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Boston’s Great Molasses Flood Is Getting the Off-Broadway Musical Treatment

Plus, stop stealing stuff from restaurants, look forward to more wine in Fenway, and more news

Great Molasses Flood site photographed on the day of the disaster in Boston’s North End, January 15, 1919
Great Molasses Flood site photographed on the day of the disaster in Boston’s North End, January 15, 1919
Globe Newspaper Co./Public domain, via the Boston Public Library Flickr account

Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

A Molasses Musical

Boston’s Great Molasses Flood of 1919, which killed 21 people and injured over 100 more when a molasses storage tank burst in the North End, is the backdrop for a musical called Molasses in January, set to debut off-Broadway this spring at New York’s Jerry Orbach Theatre, written and composed by Francine Pellegrino and directed by Whitney Stone. The musical is about “a single mother doing her best to raise her children [in the North End] in a world caught up in the turmoil of the first World War,” per, when news of the construction of a molasses tank brings hopes for prosperity to the neighborhood full of Italian immigrants.

“Though surrounded with worries of anarchy, the people of the North End prove that family (and good food) holds tight through thick and thin and remember that ‘life can change in a moment,’” writes

Here’s a promo video from a 2016 workshop:

Stuff People Steal

It’s no secret that jerks steal stuff from restaurants — pretty much anything that’s not bolted down, and even some things that are: artwork, signage, more signage, dog lamps, giraffe statues, empty Tabasco bottles, soap dispensers, cool glassware, 20 shot glasses, ice trays, metal straws...the list goes on. Don’t do this. The Globe took a look at this problem, looping it into a discussion of restaurants getting increasingly creative with quirky design elements in the age of Instagram. Like something and want it for your own home? This should be obvious, but don’t steal it from the restaurant: Ask where it’s from, or even try taking a photo and loading it into a Google Images search, and then buy it for yourself like a normal, law-abiding citizen.


Speaking of law-breaking, there’s been a flurry of restaurant and nightlife crime stories popping up in the news over the past few days. Flames, a Caribbean restaurant in Mattapan, has been closed for a complete rebuild since a December fire. Turns out it was allegedly set by an employee of the restaurant; police made an arrest this week but didn’t reveal a potential motive.

Over in East Boston, fans of Donna’s Restaurant, a popular diner, were shocked to hear that the owner has been charged with sales tax evasion to the tune of $60,000 and will be arraigned in April.

In the Seaport District back in January, Empire was the site of an alleged glassware attack by a customer that left a bouncer with 100 stitches and potentially permanent loss of vision in one eye. The restaurant is going before the licensing board this week to see if it’ll be punished for not being able to foresee or prevent the incident.

And this is a weird one — head to Universal Hub for the full story on a local lawyer who admitted that he’s been a regular at one of Boston’s two remaining strip clubs, Centerfolds, for almost a decade, breaking strip club regulations about touching and allegedly witnessing drug use, all of which he’s now telling the board in order to get the club in trouble for drug and prostitution violations. But, a twist! He used to date one of the strippers and is apparently still in contact with her father, trying to force her into drug treatment — and he admitted to running background checks on friends and family of the woman and trying to obtain court records on her, as well as contacting her aunts, saying that it was because he was concerned about her well-being since, as he said, she had lied to him about her addiction. As UHub sums it up: “The Boston Licensing Board...has to decide whether his allegations of prostitution and heroin use at one of Boston’s two remaining strip clubs are valid or whether they’re the statements of a bitter, lovelorn man now barred from strip joints across the country.”

Fenway Wine

On a happier note, lots more wine is coming to Fenway. As previously reported, the team behind acclaimed downtown wine bar Haley.Henry is opening a wine bar called Nathálie this summer on the ground floor of the new Pierce Building. Here’s a little bit more info from a new interview with owner Haley Fortier and managing partner Kristie Weiss from the Pierce website. And that’s not all: The Wine Press, a Brookline liquor store that has been around for decades, is expanding to the Pierce building as well, slated for a summer opening, owners Aaron and Jyoti Mehta announced yesterday. They’ve owned the shop since 2011 and will continue to focus on wines as well as a selection of beer and spirits at their forthcoming second location. The Wine Press hosts frequent events and tastings and also has services including beverage catering, gift basket preparation, and a monthly wine club.

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