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12 Crane suspended for July rave

Liquor license affected, additional hearing set on victuals permit

After a suspension of the 12 Crane liquor license Thursday, owner J. Gabriel McCarthy expressed concern for the future of his business. (click for larger version)
August 22, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — A few weeks after hosting a rave that sparked several drug-related arrests, 12 Crane St. was slapped with a two-week liquor license suspension, six-month probation thereafter, and will lose the ability to use its outdoor patio until Jan. 1.

The food and entertainment venue also faces a hearing regarding its common victual and entertainment licenses this Thursday.

"From day one, we knew there could be problems [with this event], and it escalated to one of the highest violations," said Liquor License Board member Dale Ferron, who proposed the penalty to which his board ultimately agreed. They did, however, opt to delay its effective date until Aug. 30 to account for an event 12 Crane had already booked for that weekend.

Even so, owner J. Gabriel McCarthy said just before leaving that he believes it "will be the demise of this business" and apologized "for anything I may have caused."

Throughout the hearing, which lasted about 90 minutes, McCarthy was uncharacteristically subdued, generally sitting with his head in his hands and only speaking to answer questions, mostly from his lawyer James Kaeding. Kaeding afterward said he thought the process had been "very fair," but would have to confer with his client before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

At issue was a July 10 event dubbed the "Jungle Book," which drew hundreds of people. Police arrested five of them, including McCarthy's son, John, on drug charges, because they were allegedly in possession of or selling what police believe to be cocaine and/or ecstasy.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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