The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) supported the transfer of an alcohol license at 326-328 Commercial Street from Davide Restaurant (Gesualdi Family) to Donato Frattaroli, longtime North End restauranteur and current operator of Lucia’s Ristorante.

Davide Restaurant at 326-328 Commercial Street

Mr. Frattaroli and Attorny Daniel Toscano presented the application that continues the 11:30 pm closing hour and the restriction to serve alcohol only with food. He is requesting removal of the “no bar” restriction on the license in order to have a 12 seat dining bar. In addition, the request includes removing the “no entertainment” restriction to allow for televisions and background music.

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Abutters from the 328 Commercial Street 20-unit condominium and their attorney, Mike Merrill, spoke in favor of the license transfer but strongly objected to the bar planned in the restaurant. Attendees spoke of their high regard for the applicant and some noted that many North End restaurants have successfully incorporated dining bars.

After an extended discussion, NEWRA supported the transfer of the license in a vote of 20-2 as well as the inclusion of TVs and background music in a second vote of 18-4. A third vote on the application regarding a proposed 12 seat dining bar was opposed, 10-12.

NEWRA’s support adds to the support of the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC), although the latter also supported the 12-seat dining bar. The application will be heard on March 5th by the Boston Licensing Board who will make the final determination.

View the above video for the full presentation of the application and the discussion at the NEWRA meeting.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Wow…a lot of personality in that room. I would caution NEWRA that they, most likely, have voted for a very similar request in the past. They should be consistent. Neighbors have been against bars being included in restaurants and I can never remember one where it was voted against….The Living Room promised to stay a restaurant w/ their extended license and, let’s be honest, they are a night club. The committees were duped in that case.

    I would only tell the residents of this building to look at Donato’s other establishments. No issues to speak of. A few seats lined up at a bar is not armageddon…and this is coming form someone who lives within 100 feet of 3 of these types of establishments.

    • Hi John,

      To your point about the living room you’re exactly right that what the concern here is that today it’s owned by Donato and run as a classy place where people go to have a nice meal and a drink etc., however, down the road if it’s sold to someone (which could be in the not too distant future) else they try and turn it into something else like the next sail loft or living room. I think what’s being missed and glossed over here is that if the liquor license stipulations NEWRA was discussing are lifted they are gone forever and what you are left with is the potential for an establishment that is zoned to be an all-out bar with a legal capacity of 100+ (yes Davide could legally hold 100+ people) people and if that happens longtime residents will leave for good and this is the last thing the North End needs or its residents want.

      • No one can tell the future. But NO ONE is going to mistake Davide for the Sail Loft. They are two different animals. One is a restaurant (Davide) and one, the Sail Loft, is a drinking destination that serves food. I get that people are concerned about the future but…the place is MUCH more apt to succeed w/ the ability to eat your dinner sitting at a small bar. That way, it could attract the single diner. Why not somehow put a stipulation in the liquor license that, if the restaurant changes hands, the whole issue needs to be brought up before the condo association again? The slick lawyer that represents the condos should be able to figure out how to do that. Donato deserves at least a chance to prove himself. His record in the neighborhood is spotless.

        And my suggestion to the condo owners…get new mouth pieces….

  2. I think people’s admiration of Mr. Frattaroli is steamrolling the issue. He is a native son of the neighborhood and has been successful but that does not make his opinion/plan more valid than the condo owners’ wishes. It seems Mr. Frattaroli has not actually finalized his purchase of the property. Less his legal fees, he can walk away with no harm done to himself and choose another spot to open a new business in the North End – one that already has a bar or no restrictions attached, perhaps. Is his refusal to walk away (so far) due to the potentially large business this could eventually be, compared to other open restaurants/spaces in the North End? He insists he will run a “classy” place (and who is to say he won’t, I don’t doubt that) – BUT what happens if restrictions are removed, and then, after having improved the property value by renovating and adding a bar, he sells it? And then the condo owners (and all other abutters) will have to deal with whoever comes in, who might not have a whole lot preventing them from opening a (104 seat?) bar at that point.

    • If the residents are worried about the future, find a way to put a proviso on the zoning permit or the liquor license where everything is reviewed again if the current owner goes out of business. Problem solved.

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