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February 15, 2014

Oliveira’s, Peabody reach deal; no alcohol after 11 p.m.

PEABODY — A compromise has been declared in the battle of Oliveira’s Steak House.

The restaurant’s management has agreed to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. for at least 90 days. The Licensing Board, in response to several violent incidents at the eatery, had twice imposed a shutdown of 10 p.m., the most recent order set to last six months. Previously, closing time was 1 a.m.

The first sanction was bounced out of court because the restaurant’s owners had not been properly notified of the Licensing Board hearing. Oliveira’s also appealed the second order, which followed a thorough and alarming briefing from police officers, but has now withdrawn that appeal.

According to Licensing Board chairman Minas Dakos, the stipulation, or agreement, reached between assistant city solicitor Adam Buckley and Oliveira’s lawyer Jack Keilty requires that no alcohol be served after 11, though food service is permitted. As the end of the 90-day period nears, the agreement calls for an Oliveira’s representative to sit down with the board and discuss whether an additional 68-day restriction should be imposed.

If Oliveira’s is dissatisfied with that decision, they retain the right to go back to court at that time. “In no event, shall any rollback of hours exceed a total of 180 days,” according to the stipulation.

All this comes as Oliveira’s entertainment license is about to go before the City Council for renewal.

The stipulation was agreed to in a closed-door meeting on Feb. 3 between Buckley, Dakos and board member Fred Murtagh. The third member, Nancy Delaney, was away at the time. “I think their problem was the functions upstairs,” Dakos said.

Police had reported a need to stand watch when the restaurant closed because of violent incidents and said illegal activities occurred regardless of the presence of police.

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