The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council, NEWNC, voted 6-2 in favor of zoning relief for a second floor addition at 78-80 Salem Street. The existing 1-story building at the corner of Stillman Street was previously Michael’s Salon. The plan with the 2nd floor addition is to expand Pulcinella Bar E Ristorante adding 32 more seats. Revised architectural plans were reviewed by property owner Chris Young and Attorney Bill Ferullo at the March 11, 2013 NEWNC meeting.
NEWNC voted against a prior proposal last November. In response to feedback, the applicant has removed a proposed roof garden and added a condition that the roof is not to be used by restaurant patrons. Another change is the window design that will now have two smaller openings rather than one large open space to the street.
Giovanni Oliva is the restaurant owner of the Pulcinella and was present at the NEWNC meeting. He intends to amend his alcohol license to increase seating to 66 from 34 currently. The closing hour is licensed for a midnight closing, 7 days a week.
The zoning violation needing relief is the general forbidden use of a 2nd floor by a restaurant. The applicant identified 15 other North End restaurants that currently have 2nd floor seating, including La Famiglia di Giorgios, Tresca, LoConte’s, Bacco, 5 North Square, Lucia, Filippo’s, Goody Glovers, Mama Maria’s and Marco’s (now Aria Trattoria).
Abutter Darlene Romano presented a petition to the council with 75 signatures against the zoning relief and the 2nd floor restaurant addition. She voiced concerns about more noise and the potential that other nearby restaurants will follow with 2nd floor additions. A Wiget Street resident named Joan supported the application blaming college students for the noise, not the restaurants. Parmenter Street resident, Carol Fabiano, spoke against the application referencing loud noise she hears regularly from 2nd floor restaurants such as Bacco and Fiore. Attorney Ferullo noted that other restaurants such as La Famiglia and LoConte’s have 2nd floor operations on Salem St. without resulting in excessive noise.
NEWNC President Stephen Passacantilli spoke in favor of the application citing his preference to judge each request on its own individual merits. Council member Jon Sproul questioned why the council was re-voting on an application previous opposed with only minor changes.
After other residents spoke both in favor and opposition to the request, NEWNC voted 6-2 to support the zoning relief. The Residents’ Association (NEWRA) will similarly review this application on Thursday, March 14, 2013. NEWNC and NEWRA’s votes are advisory to the City’s Zoning Board of Appeal that will make the zoning relief decision.
Please watch the video above for the full presentation, discussion and vote.