By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,302)
Sangillo’s Tavern has lost its appeal to the State’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations for reinstatement of its liquor license. Dana Sangillo, owner, decided not to appeal the case because of the expense of such an effort.
Some see this shut-down of an iconic bar on Hampshire Street as another effort to gentrify the India Street community – to prepare it for future development.
Last November the Bureau conducted a two-day hearing on the matter. Representing Sangillo’s a long time presence near the waterfront was Tim Bryant of PretiFlaherty. Representing the city interests was Danelle West-Chuta, corporate counsel.
Linda, who has been a bar tender at the iconic place for fourteen years will have to start looking for a new job – the sooner the better. “I was surprised by the State’s decision,” she said. “We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls this morning with people saying they are sorry the bar is closing. Working here was a perfect situation for me,” she said.
Dana Sangillo has owned the bar for about six years. He took it over when his father died. His aunt Kathleen Sangillo had been managing the bar for him since because he lived in California where he was studying and managing a bar in the Los Angeles area. Dana moved back to Maine last summer to be closer to the bar that has been in his family for three generations.
Some were puzzled by the length of time between the public hearing last November and the decision just handed down yesterday. They saw it as a positive indication – hoping that meant the Tavern would be able to stay open.
Last spring the City Council denied the liquor license reinstatement by a squeaker of a vote 5 – 4. The vote was based largely on the recommendation of the Portland Police Department who advised it should be shut down. Voting against the license renewal were Mayor Brennan, Councilors Suslovic, Marshall, Donoghue and Hinck. Voting to keep it open were councilors Duson, Coyne, Mavodones and Leeman.