Flagship Premium Theaters is slated to open next month

Flagship Premium Theaters ‘Pig and Whistle’ to provide patrons beer, wine, lite fare

(April 19, 2019) Although adult beverages will be limited to the lobby, the new Flagship Premium Theaters in the White Marlin Mall, which is slated to open in early May, received approval this week from the Board of License Commissioners to operate a small bar space to serve beer and wine.

Attorney Joe Moore represented applicants Paul Wenger and David Hedges during a hearing for a Class “B” beer/wine 7-day license on Tuesday.

Wenger said the theater is nearly completed, with a tentative opening set for May 5.

Moore said the movie theater plans include a modest bar area, the Pig and Whistle, which reverses previous norms with a two-drink … maximum.

“This is a new concept in Worcester Country but … a very benign concept,” he said. “It’s very common to have alcoholic beverages in [movie] auditoriums.”

In addition to 15 bar stools, Moore said the Pig and Whistle layout includes four oversized soft chairs for patrons to consume beer or wine before, or after, viewing cinematic offerings.

Moore said Flagship Premium Theaters opened a similar bar concept in Wareham, Massachusetts over a year ago that has proven successful with few, if any, problems noted.

Wenger said numerous methods will be deployed to control who gets served and how much is consumed.

For starters, bar cups are clear to differentiate soft drinks from beer or wine.

Additionally, Wenger said bar staff are TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified, with extra eyes provided by the adjacently located guest services desk and nearby doorman.

“Also, the concession help … are not able to serve alcohol but are trained to monitor the lobby and watch anyone with alcoholic beverages,” he said.

Besides domestic and imported beer, the Pig and Whistle will offer a modest selection of wines and lite fare menu, Moore said.

Wenger said all bar patrons would be required to show ID, which will be validated with an AgeVisor touch scanner.

“We don’t rely on human intervention to determine whether or not someone is a legit purchaser,” he said. “The scanner will identify fraudulent drivers’ licenses [and] will also track drink limits.”

Board member Marty Pusey asked for further details regarding monitoring of drink sales.

“What if someone wants to buy for someone else,” she said.

Wenger said bar staff are required to confirm all drinks served are for adults 21 or older.

“If you come up and want two drinks, we want to see a second drivers’ license,” he said. “That’s generally monitored by our bartenders.”

Moore asked what assurances could be provided that beer or wine could not be passed to an underage patron within the roughly 2,000-square-foot lobby.

“Our lobbies are designed with an open concept so that we have visuals on the inside lobby,” Wingert said.

Further, Wenger said theater employees in the bar area, and elsewhere, are trained to observe for infractions.

“There’s a doorman who will also be monitoring what goes on,” he said.

Wenger went on to explain the bar area is a clearly defined controlled environment divided on one side by a more than three-foot-tall knee wall and a row of comparably tall planters on the other end.

‘They can’t completely enclose the area, there has to be access in and out,” he said.

Moore said site plans included two ingress/regress areas, one to enter the bar area and another to access restrooms.

Board attorney Tom Coates asked for clarification regarding where beer or wine could be consumed.

“Will people be walking with beverages outside that [bar] area?” he asked.

Wenger confirmed alcohol consumption would be restricted to the lobby area.

“The fact that we’re merely asking for the lobby seems relatively conservative compared to what the rest of the nation is doing right now,” he said.

The Board of License Commissioners agreed to grant the beer/wine license contingent on slightly expanding the proposed knee wall and eliminating the bar area restroom access prior to opening.

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