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Bar Group Supports Flaherty for Mayor to Boost Nightlife!

Let’s Make Boston a Nightlife Destination!

The following article appeared on Boston Herald.com

Challenger Michael Flaherty is loading up his party train with bar and club moguls for the weekend ride to Election Day, trashing “wet blanket” Mayor Thomas M. Menino and stoking their hopes for later closing hours and all-night subway service.

The Boston Nightlife Coalition – a group of frustrated nightclub owners and promoters who have banded together against Menino – has packed recent fund-raisers for Flaherty and his campaign partner, City Councilor Sam Yoon.

The group also has taken out a full-page magazine ad and has been handing out fliers urging people to vote Flaherty/Yoon if they want:

* Bars and clubs to stay open later

* Late-night dining options

* The T to run all night

* A fair liquor and entertainment license process.

And in a shot at Menino, 66, who has rejected previous bids to extend bar hours, the fliers urge support for Flaherty if “you are not 65 and go to bed at 9:30 p.m.”

“If you’re tired about hearing from your patrons that they can’t get home after a night out on the town . . . then you need to join me,” Flaherty told the cable show “Dirty Water TV” after pledging to support Hub nightlife during a fund-raiser at Hub hot spot Post 390 this week.

Flaherty criticized Menino as a “wet blanket” on nightlife and called on owners to “tell your family, friends and staff to get out and vote on Nov. 3 for a new mayor.”

Menino campaign spokesman Nick Martin said the mayor supported the now-defunct Night Owl late-night T service. Martin added that Flaherty is pandering to the bar and nightclub industry in a desperate last-ditch campaign effort.

“This is an example of Councilor Flaherty speaking out of both sides of his mouth, telling one audience what they want to hear but not incorporating it into his message to the general public,” Martin said.

Coalition member Greg Selkoe, who runs the Hub-based online fashion portal Karmaloop, said Flaherty hasn’t officially endorsed the organization’s agenda, but, “He’s said he’ll listen.”

Selkoe said the group is backing Flaherty/Yoon because club and restaurant owners are “fed up.”

“(The Menino administration) cultivates a feeling of fear,” he said. “It’s pretty common knowledge there’s not a level playing field in this city. If you’re not on the mayor’s good side, you might as well go open something in Providence. If you’re on his good side, you get the permits and it all goes smoothly.”

Selkoe added that the nightlife industry, Boston’s second-largest industry, “feels like they’re under siege all the time. This is an economic development issue.”

The coalition includes club promoters and bar owners of popular watering holes such as The Greatest Bar and The Baseball Tavern.

Menino has opposed past efforts to extend bar hours, including during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he blocked a proposal to allow hotel bars to stay open until 4 a.m.

Watch Flaherty’s pitch to the hospitality industry below.

written by Dave Wedge

Flaherty Yoon For Mayor Boston Nightlife News Supports their Efforts!

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