Don Birch, consultant to Fairmont Battery Wharf, updated the neighborhood on recent actions regarding its proposals for outdoor patios and valet parking on Commercial Street at NEWRA’s ZLC committee meeting. For background, please see this previous post, the reference diagram of buildings and proposed patios.
Building 3 (Sensing Restaurant) – The Licensing Board granted the Fairmont Battery Wharf’s petition for 86 patio seats outside of Building 3 where the Sensing Restaurant is open. The patio will have an 11am-10pm service period, as an amendment to its current 7-day all-alcohol license which has a 2am indoor closing time.
Building 2 (Museum Building) – The Fairmont will not pursue outside service/seats for Building 2 until an operator is determined. This location is estimated have 62 seats. The Museum is expected to open shortly.
Building 5 (Diamond Club) – The Fairmont will not serve alcohol or food outside of Building 5, but will have 36 outside patio seats open to the public and hotel guests. The Fairmont withdrew its request for alcohol service to its private club guests at this location after the Licensing Board questioned its legality.
Valet Update – Boston Transportation Department has reportedly denied the Fairmont’s request for valet parking on Commercial Street, although the Fairmont has not received a direct response to its application. The BTD has posted Resident Parking signs for those 5 parking spaces.
Harborwalk – Fairmont has agreed to post Harborwalk signs at its Commercial Street entrance. The operator has removed 10 ballards identified as interference. There was some discussion regarding an informational kiosk near the entranceway. The Fairmont believes its two $45,000 kiosks on the interior of the site are sufficient.
Battery Street – Fairmont and the City continue to debate regarding the restoration of Battery Street. Meanwhile, neighbors are getting impatient that the promised work is long delayed. When the work does begin, the operator will extend a 15 foot railing around a dangerously high curb near Burroughs Wharf.
Live Entertainment License – The hotel has applied to the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing for a live entertainment license and a hearing was held on May 27th. The license is for indoor use only for events.
My thoughts: Fairmont Battery Wharf is finally responding to the concerns of the neighborhood, although many of the changes were forced by public opposition. The denial of a valet license on Commercial Street and the approval of only one patio with alcohol service (rather than three) is a positive. However, it remains to be seen how noisy the non-serving patio tables become on the side of Burroughs and Lincoln wharves. Follow through on Battery Street’s restoration will also be important. Residents should also watch the process for the live entertainment license to ensure the noise stays inside, preferably in the basement function rooms. Overall, I believe Battery Wharf will be a nice addition to the waterfront and hopefully a good neighbor.