What started as a young man's 21st birthday pub crawl turned into a drunken argument and police investigation before landing in front of Braintree's license board Tuesday afternoon.
Both Four Square and The Landing Pub face allegations that they served an intoxicated person around midnight on Sept. 14, a night last fall that began with two brothers celebrating at bars in Weymouth before ending up at the Braintree establishments, where one brother allegedly continued drinking despite being "pretty banged up."
That was the testimony of Jack Twohig, the police department's licensing officer, who also told the Board of License Commissioners that witnesses indicated Four Square and The Landing Pub had provided beer and/or liquor to the intoxicated brother after he had already drank a number of other beers and had secretely taken extra shots elsewhere.
After hearing from representatives of both restaurants, but not from anyone who was on site at The Landing Pub that night, board members continued both public hearings until Feb. 12.
Board Chair Joe Powers encouraged Pub owner Harray Sarras and his attorney Michael Modestino to bring the manager on duty that night, Elizabeth Sarras. The bartender working Sept. 14 left the business for an unrelated reason, Modestino said, and is unavailable.
Modestino did provide an affidavit from the bartender, who in it refuted Twohig's testimony that she had told one brother that the other looked too drunk for liquor but could have beer. The bartender asserted instead that the young man did not appear intoxicated when she served him a single shot, and that she cut him off afterward.
"This is a very unfortunate incident," said Michael Modestino, an attorney for The Landing Pub. "It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me that a bartender would make that kind of statement."
Security video from that night was deleted after 30 days, Modestino said, well before a January letter that informed part-owner Sarras The Landing Pub was part of an investigation.
Powers questioned that, though, referring to Twohig's investigation in early October, when the officer talked to Elizabeth Sarras and told her what he was looking into.
Four Square co-owner Marko Fani could not locate the security tape from Sept. 14, Twohig said. The brothers and other friends allegedly drank there last, after The Landing Pub.
Bartender James DiGiacomo, who was on duty that night, testified that he did not recognize pictures of the brothers shown to him later, and that he had no knowledge of them being in the restaurant.
The Four Square hearing was also continued, Powers said, because further testimony from The Landing Pub could affect its outcome.