The eateries must close at 10 p.m. pending changes to their licenses
Jason Kindness was caught by surprise when police told him July 5 he could not operate his pizza shop Slice after 10 p.m. His whole business model has been serving late night slices on Main Street – typically until 1 a.m., way past the time local restaurants have closed up their kitchens. Police said his victualling (food service) license had 10 p.m. as the closing time, not 1 a.m.
After a little investigating, Kindness realized what had happened. When Slice first opened in 2019, Kindness got permission to stay open until 1 a.m. when he got his license through the town. The following year, same thing. When the pandemic hit, restaurants were required to close by 10 p.m.; the Slice application for 2021 listed 10 p.m. as the closing time. Meanwhile, the town switched to an e-permitting system that was all online. When Kindness filled out the online application for 2022, he failed to change the time back to the original 1 a.m.; that same omission happened in the 2023 application.
Why did police suddenly crack down now?
According to Town Manager Andy Nota, “The EGPD recently observed large late-night crowds outside Slice and saw the business open, which prompted a check of their license.”
The challenge for Kindness, according to his lawyer, Bob Durant, is by the time he realized he needed to appear before the Town Council (sitting as the Board of Licensures) to make a change, the agenda for the July 10 meeting was complete. The next meeting wasn’t going to be until Monday, July 31, but a special meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 26, for the Town Council and the School Committee. Durant said the plan was to add the Slice to the agenda that night.
Kindness said he is hopeful but did not hide that the earlier hours have been a significant hit to his business.
“We’ve lost so much in sales,” he said. Recognizing there has been some raucous behavior at nearby bars, Kindness said he works hard to “make sure everything is copacetic” at Slice, noting that in four years of operation there has only been one incident requiring police.
As for Fillipou’s Twisted Pizza, which been serving late night pizza slices as well, they also are required to close at 10 p.m. pending a change in their license.