City Zoning Board Approves North End Pinkberry, Tenoch Mexican, Cobblestone Cafe & 2nd Floor for Pulcinella

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The Boston Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) approved four North End / Waterfront requests at its April 9, 2013 hearing that will allow significant businesses to move forward in the neighborhood.

Nahas Shoes

283-285 Hanover St., formerly a shoe store, received zoning relief for a Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt franchise.

(1) A Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt franchise at 283-285 Hanover Street received approval from the Zoning Board for a 700 square feet store that was formerly Varese Shoes and most recently Nahas Shoes. Both neighborhood groups supported the zoning variance to change the occupancy and allow 8 seats for a retail store and a #36A take-out license. The requested license is for 12:00 am midnight closing on weekends and 11:00 pm weekdays.

Tenoch Mexican received the ok for a new take-out restaurant at 1-3 Lewis Street.

(2) Tenoch Mexican (Alvaro Sandoval) received the go ahead for take-out service that would allow a new Mexican restaurant to open at 1-3 Lewis Street in the North End. The Residents’ Association (NEWRA) supported this request but the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted against it.

(3) Cobblestone Cafe (Carla Gomes) received approval for take out that will allow the opening of the new Cobblestone Cafe at 227-237 Hanover Street, formerly Hot Tomatoes. The Neighborhood Council supported this request and the Residents’ Association submitted a no objection letter.

Revised Plans for 2nd floor addition at 78-80 Salem St. and expansion of Pulcinella Mozzarella Bar E Ristorante

(4) Zoning relief was granted to property owner Chris Young 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. The Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) supported this request while the Residents’ Association (NEWRA) opposed it.

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13 Responses to City Zoning Board Approves North End Pinkberry, Tenoch Mexican, Cobblestone Cafe & 2nd Floor for Pulcinella

  1. Dino Bova-Bacco Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    There’s so much mixed opinion between the NC and the RA, whose vote counts? I am very happy that Tenoch was approved. Great online ratings for the other locations and a welcome addition to the neighborhood to add variety.

    • JES Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Both Groups are advisory only. The vote by the ZBA is the only one that really matters

  2. another opinion Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    That place has been a business sink hole. I can’t see where giving an experienced business operator a chance will hurt anything. At any rate this beats an abandoned store front.

  3. sjk Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Anyone know how often their the ZBA votes with or against the opinions of the councils? Does one carry more weight than the other? It would be interesting to know if these council meetings do anything but waste the prospective business owner’s time and money.

    • Resident Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      From talking with someone I know who works with the ZBA frequently, they realize these neighborhood groups can be pretty biased (for example, not wanting a Mexican restaurant next door to their house). They do rely on the neighborhood groups to basically do a lot of their homework for them and highlight any obvious issues to the ZBA. The ZBA also tries to look at a long term view for the city. For example, the Pinkberry might anger a lot of residents but they like to see experienced business owners filling empty store fronts when possible. They tend to be a lot more successful than some of these other places that have been opening that can only generate business at the peak of tourist season.

  4. truth Wed, Apr. 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    great! can’t wait for some decent mexican good in the neighborhood. if it is good, this place will do well.

  5. Mercmonte Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Everyone on Salem St was hoping the landlord of 78 Salem St was going to building up & make
    apts. There is no logic in looking to build a second floor on a restaurant that does not do any business.
    There is a method to this madness and I do NOT trust anyone on these committees. I think it is a
    conflict of interest to have restaurant owners on a committee, and not to mention a city employee,
    and this committee does NOT let the residents in the audience vote, like NEWRA.
    If this piece of property ends up with a Roof Deck on top of the second floor, you can be convinced
    of the corruption up City Hall.

  6. Nick Dello Russo Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    As the owner of the building at 1-3 Lewis St. I would like to share some thoughts about this ZBA ruling.
    First, I want to thank all my neighbors who supported the zoning change. The new owner of the Taqueira, Alvaro, is a wonderful, hard working person. I visited his other shop in Medford and not only it is spotless but the food was excellent. The Phantom Gourmet loved it. Alvaro and his brother are Mexican immigrants who came to this country to work hard and contribute to this country. I am happy to give them a chance.
    Second, the Lewis St. location is not a sink hole for a business. My grandfather had a tavern/restaurant there for over 75 years and raised ten children on his earnings. After he died my father and uncle ran the tavern and I grew up on the first floor.
    I did some research at the Registry of Deeds and in Colonial times my property was the site of Lewis’s Short Wharf. That was before Atlantic Ave. was filled in and the water’s edge was on Commercial St. My grandfather told me that when he bought the tavern it was already a working operation and he thought it had been a tavern for at least one hundred years. Paul Revere had his workshop on Lewis’s Wharf and I like to think he may have had a drink or two in the tavern when he walked home.
    Third, the easy thing for me to do would be to turn that space into an apartment like so many other store fronts in the North End. As my brother continually reminds me, an apartment is easier to rent, the lease is only for a year, the rent is higher and the wear and tear on the building is less. Taxes and insurance costs are also lower. So why keep a small store front? Well, I think small street level businesses add a lot to any neighborhood. They increase street activity and provide a venue where neighbors can meet. I also believe they offer an increased level of safety, eyes on the street. So, I’m happy to keep a street level business there and I hope Alvaro will be welcomed by the North End.

    • Marie Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Sincere thanks from a neighbor — can’t wait to check out Tenoch, hopefully with the spirit of Paul Revere looking on approvingly!

    • TMS Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Great post. Thumbs up and good luck.

  7. truth Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    well done, nick. you’re doing the right thing. you seem to be a man of high values. perhaps you should run for mayor. i hope restaurant succeeds. i will be eating there.

  8. MB Thu, Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Big thumbs up with sincere gratitude for your values, Nick. I will be supporting Alvaro and Tenoch 100% with my appetite and my dollars!

  9. Andy Sun, Apr. 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    what’s going on w/the development on salem street that was supposed to be a cross-fit gym? Did that plan stop? Thought they were opening August 2012?

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