Food & Drink

NEWRA Supports Three Restaurant License Requests

Members of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted to support three alcohol license applications for local restaurants, during its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 10, 2011.

NEWRA President Stephanie Hogue (standing left) moderates the disucussion on Vito’s, represented by Attorney William Ferrullo (standing right).
NEWRA President Stephanie Hogue (standing left) moderates the disucussion on Vito’s, represented by Attorney William Ferrullo (standing right).

Vito’s at 54 Salem St.
Damien DiPaola, represented by Attorney William Ferrollo, has applied to the Licensing Board to transfer a C.V. Malt and Wine Beverages with Cordials License formerly exercised by Eclano Restaurant to operate a new restaurant at the same location. The license has a 1:00 AM closing hour, seven days.

The presentation was essentially the same as at previous meetings by NEWRA’s ZLC Committee and the Neighborhood Council which voted to support the application.

David Kubiak, co-chair of NEWRA’s Zoning, Licensing & Construction, explained that although the 1:00 a.m. closing hour is later than NEWRA’s policy for new applications, the policy does not require any modification of closing hours on the license transfers from within the North End.

With minimal discussion, NEWRA members voted by secret ballot. The results were announced as 28 in support, 8 in opposition and 1 abstaining vote.

Marisa Iocco and Attorney Ferullo present to NEWRA.
Marisa Iocco and Attorney Ferullo present to NEWRA.

La Sosta di Marisa, 78-80 Salem St,
Marisa Iocco has applied to the Licensing Board to transfer the C.V. Malt and Wine Beverages License formerly exercised by Grezzo Restaurant at 69 Prince Street to operate a new restaurant at 78-80 Salem Street, formerly Michael’s Salon. The license currently has an 11:00 PM closing hour seven days. The transfer application requests closing hours of 11:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 AM Friday and Saturday. The 78-80 Salem Street location, a one-story building, is currently not zoned for restaurant use. The applicant plans to seek zoning relief to allow restaurant use.

The presentation was essentially the same as at the ZLC Committee meeting and the Neighborhood Council, which voted in support.

NEWRA’s secret ballot vote was 34 in support and 3 in opposition. NEWRA will write a letter supporting the application, conditioned upon receiving zoning relief.

Albert Giorgio of La Famiglia Giorgio’s
Albert Giorgio of La Famiglia Giorgio’s

La Famiglia Giorgio, 112 Salem St.
Albert Giorgio has applied to the Licensing Board for the City of Boston for a C.V. All-Alcohol Beverages License. The restaurant’s current license is for Malt, Wine and Cordials only. The application includes a request to condition the Licensing Board’s approval with the restriction that the existing Malt, Wine and Cordial license not be transferred by the licensee or reissued by the Licensing Board within the North End, thereby not increasing the total number of licenses in the neighborhood.

Closing hours on the current license are for midnight, 7 days, however, the applicant agreed to closing hours of 11:00 Sunday – Thursday and midnight on Friday/Saturday.

There was some discussion regarding the availability of all-alcohol licenses at the Licensing Board and whether there is a waiting list. As previously discussed at the ZLC Committee meeting, the Giorgio’s were told to apply now because a license may soon be available.

Voting by secret ballot, 31 NEWRA members supported the application and 4 opposed it.

Vinoteca di Monica, Jorge Mendoza, 143-145 Richmond St.
The application for Monica’s Restaurant (Richmond Street) to extend its closing hour from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. was removed from the NEWRA meeting agenda. The Boston Licensing Board ruled last week on the issue without NEWRA’s input, allowing for an extension to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

9 Replies to “NEWRA Supports Three Restaurant License Requests

  1. this group seems to overwhelmingly support some restaurants, but makes a stink about opposing others. Seems kinda hypocritical or playing favorites.

  2. In response to Mr. or Ms. Rigged:

    For the past few years, NEWRA has consistently voted to oppose license applications that would extend or expand alcohol service beyond the closing hours in NEWRA's Alcohol License Policy of 11:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday. Examples of recent applications violating this position are Monica's and Tresca's applications to extend hours from midnight to 1:00 AM and Bricco's application to expand the seating capacity from 120 to 170 in its 2:00 AM license. Accordingly, NEWRA members voted to oppose all three.

    In contrast, the three appliications NEWRA voted to support at its February 10 meeting did not include expansion of late-night service (all three), extension of hours beyond 11 Sun-Th and midnight Fri-Sat (La Sosta di Marisa and La Famiglia Giorgio), or extension of hours beyond the hours in the existing North End license (Vito's, w/existing license hour of 1 AM).

    I expect to see similarly consistent voting by NEWRA members in the foreseeable future, regardless of which restaurant or which restaurant owner is applying.

  3. La Familia Giorgio is applying for one of the all alcohol licenses which MIGHT become available if they change the alcohol licenses sytem at Logan Airport. While he is expanding to include all alcohol, he is not expanding his hours of operation and there are conditions that the existing beer wine and cordial license not be transferred to another North End restaurant. So no expansion of the number of licenses or the hours of operation will result IF La Familia Giorgio is able to secure one of these licenses.

  4. In my opinion, expanding any restaurant to all alcohol is directly in opposition to a lot of the posts I read on here. Just like the later hours, this opens the floodgates for others to seek all alcohol licenses. Where did this license come from? Did another restaurant give it up? What criteria was used to determine if the restaurant should be granted this license?

  5. @Jimmy. As I said in my post THIS IS A LICENSE THAT MAY BECOME AVAILABLE IF THEY (I.E. THE STATE AND OR CITY) CHANGE THE WAY ALCOHOL IS LICENSED AT LOGAN AIRPORT. Since NEWRA is definitely RIGID about any expansion of the number of licenses in the NE, they must not consider this an expansion. As to the criteria used to determine what a restaurant does or does not get ….you need to address your questions to the City of Boston Licensing Board.

  6. This isn't about the number of licenses. This is about expansion of the existing. Not sure why the Council would think serving hard liquor is a good thing. Isn't that what they voted for? They approved an all liquor license if one became available? Why? What criteria does the Council use to vote on such matters?

  7. @JIimmy

    NEWRA (RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION) PAYING MEMBERS voted to support an all alcohol license so you should direct your questiion about the criteria for approval to that group.

    LaFamilia is on the NEWNC ( NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL) agenda for thier Feb 15 meeting at 7PM at the MAriners House. You should attend the meeting and voice your concerns to the ELECTED COUNCILmembers.

  8. There have been very few applications for new all-alcohol licenses in the North End/Waterfront over the past ten years, maybe more. I believe the newer restaurants with all-alcohol service obtained their licenses by purchasing them from other North End restaurants. This may have been the case, for instance, with Bricco's, if my memory serves me right. The lack of an onslaught of new all-alcohol license applications (so far) may be why neither NEWNC nor NEWRA has a policy specific to all-alcohol licenses. There may, however, be reason to worry, as Jimmy suggests, because I am aware of a few other restaurants that are interested in replacing their beer/wine/cordials licenses with all-alcohol, especially with the prospect of additional all-alcohol licenses becoming available with the proposed legislation changing the licensing of establishments in the Logan Airport terminals. If the onslaught occurs, then the two North End groups may consider establishing policies.

    In the past few years, NEWRA either voted to oppose or voiced opposition to new all-alcohol licenses where the establishments had bars and sought hours later than 11 PM weekdays, midnight F-Sat. Such was the case for both Monica's and Tresca's applications in early 2007. Both received the licenses despite NEWRA's opposition. The relatively new 2:00 AM all-alcohol license at Battery Wharf was not put to a vote by NEWRA, in part because it was assumed to be a done deal and a direct, intended outcome of state legislation in 2006 that created more licenses for Boston, including more all-alcohol licenses specifically for hotels and other developments along Boston's waterfront.

    NEWRA members supported the all-alcohol license at LaFamiglia last week possibly because the restaurant committed to no bar and hours no later than the hours in NEWRA's policy. The vote may mean, and this is only a personal observation, that residents are less concerned about what you're drinking and more concerned about when and under what circumstances (the type of establishment).

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