EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 10, 2014

Fifth city bar loses its liquor license

Xavier's Place appeals, allowing it to stay open in Lawrence

LAWRENCE – A Lawrence Street bar that lost its liquor license last month after a troubled history that climaxed with a stabbing in February is appealing the revocation, allowing it to avoid – at least for now - becoming the fifth bar shut by the city in less than two years.

The city’s Licensing Board revoked the license held by Xavier’s Place after a 27-year-old city man was stabbed by what he told police was a drug dealer at the bar at 2 a.m. on Feb. 22.

The bar’s employees did not report the stabbing to police, according to Pedro Torres, the new chairman of the city’s Licensing Board, which revoked the bar’s liquor license in a unanimous vote on March 26.

The bar’s owner, Luis Yagual of Lawrence, declined to comment when reached yesterday.

The victim, Mitchel Abreau of Lawrence, was taken to Lawrence General Hospital with stab wounds to his neck, chest and arms, then moved to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where he remained for four days.

“I almost died that day,” Abreau said yesterday.

Police Detective Alan Andrews, who led the police investigation, did not return a phone call yesterday, but Abreau said no suspects have been arrested.

Yagual’s appeal to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission automatically restores his license until the ABCC can hold a hearing and rule on the revocation. His appeal does not state the grounds for restoring his license.

The stabbing was one of several incidents at Xavier’s in recent years, including a brawl on June 26, 2011, at the height of the year-long wave of violence that swept through the city’s nightclubs after former Mayor William Lantigua laid off two dozen police in a budget crunch.

The Licensing Board rejected a recommendation from police that Xavier’s be disciplined for the brawl after Sal Tabit, the bar’s lawyer at the time, said Yagual would hire police details and personally check identifications at the door.

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