Gormley, Jacobson, Maloney and Sullivan for attending the meeting. Connolly joked he was the only councilor with "official West Roxbury status" because he resides in the neighborhood, while O'Malley is the district councilor.
"This is central to this community, to this strong Irish community, and Irish-American community. But more than that, I speak to what makes West Roxbury a great place to live. When this club was in jeopardy, people rallied..."
District 5 City Councilor Rob Consalvo, who lives in Hyde Park, said he's heard from Parkway area people about the importance of the Club to the community, he added, "I want the record shown I am very proud of my 25% Irish background."
District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson reminded everyone where the Club began, "This all used to be in Roxbury, and started squarely at Hibernian Hall. I’m glad it found a nice home, and glad you kept such a nice name."
District 4 City Councilor Charles Yancey said he was "rising to not oppose." Adding, "I do have a few questions, but I am convinced this license is very symbolic and means a lot to West Roxbury." He said he also wanted to show “his solidarity” with the people of West Roxbury.
District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross joked he was a proud member of the "Jewish Caucus" which unanimously supported the resolution. Ross is the only Jewish member of the council.
Jackson rose again, after nodding in agreeance with Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, to say the "Black Caucus" supported the resolution, too.
"I am glad we have all the 'caucuses' onboard," smiled Connolly. He added that the West Roxbury neighborhood is the fastest growing in terms of diversity in the city.
The homerule petition is to be signed next by Boston's mayor, then onto the Governo's office.