Troubled Neponset bar to sell its liquor license

A lawyer for Upstairs, Downstairs, shut since seven people were stabbed in February, said today the bar's owner is in the process of selling its liquor license to the Boston Tea Party Museum.

Meanwhile, a police detective said the investigation into the stabbings is being hampered because none of the five stabbed customers is cooperating with police. Two bar workers were also stabbed - one was rushed to the hospital in serious condition with a stab wound to the leg.

Det. Michael Harrington discusses the stabbings.

The bar, also known as Ups and Downs, has been open for more than five decades in Neponset Circle, originally as the Pony Room. Attorney Michael Ford told the Boston Licensing Board hat the Feb. 23 melee convinced owner Arthur Sutliffe to throw in the towel.

Ford said Sutliffe has "a signed offer" from the museum, now under reconstruction in Fort Point Channel.

Det. Michael Harrington of District C-11 summed up his investigation into the stabbings for the board:

"There was some kind of distburbance at the door [to the upstairs lounge], where the crowd, which was at the top of the stairs, surged back into the bar, and at that point, there was a fight and someone had a knife. We have a description of the suspect who we're looking for but the two employees in the bar don't know the people involved and the five other people who were stabbed, we believe they have knowledge, but they're not cooperating with us."

Heather Collins, an upstairs bouncer that night, also testified. She said that right up until a fight broke out at closing, the night had been uneventful. She added she did not recognize any of the people involved in the brawl as regulars.

"The music was off, people were headed downstairs," Collins said. "I noticed somebody make a comment that I couldn't hear in full, somebody else said something. At the end of it, a drink with ice was thrown and then a fight broke out."

The licensing board votes Thursday whether to take additional further action against the owners. Ford said he would ask for permission to re-open just first floor of the two-floor building until the liquor license is sold and transferred.