Pittsfield Licensing Board issues 'last chance' ultimatum to Polish Community Club
PITTSFIELD — The city has issued an ultimatum to the Polish Community Club: Get your house in order or likely lose your liquor license.
Licensing Board members on Monday urged the club to provide an application for a new liquor license manager at the October board meeting in order to fill a two-year-old vacancy.
"If there is no progress made, I'll make the motion to take the license," said board member Richard Stockwell.
The 232-member club was supposed to hold a meeting a week ago to form a new board of directors and hire a manager; the latter is subject to licensing board and state approval.
John Kerwood cited medical issues for his inability to hold the meeting. Kerwood has single-handedly been dealing with the board in attempt to activate the license and reopen the club.
While sympathetic to the latest delay, the board's patience is wearing thin, given the reaction of board members.
"If you don't have the meeting, then you need to talk about selling or transferring the license," said Dana Doyle.
Kerwood was confident progress would be made within the next two months.
"I have a lot of members ready to help get the place open," he said.
Chairman Carmen C. Massimiano felt time was running out for the club to keep the license.
"You've got to get [the members] in a room to make some decisions," he said. "This has gone on a very long time."
The social gathering place on Linden Street has been closed since Jan. 1, 2015, while members attempted to reorganize after the liquor license manager of record Stella Spence, died two years ago.
Kerwood told the board in late March he had notified club members and set a membership meeting for April 24, during which time a new slate of club officers and a manager for the bar liquor license would be selected. The meeting never took place and club representatives failed to appear before the board in May for an update, prompting the threat of license revocation for future no-shows.
Kerwood has been the only club member to attend recent board meetings to give club updates, which often involve rehashing the difficulty to get members motivated to reopen the club.
The board has been stern but fair with the club, yet has shown it will follow through with the promise to rescind an inactive liquor license.
Two months ago, the five-member panel yanked a 4-year-old unused license once held by the former Debbie Wong restaurant on Dalton Avenue. In doing so, the city effectively lost the license for good as it was turned back to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which has the final say on all liquor license transfers or sales.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.