The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) has nullied its vote to support the alcohol license transfer at 115A Salem Street from Vincenzo Grimaldi’s “Sapori di Napoli” to “Rigoletto,” a cafe/restaurant proposed by Nestor Patino. At the December 10, 2012 NEWNC meeting, the council voted 6-2 in favor of the wine, malt & liqueurs license transfer, contingent on the receipt of a supportive letter by the condo association at the property.

115A Salem Street, occupied by Sapori di Napoli (now closed)

According to NEWNC, a letter was subsequently received from Steven Fustolo, a trustee at 115 Salem Street Condominium Trust. However, the council was “not satisfied that the letter presented is what was represented to the Council” … “and therefore does not satisfy the contingency our support was based on.” It is unclear whether there are other trustees at the property and if the letter represents the condo association’s approval of the license transfer with an expanded restaurant menu.

The Neighborhood Council has tabled the matter and offered an opportunity for the applicant to reappear at the January 14, 2012 NEWNC meeting. According to a communication with the applicant’s attorney, NEWNC is also requiring:

… a letter from the Condo Association “approving the transfer of the license to The Salem Group (Nester Patino) and expansion of the menu to include restaurant items,” and an approved floor plan.  We would also like you to bring a representative of the Condo Association to the meeting, and a record of the vote taken to secure the letter of approval.  Secondly, we require you to do neighborhood notification again.  This time the letter should include the information about the new meeting, the new floor plan, and the following language: “The Salem Group is seeking a transfer of the beer, wine and cordial license from Saporo Di Napoli.  The Salem Group plans to expand the menu offerings to include restaurant items and change of the floor plan.”

The applicant also appeared on December 18, 2012 at NEWRA’s Zoning, Licensing & Construction meeting for the same license transfer proposal that includes a 40 seat cafe/restaurant with a midnight closing hour, 7 days/week.  In addition to the issues raised by the Neighborhood Council, it was questioned whether the two long counters in the floor plan would be operated as a bar. The committee asked to condition the license with the restriction that food be served with alcohol. This restriction is not currently in the license.

NEWRA’s Executive Committee will consider whether to place the presentation on its January 10, 2012 meeting agenda for a vote. ZLC Committee members indicated that a new neighbor notification might also be required.

NEWNC and NEWRA votes are advisory to city officials that will make the final determination. The license transfer application is scheduled to be heard by the Boston Licensing Board on January 8, 2012 at Boston City Hall.

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