“Everything was a three-person jazz band, and then it morphed into something,” said member Barry Sinewitz. “Your special permit didn’t have anything to do with a nightclub.” He suggested that Palumbo needed to come back to the council to have the addition approved. “Who told you to build it?”
“They ran amok,” said member Dave Gamache of the management. “Sal is a good businessman,” he added, suggesting that he wasn’t paying enough attention.
“It’s a clear case of it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission,” said Councilor Anne Manning-Martin. “You went wild over there. Wild.” She recalled the initial permitting process, noting, “One person came up to me and said, ‘He’s going to put in a nightclub. You wait.’ And you put in a nightclub, and we waited.”
At the same time, Manning-Martin asked for a review from the Licensing Board to see if Stonewood, which she said never proposed having a bar, is in violation by having two.
Despite the harsh judgments, even Manning-Martin saw hope in reform, though she cautioned that going forward, Palumbo needed to be “kept on a short leash.” She added, “I’m willing to work with you because what you told us you were going to have in there is good.” In the beginning, the place was beautiful, and it made the councilors proud to have approved it, she said.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Palumbo said, “I would like to come back to the board.” Asked if he had indeed turned the place into a nightclub, he said, “What is considered a nightclub? Did we have some entertainment to keep people happy? Yes we did.”