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“Bread & Butter” at former Caffe Graffiti, Beer/Wine at Pauli’s, Beer at Wine Bottega and Two Basement Additions at ZLC Meeting

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Five applicants presented information this week at the Zoning, Licensing & Construction (ZLC) Committee of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA). Co-chair David Kubiak explained the purpose of the meeting was for informational purposes and so that abutters/residents can potentially work out issues with applicants. Some of these items will likely come before a vote at the full NEWRA membership meeting on September 13, 2012. There are no votes or decisions made at ZLC Committee meetings.

“Bread & Butter” applicants present at NEWRA ZLC Committee Meeting.      (Photo by M. Conti)

64 Cross Street, “Bread & Butter” (formerly “Caffé Graffiti) – “Bread & Butter” applicant Lee Napoli is proposing a “Flour“-like bakery/cafe, “getting away from the Italian theme” with 25 seats in the former location of Caffe Grafitti. Napoli is an accomplished pastry chef with experience at Umbria, Grill 23, Atlantic Hotel and her own chocolate shop in the South End. She also teaches pastry making.

Plans for “Bread & Butter” currently do not include alcohol service.  It appears that Caffe Graffiti’s alcohol license has been transferred out of the North End. Hours were presented as 7am to 10pm for the new bakery/cafe.  The cafe side will be take-out with no wait staff. Bakery production will be visible from the outside windows on Salem Street. The same 38-seat outdoor patio would continue as under the previous operator.

65 Salem Street, ”Pauli’s,” Pace Management Group – Attorney Daniel Toscano represented owner Paul Barker to add a new beer and wine license to the restaurant/sandwich shop during the hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM seven days. There will be no wait staff and alcohol will only be served with food. A hearing date in front of Boston’s Licensing Board is set for September 12, 2012 at City Hall. Because there are currently no liquor licenses available, the Licensing Board is likely to defer the application (which can then be refiled).

341 Hanover Street, The Wine Bottega owner Kerri Platt is looking to remove a restriction from selling beer at the wine shop. Platt took over the shop 4 years ago and was granted the transfer but with a previous condition of wine-only on the license. Similar to the store’s focus on organic and “wine-geek” selections, she would like to offer local and craft beers (i.e., “no Bud or Corona).  (Ed: Four years ago on the Neighborhood Council, NEWNC, I voted to support the license transfer with the wine-only restriction. Ms. Platt has since managed her business in support of the community and if I were still on the council today, I would support removing the wine-only restriction to allow beer selections.)

27 Clark Street, Paul DiBenedetto presented a zoning application to add a basement to increase his current 550 sq. ft. living space by about 400 sq. ft. Issues were raised by the committee and an abutter regarding egress through the back courtyard. The parties agreed to talk to each other about the situation.

4 Foster Street, Keith Berton and Kelly Bonzani – This basement addition application needs a zoning variance to allow conversion of the property from multi-unit to single family use. No abutters were present. A Zoning Board of Appeals hearing date is set for September 18, 2012 at City Hall.

Updates and Other Business

ZLC Co-chair, David Kubiak, reviewed the current status of NEWRA’s advisory cap of 91 neighborhood alcohol licenses. Under NEWRA’s count, there are currently 89 active pouring licenses, not including the one NEWRA supported for “Locale” (former Hanover News) at 350 Hanover Street. Kubiak also pointed out that the North End has 1 alcohol license for every 110 people as compared to the city average of 629. (See North End Alcohol Licenses – By The Numbers).

Other issues discussed at the meeting include recent zoning and licensing decisions. Nick’s Famous Deli on Cross St. has been granted a beer/wine license from the Licensing Board. “Locale” at 350 Hanover St. has been deferred as has 178 Salem St. (Cafe Lil Italy) because no licenses are currently available in the City of Boston due to a State cap. Both are likely to re-file as licenses become available.

Updates were also provided on the Parcel 9 development, One Canal Project, the BRA RFQ/P for a new Downtown Waterfront/Greenway Municipal Harbor Plan and the Causeway Street redesign project. For more information, contact the ZLC Committee at zlc@newra.org.

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Carol says:

The sad part is that is what the North End is about. ITALIANS. Every time I go home to visit there are more and more Non-Italians living there and opening up non-Italian stores. The North End was the last, according to National Geographic, to be a real Italian neighborhood – no more. Only a non-italian would want non-italian people and places there. It will soon be famous for being famous. Not for the Italian heritage, shops and restaurants. Another one bites the dust.

NE guy says:

I’m guessing you didn’t eat at Cafe Graffiti while you were home. There was very little “italian” about it. What should the neighborhood do, keep “non-italians” out? Maybe not sell real estate to “non-italians”?

dan says:

erica – too bad for the tourists. i think the actual neighborhood residents, especially the non-italian majority, will be happy with an establishment that caters to them.

Joyce S says:

While I agree… it is a bit too late Erica…Goody Glover’s is an Irish bar and there is a real estate office that never seems to have any North End listings. I tend to blame the lease holder, Citizens’ bank, for charging such outrageous rents making it nearly impossible for Graffiti to survive. A successful Bread and Butter is better than an empty store front.

Erica says:

“Bread & Butter” seems like a great place, but I don’t think a “non-Italian” establishment should be welcoming tourists to the North End. I wish that whole block could remain Italian.

Joyce S says:

Graffiti was sold to new owners who lasted a short time and then closed. My guess is that the outrageous rent that Citizen’s bank was charging for the space was a contributing factor to the demise of the business. It has been empty for AT LEAST 6 months. The menu is an artifact.

Steve says:

What happened to Caffe Graffiti? They moved into that new location a while back, seemed to be doing fine, then one day poof they were gone.

Last I checked, their menu is still posted near the door.

John Levensen says:

More booze for everyone!!!!!! Drink up!!

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