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Boston Licensing Board reviewing Sons of Boston liquor license in wake of former Marine’s killing

Sons of Boston bar on Union Street in Boston.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

A second city agency is reviewing Sons of Boston’s operating licenses after one of the bar’s bouncers allegedly fatally stabbed a former Marine, records show.

The Boston Licensing Board, the three-member public panel overseeing alcohol licenses in the city, notified owners of the Union Street bar to appear Tuesday so they can respond to Boston police allegations they violated licensing rules during the March 19 killing of Daniel Martinez.

The board’s scrutiny could force Sons of Boston to stop selling alcohol. It comes after the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing (MOCAL) suspended the bar’s entertainment license last week for an indefinite period, a separate disciplinary action.


Daniel Green, executive secretary of the Boston Licensing Board, said Wednesday the board had to notify the owners, Causeway Union LLC, electronically because the Government Center bar was closed when staffers arrived to deliver the notice by hand.

A bartender at the bar Wednesday afternoon told the Globe no one from management was available to discuss the pending regulatory actions. The Globe has e-mailed the manager and the attorney for the bar who are listed in city records, seeking their response.

Meanwhile, the family of the 23-year-old Martinez, of Illinois, who finished a four-year stint with the Marines last summer, has scheduled a press conference Thursday to speak on his behalf and to seek answers to questions his death has raised with them, according to a press announcement.

Martinez’s twin brother, Matthew, told the Globe that the slain Marine was one of five siblings. The twins planned to buy a house, and with their youngest brother, launch a new chapter in their lives. Now, he said, they have to craft a new plan for themselves.

Martinez was in Boston to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with one friend from the Marines, according to his twin brother and authorities. They went to the Sons of Boston bar on March 19, left for a period of time and were blocked from re-entering by bouncers, including Alvaro O. Larrama, authorities have said


Martinez’s party and Larrama exchanged words at the bar and began walking away, but were followed by Larrama, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden’s office alleged. As Larrama approached them, Martinez threw an aluminum beer can at the 38-year-old Larrama who allegedly responded by stabbing the former Marine once in the chest, fatally injuring him, authorities said.

Larrama pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Boston Municipal Court where he was ordered held without bail by Judge Steven M. Key, who cited the East Boston man’s actions after the stabbing as one of the reasons for his order.

Larrama “changed clothes after incident, cleaned up and fled scene after stabbing person in chest [by] using a back entrance period,’' the judge wrote in court papers.

Larrama is due back in court April 28.

In yanking the bar’s entertainment license, MOCAL said the owners promised a year ago to provide an operational plan, but failed to do so. That plan was to provide detailed information on how the company was training bouncers to deescalate tense moments, the agency said. The entertainment license allowed the bar to hire a disc jockey, let patrons dance, and host karaoke and trivia nights along with live music.

Police have issued six licensed premises violations to the bar’s owners, including having armed security without prior board approval, assault and battery on a patron with a dangerous weapon, failure to supervise conduct of the licensed establishment, and failure to call the police.


During next Tuesday’s hearing, police will outline the reasons for the violations. Officers and any other witnesses can be questioned by the board members or the representative of the Sons of Boston.

Next Thursday, board members would then vote on what disciplinary action - if any - they believe should be imposed, which can range from one day to much longer periods of a suspension.

Causeway Union LLC can appeal to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission if they conclude the board acted unjustly towards them.

The board’s hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and is available on Zoom, the board said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Matt Yan can be reached at matt.yan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @matt_yan12.