Encore Boston Harbor is looking to put a
little pizzazz in the Labor Day weekend with a full day of giveaways and fun on
Sunday, Sept. 1, a day that will culminate with a drawing to give away a
Encore President Bob DeSalvio said the
giveaway will mark the first big day at the resort casino built on a major
drawing. The winner will get a 2019 McLaren 5702 Spider (valued at $200,000),
or the option of $100,000 cash.
“The car is a big one for us,” he said. “The
final drawing will be around 7 p.m., but we’ll have preliminary drawings all
afternoon. We start accepting entries at noon that day and there are drawings
all the way from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. We want to get a lot of people involved.”
The promotion will feature 10 people drawn
from the entries every 30 minutes. Nine of the 10 names will get $500 in credits,
and the 10th name will get a slot in the final drawing for the car.
“At the end, we take all the finalists and
draw the winner,” said DeSalvio. “They can take the car or the cash. The others
that don’t win will get $2,500 in credits.”
There will also be a second-chance drawing
at 8 p.m.
“It’s a full day of promotions around that
drawing that is really the culmination of our entire August promotional
campaign,” he said.
•In addition, another major promotion now
available for Red Card holders is in the realm of parking.
DeSalvio said they have started a promotion
for free, midweek parking at the resort. Between 5 a.m. Monday and 5 p.m.
Friday, Red Card holders will get free parking. On weekends, parking for Red
Card holders is just one credit from their card.
“The idea behind this is that during the
week, we have opportunity in the garage,” he said. “We get a lot of customers
that ask for this because they go to regional resorts with free parking. We
decided we can do it midweek, and then charge $1 on weekends. That’s a way to
reward those playing in the casino. They can use the comp dollar on weekends
and on weekdays they can park for free.”
•DeSalvio said they are also offering deeply
discounted hotel rooms (up to 35 percent off) this month in a partnership with
Expedia and Priceline.
He said that while they are building up
their clientele, they wanted to take the opportunity to reward those with a Red
“The idea is that as we continue to build up
the hotel to full occupancy, we want folks to experience it,” he said. “We want
people to experience the rooms. In the next few months, they start the
convention business and discounts go down. So, in the opening period, we wanted
to let folks experience the rooms.”
City Councillor Luis Tejada will be a
spectator at the fifth annual Let It Fly Basketball Classic Saturday at Jordan
Boys and Girls Club.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” said Tejada. “The
directors [Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro do such a great job running this
Tejada said the whole atmosphere at the
tournament is exciting. “It’s like one of these urban scenarios that you see on
TV with the whole basketball game going on and everyone is yelling and
screaming, but having a good time. It’s just a fantastic atmosphere.”
Tejada said the event always draws an
enthusiastic crowd, “but it’s safe, it’s protected. The police are there.
Everybody is there just to have fun and raise money for our Chelsea High School
students. It’s a win-win-win situation all around, so it’s definitely one of
those worthwhile events to attend.”
Tejada, a past tournament sponsor, said he
will also be bringing his children and nephews to the Jordan Boys and Girls
Club. “My kids love basketball and my nephews play in basketball leagues, so
we’ll all be heading over to watch it,” he said.
Tejada said he’s looking forward to seeing
Chelsea Black Community (CBC) President Joan Cromwell at the tournament. Joan
is the mother of Co-Director Kyle Umemba.
“Joan and I grew up around the same time in
Chelsea,” said Tejada, who is 1986 Chelsea High School graduate. “Joan is
amazing. She’s all over the place, always helping out and it’s always, ‘what
can I do to improve our area?’ “She is just a beautiful person. It’s just an
amazing Chelsea family that is here to help our residents and our neighbors.
They’re one of these Chelsea pride families. When you speak of Chelsea and
families that you’re proud of, they’re right at the top.”
begins at 10 a.m., with games continuing all day until a champion is crowned.
There are refreshments, musical entertainment, and raffle drawings. Admission
to the games is free.
One might have seen the colorful paint job
on the gazebo at Bellingham Square and wondered what it was all about.
Well, it’s more than just a colorful paint
Rather, it is the first step in what business and City leaders hope will be a coordinated plan for the downtown business district – a plan that has already gained the confidence of state government with Chelsea getting two $20,000 grants to further the project along.
TDI Fellow Carlos Matos, Chamber Foundation President Sergio Jaramillo, Councillor Leo Robinson, and new CHISPA BizLab coordinator Deise Paraguay in front of the newly-painted gazebo in Bellingham Square
Carlos Matos, a fellow assigned to Chelsea
from the MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) program,
said the gazebo was just the first piece of several placemaking initiatives
they hope to achieve with the Chamber, a new business lab dubbed CHISPA BizLab,
and the Chamber Foundation – among many other partners.
“The gazebo was the beginnings of this
placemaking and focusing attention on the downtown,” he said. “It’s bright and
like the things you’ve seen in Boston. We studied it and these are designs that
will resonate with residents of Central America and South America in shape and
color. They will also appeal to everyone because it adds color and vibrancy to
“The initiative is working well so far,”
said City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “Hopefully, progress will continue in our
efforts to revitalize the Downtown.”
Sergio Jaramillo, who is a long-time Chamber
member and the new president of the Chamber Foundation, said they hope to use a
coordinated approach to bring life to the downtown, help businesses and make
downtown Chelsea a place to be.
“Our desire is to have Chelsea be a
destination point for the region – just like Chinatown and the North End and as
it is becoming in East Boston,” he said. “We want to have Chelsea be that place
they want to come to because of the activities and food and quality of life
that is here…Jay Ash was great for building up the coffers of the City again
and building up Everett Avenue. I think now we are on the cusp and ready to do
the other half of the city.”
Added Matos, “There are great opportunities
on Everett Avenue and the question is now how do we transform them from
isolated goals to a greater economic impact and draw them to the downtown for
that greater economic impact. That’s the challenge we’re working on now.”
An extension of the gazebo branding effort,
now being dubbed ‘Chelsea Centro’ as a test run – complete with bags and
buttons as promotional tools, is a $20,000 grant from the state that will bring
the same bright color scheme to Luther Place – where the successful Night
Market has been held twice this summer.
The parking lot/market will be painted in
bright colors, and also be painted to accommodate basketball or street soccer –
giving it many different opportunities for activation. That will be
supplemented by murals on the walls in the same color scheme, and sun shades to
protect from the summer heat. That grant is supported by a $55,000 matching
grant from the Chamber, which will also help to provide programming for the
Chamber Executive Director Rich Cuthie has
been very excited about the branding of the downtown using the grant and the
Chamber’s resources. He said, like Jaramillo, that the district is on the cusp
of something very exciting. That is particularly the case for the storefront
improvement program, which has been paved by the passing of new storefront
regulations by the City Council this year.
Part of that will be financed by the new
CHISPA BizLab, which the state awarded a $20,000 grant to start. That will be
supplemented by a $6,000 grant by the Chamber Foundation.
Meaning “spark” in Spanish, CHISPA will help
to provide small business technical assistance and advocacy for Latino
businesses. It will also serve as a business incubator for new startups in
Chelsea’s business district. That assistance will particularly go towards
helping the food-related businesses in the district.
Already, CHISPA director Deise Paraguay has
started talking to local businesses, officially beginning on July 15. Right now
she said she is listening and learning – trying to bring everyone together. She
will also act as the organizer of all of the projects involved with the
Jaramillo said they have hired a company to
fly a drone up and down Broadway to highlight the district. Similarly, they
have contracted with a professional kitchen to bring in all of the restaurant
owners from Broadway to consult with professional chefs. Using traditional
recipes, they will work to invigorate their menus and give them new life.
Jaramillo said he is confident that in a few
years, the new efforts will all pay off with an enlivened and exciting downtown
for residents and those who want to come to Chelsea as a destination.
“I see in a few years that we will have an
opportunity for the business community to capture a new market,” he said.
“There will be more going on here and it will be more visually interesting for
residents and visitors coming here. When people say, ‘Where should we go to
dinner?’ They will say they want to go to Chelsea. Creating places where people
want to live and visit is the best thing to do.”
Added Matos, “A
lot of people are clamoring for authenticity in the places they go to. The
places in Cambridge and Somerville are maybe lacking that. We think Chelsea has
that authenticity you want and can’t get anywhere else. We want to highlight
that, and that’s what we are setting out to do now.”
Drive by Highland Park on any Tuesday or Friday,
and one can feel the positive vibe all the way on the street.
This year, The Movement basketball league
has grown bigger than ever, with more sponsors, more players, more volunteers,
and the positive energy that everyone hoped for when the league started four
years ago in the wake of the Pablo Villeda murder, and associated shootings, on
“There are more players and we’re growing
bigger and building that community that we hoped for,” said Damali Vidot, who
is the president of the league and of the City Council. “We have more than 100
kids this year and we have a waiting list too. It’s the most participation
we’ve ever had. It’s just really great to see that any Tuesday or Friday when
you drive by Highland Park and there are so many people at the at the
basketball court. The kids get it; they know it’s more than just basketball.
They play with passion and are so respectful.”
The league consists of eight teams, with
sponsors such as State Rep. Dan Ryan, State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, Congresswoman
Ayanna Pressley, Century 21 and William Vaquerano. Most of the sponsors come
down for the games, she said, as they are interested in seeing how the league
Right now, they are in their sixth week of
games, with four games left. They will have a big playoff event in the coming
weeks that Vidot said they hope will be a big community celebration.
The Movement caters to young men ages 13-20,
and was formed because the founders felt that nothing was being done to reach
out to that age group – particularly those who weren’t misguided, but maybe
getting influenced by bad things. Now that it has become so popular, Vidot said
they are attracting all of that age group in Chelsea and beyond to Highland
Park twice a week.
It was what they hoped for.
“We’re all there to have a good time, and
kids don’t just come to play basketball,” she said. “They stay and hand out and
they build relationships with coaches and with me and with other players. These
are relationships that last beyond the summer so that even outside the season
they feel like they can talk to a coach or one of the other players about a
problem they are having. It’s definitely got that vibe.”
This year, Vidot said they have celebrated
the first female coach, as well as the first coach who came back after “aging
out” as a player.
“The idea was always to pass the baton, and
we’re seeing kids come back to coach this year after having been players in the
past,” she said. “We wanted this to get passed on to those kids so that it’s
self-sustaining. We’re already starting to see some of that.”
The Movement starts at 6 p.m. in Highland Park
every Tuesday and Friday, with games lasting until about 10 p.m.
As temperatures soared, 300 kids beat the
heat on Friday, July 19, at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Annual Youth Beach
Bash & Splash at DCR’s Carson Beach in South Boston, including 25 kids from
the Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea.
Save the Harbor’s Youth Beach Bash and
Splash featured traditional beach activities and a cookout, as well as dragon
boats and kayaks and a suite of engaging environmental education and
cultural enrichment activities, including fishing, crabbing and clamming, Art
on the Shore, and Songs and Stories of the sea, led by Save the Harbor’s youth
environmental education program staff.
“With record heat this weekend, we are
lucky to have some of the cleanest urban beaches in the nation right here on
Boston Harbor,” said Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s President Tani
Marinovich. “All of us at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay are so proud to
host this great event, and to share our great harbor and beaches with the
This year’s Splash also featured Save the
Harbor/Save the Bay’s troupe of performing pirates, as well as aerialists,
acrobats and jugglers from the Boston Circus Guild. (See Attached Photo
and Caption of Boston Circus Guild with kids)
Friday’s Splash was the first of
three that Save the Harbor will host this summer, thanks to their youth
program partners and funders, including Leadership Grants from Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Boston Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation,
and Yawkey Foundationl Partnership Grants from Boston Properties –
Atlantic Wharf, The Daily Catch Seaport, Davis Family Charitable Foundation,
Eastern Salt Company, Inc., Engie, Fan Pier – The Fallon Company, John Hancock
Financial Services, The HYM Investment Group, LLC, The Llewellyn Foundation,
Massachusetts Environmental Trust, Massachusetts Port Authority, National Grid
Foundation, P & G Gillette, Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable
Foundation, William E. Schrafft & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, and
Vertex; and Stewardship Grants from Anonymous, Forrest Berkeley &,
Marcie Tyre Berkley, Camp Harbor View Foundation, Circle Furniture , Comcast,
Copeland Family Foundation, The Cricket Foundation, Cruise Industry Charitable
Foundation, Davis Family Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth Elser Doolittle
Charitable Trust, Enbridge, Tom & Lucinda Foley, Foundation for
Sustainability and Innovation, Kershaw, Liberty Bay Credit Union, Lovett
Woodsum Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Massachusetts Convention Center
Authority, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Nicholson Foundation, RMR
Real Estate Services, Rockland Trust Pavilion, Clinton H. & Wilma T.
Shattuck Charitable Trust, Skanska, and Tishman Speyer.
Save the Harbor would also like to thank
their Program Funders Andus Baker & Rowan Murphy Family Fund, MA
Attorney General’s Office Healthy Summer and Youths Jobs Program, The Paul and
Edith Babson Foundation, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Cell Signaling
Technology, East Boston Savings Bank, Highland Street Foundation/West End
House, Legal Sea Foods, Miss Wallace M. Leonard Foundation, George Lewis –
Haven Trust, Pabis Foundation, South Boston Community Development Foundation,
Abbot & Dorothy H. Stevens Foundation, and TD Charitable Foundation; and
Supporters 3A Marine Service, The Bay State Federal Savings Charitable
Foundation, Andrew Calamare & Marianne Connolly, Cresset Group, Diversified
Automotive, Goulston & Storrs PC, Mass Bay Credit Union, Massachusetts
Marine Educational Trust, Randy Peeler & Kate Kellogg, Matthew J. &
Gilda F. Strazzula Foundation, UDR, and Kyle & Sara Warwick.
Special thanks as well to the hundreds of
individual donors for their generosity and to our partners at the Department of
Conservation and Recreation, the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, the Boston
Centers for Youth and Families and the YMCA of Greater Boston for their
Thanks also to the Better Beaches Program
and event sponsors: the Department of Conservation & Recreation, Harpoon
Brewery, JetBlue, the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, P&G
Gillette, National Grid, Comcast, Beacon Capital Partners, New England Picture,
Mix 104.1, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, The YMCA of Greater Boston,
The Daily Catch Seaport, Baja Taco Truck, the Blue Sky Collaborative, Keezer
Sportswear, and the Harvey Traveler Collection for their support.
For more information about Save the Harbor/Save
the Bay and their free youth and beach programs, visit their website
atwww.savetheharbor.org, or follow savetheharbor on Facebook, Twitter and
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC)
moved quickly last week to investigate claims in a class-action lawsuit against
Encore Boston Harbor, and then announced on Thursday they felt Encore’s
practices were appropriate – that the lawsuit “conflates” state regulations on
“We reviewed the claim and have
preliminarily found Encore to be in compliance for payouts on Blackjack,” said
Bruce Band, assistant director of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau
(IEB). “The word ‘conflate’ is exactly right here. Six-to-five is used for two
things. One is a variation sub-game of Blackjack that so far hasn’t been dealt
anywhere in Massachusetts. Six-to-five is also a type of payout for someone
playing standard Blackjack if they hit a Blackjack. You need to know what they
odds are at that table if they hit a Blackjack. That’s what that is.”
The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Joshua
Garick on behalf of Richard Schuster of New York in a class-action format.
Schuster had played at the Encore and alleged that they were playing the
Blackjack game wrong, and that they were withholding change from patrons at the
electronic redemption machines.
In terms of the change machines, Band said
the machines at Encore payout dollar amounts, and then dispense certificates
for the change. Those certificates are good for one year and can be claimed at
the cashier. However, they can also be used at another slot machine.
Band said they felt that the redemption
machines were operating at standard procedures for a casino, but they suggested
a sign be placed on the machine making it clear what is happening with the
“What we did find was it probably wasn’t
stated clearly enough so they have added a sign that clearly expresses this on
the machine,” said Band.
Both claims, one on Blackjack and one on the
change machines, were refuted by the MGC. Commissioners assured everyone that
there is a state process for unclaimed winnings, and none of that money remains
or stays with Encore. It is kept in a type of escrow account, and then turned
over to the state at the end of one year.
All of it was much to the delight of Encore
“I feel the lawsuit is completely without
merit, and I was particularly interested in the issue about the redemption of
the slot tickets,” said President Bob DeSalvio. “There were allegations in
there that for some reason they thought we might be rounding to our favor. It
is completely, utterly false. Every customer gets every penny they deserve at
Encore Boston Harbor. Never would we engage in a practice that would actually
keep any of a customer’s money they deserve. There is no way, shape or form any
customer is not getting exactly what they should get. Nor is there any
opportunity at the end of the year for any unclaimed monies to come back to the
DeSalvio also said emphatically that Encore
is following all of the Blackjack rules, and the MGC agreed with that in its
“The claims in the lawsuit are false and
unfounded,” he said. “They went back and looked at our procedures. They went
back and looked at our games. They went back and looked at the felt on the
tables. What they found is they are all exactly as they should be. There’s
really no issue at all on Blackjack. None. Zero. The rules are the rules and we
are following the rules exactly and that’s what you heard the Commission say.”
But Attorney Garick said he wasn’t pleased
with the ruling by the MGC, and that’s why his client will take the matter before
an impartial judge.
“It’s our interpretation of the regulations
is that the game of Blackjack does not allow an eight-deck shoe where they pay
6-to-5 odds on the Blackjack,” he said. “We intend to fully raise all these
issues to a judge rather than in a Commission where the inspector and the
casino representatives are sitting at the same table.”
DeSalvio said they are going to seriously
consider putting some electronic redemption machines on the floor that have the
ability to dispense change. He said they made a customer-based decision early
on to only put out machines that dispensed dollars. He said customers –
especially at high-volume times – would rather not wait for a machine to be
filled with pennies to get their dollar winnings.
“We will go back and take a look at having
certain units on the floor that would make it more convenient to get the
change,” he said. “Understand, the reason we did it this way was actually for
customer convenience because if you are standing in front of one of those redemption
units and it was to run out of pennies, and you had to wait 30 or 40 minutes,
I’ll be you would be more upset about having to wait for 5 cents or 15 cents
because that machine will lock up until it’s refilled with coin. The reason we
did it was for customer service. If I can add another option to make it even
more convenient for customers, I’m happy to do so. I’ll certainly take a look
Garick said they were happy the Commission
and Encore paid attention to the suit, and that they were happy that some
changes – like the change machines – were being considered.
“We’re certainly happy they have heeded the
issues addressed in our lawsuit and have made some changes to the procedures
they have,” he said. “I think that indicates they knew that there was some
issues with the way they were dispensing change to customers. Frankly, I think
this idea that people don’t want to wait for change is kind of a cop out. If I
went to a table game and had $9.90 and the table minimum was $10, well they
would wait for me to find that extra 10 cents…At this point the money is
maintained by the casino. The regulations do require that after one year the
money is paid to the state. We’re aware of that, but that doesn’t mean the
consumer should be out that money that belongs to them.”
Garick said they didn’t plan to sue the MGC,
and he said they did not have a court date yet.
their attorneys would be responding to the suit “post haste.”
Apollinaire Theatre Company announced this week it has received a $45,000 grant from the Boston Foundation to launch a Resident Artist Program at the Chelsea Theatre Works, through the Foundation’s Open Door Grants program. Apollinaire Theatre built the new Black Box Theatre at the Chelsea Theatre Works to address the facilities crisis that Boston area performing artists face, a crisis which came to a head with the closure of the Factory Theatre in the South End in 2014. Apollinaire held meetings with Boston theatre artists to determine what their needs and desires were for a theater space, and together they drew up plans for a new theater that would do more than replace the Factory Theatre, it would offer amenities historically out of the reach of Boston’s small theatre community, including on-site rehearsal and shop space.
But theatre companies need more than a home, they need support and resources, said Apollinaire. Now with the Resident Artist Program, Apollinaire will address another issue: Boston is a difficult place for theatre artists to call home. Many talented, hard-working performing artists in Boston can barely scrape by. They have day jobs and families and somehow find time and resources to make their art, but it is not a sustainable model for an individual artist, a small theatre company, or a community. With the Open Door Grant, Apollinaire will be able to better serve Boston’s performing arts community, which will in turn expand Chelsea’s burgeoning arts scene and bring new opportunities to the local community. Resident companies will be awarded free rent in the Black Box Theatre, rehearsal space for their productions, and shop space to build their sets, along with a project stipend. This will free up the companies’ budgets to reallocate funds where they feel they need it most, be it increased artist compensation, increased marketing efforts to build a stronger audience base, or the ability for resident artists to take on more ambitious productions that carry greater costs. Companies will also meet together to share ideas, brainstorm challenges, and leverage shared resources, working to create a multi-purpose incubation space where artists and companies can collaborate and share resources at every phase of their work. Companies will also be asked to give back to the community of Chelsea, and one resident spot will be reserved for a Chelsea artist or group. “At a time when our research has shown both the need for greater support for artists and the benefits of artists’ involvement in the community, we are pleased to be able to support Apollinare Theatre’s Resident Artist program with an Open Door Grant,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how this program builds and strengthens the network of artists who call Chelsea home.” •Information Sessions will be held at the Chelsea Theatre Works on Tuesday July 16 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday July 18 at 1 p.m., and Monday July 22 at 7:30 p.m., and all interested artists are encouraged to attend.
The opening of the Mémoire Nightclub in
Encore Boston Harbor bought in a star-studded lineup of DJs, and hundreds of
guests, last week – punctuated by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal (DJ Diesel)
on June 27.
Mémoire opened its doors last week, and
quickly showed that it would attract the top talent when it comes to club DJs –
bringing in Shaq, Fadil El Ghoul (R3HAB), and Steve Aoki.
All three are some of the top DJs in the
world and attract thousands when they play shows in large arenas.
“What an exciting first week at
Mémoire,” said Randy Greenstein, principal at Big Night Entertainment Group,
which operates the club within Encore. “We kicked off opening night with
Dutch-Moroccan DJ R3HAB followed by Steve Aoki on Monday – two of the top DJs
in the world right now. We also had an electric night with Shaq
on Thursday and look forward to continuing to bring top talent from all over
the world to Encore Boston Harbor. Our guests have been really excited by the
state-of-the-art technology at Mémoire, like the Funktion One sound
system, the custom LED ceiling, and the 450-inch LED wall, which creates a
really high-energy and exciting experience.”
Big Night will also be operating the
flagship Mystique Asian-fusion restaurant within the resort casino as well, and
together, both venues are an exciting addition for Encore.
“The restaurants, lounges and amenities at
Encore Boston Harbor offer some of the best and most enjoyable dining and
nightlife experiences in the nation, which makes Mystique and Mémoire a perfect
fit,” said Bob DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor. “Big Night
Entertainment Group owns and operates several of the most popular and
award-winning restaurants and luxury nightclubs in the region and is very well
respected in this marketplace. They know how to amaze people in every way and
will help mark Encore Boston Harbor as the premier dining and nightlife
destination for all who visit, live or work in the region.”
Mémoire accommodates up to 650 guests, and
the 8,000 square-foot luxury nightlife destination flaunts lustrous gold
surfaces, plush accents, sensuous leather contours, custom marble tables,
glistening chandeliers, and state-of-the-art technology. With a firm emphasis
on cultivating a VIP atmosphere, Mémoire is outfitted with 20 luxurious VIP
tables, multiple bars, and alluring private areas that set the scene for a
On Thursday, prior to the show featuring
Shaq, the NBA legend and former Boston Celtic walked the Encore gaming floor –
greeting guests and taking hundreds of photographs with fans.
Hundreds crowded the dance floor to listen
to DJ Diesel, and it’s a scene that is a rarity in Boston, and one that Big
Night Entertainment and Encore hopes will establish a high-profile nightlife on
the banks of the Mystic River.
In July, the venue will welcome renowned
artists such as Lucky Lou (July 6), Elephante (July 7), Vinny Vibe (July 20),
Ikon (July 26) and Chantel Jefferies (July 28).
Memoire is open Friday – Sunday 9 p.m. – 2
•Mystique Opens to large crowds
Mystique Asian Restaurant & Lounge is
another Big Night partnership with Encore, and expects to bring elevated
Pan-Asian dining to the property.
“Mystique and Mémoire are destined to be
flagship destinations at Encore Boston Harbor,” said Principal Ed Kane of Big
Night Entertainment Group. “We are thrilled to be able to deliver the premier,
first-class experience that guests will expect at the resort.”
Kane told reporters working on the design
and execution of Mystique had reinvigorated him.
“This one I’ve been so excited about,” he
said, noting that the last time he was this excited was with the opening of
Tosca. “I love it. To see it reaching completion is extremely exciting. It was
two years in the making and it’s open and it’s been a lot of work.”
Named for both its alluring design and
waterfront location, guests will be transported on a mystical journey through
Asia upon entering Mystique Asian Restaurant & Lounge. Mystique features a
16,400 square foot dining room and lounge with panoramic windows and a
beautiful 40-seat terrace that looks out onto the Mystic River. Designed by
award-winning designer Peter Niemitz, Mystique features luxurious finishes and
rich textures throughout the open dining room with seating for more than 450
guests. The space boasts an expansive stone bar with seating for 28, plush
lounge seating, a sushi counter, and a glamourous open kitchen with a
captivating robata grill. Throughout the restaurant and lounge are
one-of-a-kind Asian-inspired décor curated from around the world. A picturesque
seasonal patio with seating for 36 overlooks the Mystic River under the lights
of the Encore Boston Harbor sign.
Executive Chef Anthony Micari, an alumnus of
Makoto in Miami, offers a carefully crafted selection of Pan-Asian delicacies,
with highlights including an extensive robata program, artful sushi creations,
and an array of traditional dishes with a modern spin. Micari offers fresh and
bold flavors, using the freshest ingredients possible and presented beautifully
with artistic details. Guests can anticipate seasonally inspired menu items
that highlight the bounty of New England while celebrating modern
interpretations of Pan-Asian cuisine as well as show-stopping large format.
Kane said they do take reservations, but
they will pride themselves on offering space – including large groups – to
“We’re going to hold 50 percent of our
capacity for walk-ins and large parties,” he said. “We think that mix will work
for us. We’ll make the effort to move things around and get you in. If you are
looking for a place at the last minute, we want you to call us or come in.”
Mystique’s signature robata grill is a focal
point, offering a visual culinary experience where guests can watch items from
land, air, and sea grilled to perfection. Cooked over white binchotan charcoal,
the robata dishes are designed for sharing. From steaks such as a Japanese New
York Strip to a large Tomahawk and inventive dishes like the Avocado Bomb with
sudachi aioli, toasted sesame and ponzu, the robata offers guests freshly
grilled items that span local seafood, beef, poultry and vegetables with a
Japanese-inspired flare. Mystique’s
sushi program, led by Head Sushi Chef and Makoto alum Tony Mai, features a
selection of wild caught fish flown fresh daily from Japan. Guests can
anticipate classic sushi and sashimi offerings, as well as inventive
interpretations that feature unique and rare fish, designed to intrigue diners
and introduce them to new flavors. Chef Micari and Chef Mai are sourcing a
variety of iki jime fish from top fisherman around the world, offering the best
quality sushi possible with daily omakase specials.
Mystique is open
daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11:30 a.m.
year, several people lost fingers and suffered serious burns lighting off
illegal fireworks in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J.
Ostroskey. “Thirty-four firefighters were injured when an errant firework
ignited a six-family building. Have a fun but safe Fourth of July and leave the
fireworks to the professionals,” he added.
of July No Holiday for Firefighters
Fire Chief Dennis Condon, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of
Massachusetts, said, “The Fourth of July holiday is a busy time for
firefighters. We are supervising the professional displays so that they are
safe for spectators and licensed operators; we are busy responding to all types
of fires and medical emergencies. In fact, the week of July Fourth is one of
the busiest times of the year for fires.”
Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “This year, set a good example for your
children. Just as children know where you keep the matches and lighters, they
know where you stash your illegal fireworks.” He added, “Children imitate
adults. If you use fireworks, children will copy you, not realizing how very
dangerous fireworks are.”
Cause Many Dangerous Fires
summer, there were many fires, amputations and burn injuries from illegal
fireworks in Massachusetts. In the past decade (2009-2018), there have been 800
major fires and explosions involving illegal fireworks in Massachusetts.
These incidents resulted in 12 civilian injuries, 39 fire service injuries and
an estimated dollar loss of $2.5 million.
June 25, 2018, people shooting fireworks in the street started a fire in a
six-unit Lynn apartment building. One ricocheted to the second floor porch and
ignited several items. The fire spread to the rest of the second floor and to
the third. Thirty-four firefighters were injured at this fire.
July 2, 2018, the Worcester Fire Department was called to a fire in a
three-unit apartment building. The fire was started by fireworks igniting trash
in a first floor doorway.
July 3, 2018, Dartmouth District #1 responded to a pier fire at Anthony’s
Beach. Crews discovered remains of many fireworks on and around the pier after
the fire was extinguished.
July 4, 2018, the Agawam Fire Department responded to a brush fire started by
three juveniles who were using illegal fireworks.
July 5, 2018, the Lynn Fire Department put out a car fire started by fireworks.
past decade (2009-2018), 38 people were treated at Massachusetts emergency
rooms for severe burn injuries from fireworks (burns covering 5 percent of more
of the body) according to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System
(M-BIRS). Fifty-five percent of the victims were under age 25. Eighteen percent
(18 percent) were between the ages of 15 and 24; 8 percent were between the
ages of 10 and 14; 18 percent were between five and nine; and 11 percent were
children under five. The youngest victim was a six-month old boy. These victims
are scarred for life. In the past year:
22-year-old man was seriously injured when roman candles were set off inside an
22-year-old was injured in Gloucester playing with sparklers.
10-year-old boy was injured by illegal fireworks at a Marshfield beach on July
3, 2018. He was an innocent by-stander.
man lost part of his hand when a firework he was holding exploded. The
explosion occurred in a Mansfield MBTA parking lot.
Tewksbury Fire Department provided emergency medical care to a man who lost a
part of every finger on his right hand when a firework he was holding exploded.
25-year-old Brockton man suffered injuries to his left hand when a “cherry
22-year-old Kingston man suffered injuries to his hands, face and stomach from
Fireworks Are Illegal in Massachusetts
possession and use of all fireworks by private citizens is illegal in
Massachusetts. This includes Class C fireworks, which are sometimes falsely
called “safe and sane” fireworks. Class C fireworks include sparklers, party
poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs and more. Sparklers
burn at 1,800ºF or higher. It is illegal to transport fireworks into
Massachusetts, even if they were purchased legally elsewhere. Illegal fireworks
can be confiscated on the spot.
For more information on
the dangers of fireworks, go to the Department of Fire Services webpage Leave
the Fireworks to the Professionals.
Juan Gallego came to the United States from
Colombia in 2004. He could not speak English.
He enrolled in the second grade and was an
English Language Learner (ELL) at a Boston public school for two years.
In 2007, his family moved to Chelsea and he
began attending the St. Rose School. He graduated from Matignon High School in
2015 where he was a football captain and star quarterback and involved in
several school and community service projects.
The son of Maria Barrientos, Gallego
attended Bridgewater State University for a year.
“During my freshman year in college, I had a
realization that I needed to try and succeed academically in order for me to
help my community,” said Gallego.
At that time, he had begun coaching high
school football at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River and continued on
as the head freshman coach at Randolph High School.
“The coaching was the motivation for me to
really get my act together and try to do more, not only for myself, but to give
back to these communities that are being disenfranchised to a large extent,”
On to Northeastern and a Call From the College President
Coinciding with his desire, in his words,
“get my act together,” Gallego decided to transfer to Northeastern University,
Boston. He was drawn to the school’s outstanding co-operative education program
and interested in the Northeastern law school.
“When I first came to the United States, I
lived in my aunt’s house which was a two-minute walk to Northeastern,” recalled
Gallego. “My mom said I should strive to go to law school there and ever since
then, I’ve wanted to go to law school at Northeastern.”
Everything has clicked well for Gallego at
Northeastern where he is studying Political Science with a minor in Urban
Studies. One of his favorite instructors at NU was former Gov. Michael S.
Gallego is a Dean’s List student with a 3.7
grade point average. He was recently notified that he has received a Harry S.
Truman Scholarship in recognition of his community service and his aspiration
to continue in public service. He was the recipient of a $30,000 scholarship to
be used toward his graduate degree.
“I was really excited to receive the Truman
Scholarship,” said Gallego. “The opportunity that I will have through this
scholarship is going to open a lot of doors for me personally and help me give
back to the many communities that I have been a part of.”
Gallego received notification of the
prestigious award from Joseph A. Oun, president of Northeastern University.
“I was studying abroad and I was in Athens,
Greece, the foundation of democracy, and I got a call from the president of
Northeastern,” he said with a smile. “What a thrill. It was amazing.”
Offers praise for Sen. Edward Markey
Gallego had served as an intern in the
Washington, D.C. office of U.S. Sen Edward J. Markey. He had the opportunity to
travel to Korea to participate in an academic exchange program.
“It was a great experience to be exposed to
foreign policy and expand my horizon at what else is out there in the world,”
said Gallego. “I owe a large extent to where I am today to Sen. Markey and his
staff. They’ve been great mentors, supporters, and friends.”
Gallego said he admires U.S. Rep. Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez “for her grassroots efforts and the shock that she has brought to
national politics overall.”
“She’s been able to galvanize support from
all over the country,” said Gallego. “She’s been able to really be the star of
the Democratic Party.”
He also cited State Rep. Andy Vargas of
Haverhill as “a force of nature and a voice for the Latino community in
Gallego hopes to return to Washington
following his academic career.
Washington was an amazing experience in all aspects and if I do aspire to be a
public servant one day, I think that experience is much needed in order to be
able to understand the many different opinions and the gridlock that can happen
in politics and government,” he said.