(Photo: John Hauck (right), owner of The Living Room and Michael Overson, attorney).
(Photo: John Hauck (right), owner of The Living Room and Michael Overson, attorney).

John Hauck, owner of The Living Room at 101-107 Atlantic Ave., encountered resident opposition last night in response to his proposals for a 2:00 a.m. closing and DJ on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The presentation was made at the monthly Zoning, Licensing & Construction Committee meeting of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association.  This committee meeting is for informational purposes only. There are questions and comments, but no votes are taken. The Living Room is a restaurant, bar and lounge located on the corner of Atlantic Ave., Richmond Street and Commercial Street. Attorney Overson, representing The Living Room said they have not formally filed the applications yet because they want to get feedback on the proposals.

The Living Room owner presented two separate requests:

1.    Amendment to the existing All-Alcohol Beverages License to extend the closing hour from 1:00 AM to 2:00 AM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday only, and for Private Events (closed to the public).  The owner may limit the special events not to exceed two per month.  

2.   Amendment to the existing entertainment license to add a disc jockey on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and for Private Events.  The owner may limit the special events not to exceed two per month.

“We are responding to substantial demand from our patrons, including many that live in the neighborhood, to have a later closing hour,” said Mr. Hauck. He noted that patrons often leave The Living Room to finish their evenings at the Sail Loft on Atlantic Ave. and the Four Winds on Commercial St., both of which have a 2:00 a.m. closing time in their alcohol licenses.

The current entertainment license at The Living Room includes live instrumental and vocal units, but a disc jockey is allowed only for private events. Mr. Hauck says that technology has changed and in order to take music requests or connect a customer iPod, a disc jockey provision is needed on the license. The DJ addition would not necessarily be a separate sound apparatus and would most likely use the existing background music system.

David Kubiak, co-Chair of the ZLC Committee, said The Living Room’s last attempt to extend their closing hour a few years ago was met with substantial community resistance. “Are there mitigating circumstances now that did not exist then?” asked Kubiak. “Otherwise, I do not see any chance whatsoever for you to gain support from the community or public officials.” Kubiak continued, “People are fed up with late night noise, part of which is caused by establishments closing at late hours. Your proposal would have patrons leaving as late as 2:30 a.m.”

Earlier this month, the Boston Licensing Board approved a half-hour closing hour extension to 12:30 p.m. for Vinoteca di Monica, also on Richmond Street, and Tresca on Hanover Street. Both restaurants had requested an extension to 1:00 a.m. In addition, Councilor Sal LaMattina has recently stated his opposition to 2:00 a.m. closing hours  in the North End.

Residents from the Prince Building at 63 Atlantic Ave. spoke in opposition to the request, saying they often hear late night noise from patrons leaving nearby watering holes. “We have to close our windows in the summer on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” said one resident. “It seems that year after year, the situation degenerates. I plead with the board that we reverse this so we can maintain a degree of quiet and sanity.”

Anne Pistorio from N. Margin St. said, “We live in a culture where the only way to profit is to make noise. It is destroying our health and cannot continue.”

“Are you a night club?” asked Victor Brogna. The owner responded, “We are a restaurant, bar and lounge. We are different from a night club because we don’t charge a cover, do not offer bottle service and have no specific dress code.” Mr. Haught said there is a 10×10 dance area and they serve meals until midnight. He noted there are two small speakers located outside for the patio dining area.

The Living Room has been operating on Atlantic Ave. since 1998. Several years ago, Mr. Hauck negotiated a “good neighbor” agreement with residents in the area. The agreement included an extension to the current 1:00 a.m. closing hour from 12:00 a.m. He said there have been no complaints. Attorney Overson noted the installation of a security system has also helped resolve nearby criminal activity investigations.

“We have no problems with our neighbors. If our windows are open and they hear noise, they call us and we close them,” said Mr. Haught. He added that they are also talking to the same group of abutters that previously negotiated the “good neighbor” agreement.

In answer to a question from the committee regarding police or licensing-related incidents, Mr. Hauck said there have been two significant incidents over the years. The first incident was a disturbance by an unruly patron and the other was caused by valet parking on the sidewalk area.

It was unclear if and when the owner will formally submit these requests as applications to the Boston Licensing Board and the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing. Attorney Overson indicated they would like to appear at the next Residents’ Association meeting on Thursday, March 10th and the  Neighborhood Council on Monday, March 14th.

See the Calendar for details on upcoming meetings and events.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 COMMENTS

  1. the living room is a bar that he is trying to turn into a club. I don't think so. There are three other places in the same area that have 2 AM licenses…Sail Loft, TIAs and the place across from the Sail Loft (drawing a blank on the name) plus all those places in the Quincy Market site. There is no public need. Just private greed.

  2. There ABSOLUTLY IS a public need for an extended closing hour. It is unfair to The Living Room, and more importantly to its patrons, to lump it in with the Sail Loft, Tias, and The Four Winds. It is downright laughable to draw any comparison at all between the juice-head infested bars in Fan Hall/Quincy Market to the Living Room. The Living Room is a refreshing departure from the standard Boston bar scene (see all the bars Joyce mentioned) as it offers a relaxed, upscale lounge atmosphere and does not drown out good conversation by blasting 80’s theme music.

    The Living Room attracts a respectable, courteous and well behaved crowd (it has a martini bar for crying out loud) that is simply looking to take advantage of living in a city and staying out later than their parents go to bed. It is shameful that adults and young professionals alike cannot stay and enjoy a cocktail after 1AM at this establishment.

    It is not the Living Room that is having an identity crisis it is the narrow minded residents who continuously post on this website and complain at neighborhood meetings whenever ANY change is proposed. It has been said a million times but it cannot be said enough. We all live in a city and by virtue of living in a city there are certain aspects of life that need to be tolerated. Later closing hours (it’s a joke to even call 2AM late but that’s another story) is central to an urban experience and it’s these types of options that differentiate suburban life from city living.

    Now, back to the issue at hand; the Living Room is a unique place that attracts a clientele that is trying to AVOID the Fan Hall/Quincy Market scene. It is unfair to associate a later closing hour with disruption, disturbance, and disorder. I 100% support this proposal and encourage others to give this establishment a chance. I also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the place before lumping it in with other bars and immediately assuming that a later closing hour will result in less sleep for residents. The two can be mutually exclusive.

  3. “Are there mitigating circumstances now that did not exist then?” asked Kubiak. “Otherwise, I do not see any chance whatsoever for you to gain support from the community or public officials.” Kubiak continued, “People are fed up with late night noise, part of which is caused by establishments closing at late hours. Your proposal would have patrons leaving as late as 2:30 a.m.”
    =====

    I agree. It may come as a shock to party animals, lounge lizards and heavy social drinkers, but some people in the neighborhood have to get up early to go to work in the morning. If people leaving bars, restaurants, etc., didn't create so much noise in the early AM hours, maybe things would be different. They are the problem..

  4. "We all live in a city and by virtue of living in a city there are certain aspects of life that need to be tolerated"
    ====

    I agree. That's why we tolerate a whole lot of 2 AM bar closings already. But what we don't need is another one in the hood. Not all of us young professionals need – or want – that. Many of us are happy to eat out, drink, and go home with our significant other before 2 AM. There's more to the night than ingesting alcohol. Extending drinking hours doesn't make a city or a hood more sophisticated, even if the drinking occurs in a martini bar.

  5. Monicas and Tresca both expressed the need for later closing hour of 1AM based on their customers requests. Both are high end restaurants . Both had neighborhood support for later closings on the weekends i.e. Thurs, Fri, and Sat nights only. Here are the results as reported by Matt Conti on Feb 3:

    The Boston Licensing Board ruled this morning that two North End restaurants can extend their alcohol serving hours to 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The request is a half-hour longer than previously allowed, but not to the 1:00 a.m. that both restaurants had requested.
    The Board also added a condition that accordion-style windows are required to be closed at midnight.

    Tresca Restaurant at 227-237 Hanover Street had applied for a 1:00 a.m. closing hour, 7 days a week. Their license previously allowed them to pour alcohol until 12:00 a.m. midnight, 7 days. :

    Vinoteca di Monica (Monica’s Restaurant) at 143-145 Richmond St. had similarly applied for a 1:00 a.m. closing, 7 days a week. Previously, Monica’s license was 11:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 12:00 a.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
    __________________________________________________________________________________
    My additional information:
    In addition to Resident opposition to another 2 AM license, two very important people have voiced their opposition to 2AM licenses City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Area A Police Captain O'Rourke.

  6. It looks like this idea is DOA.
    Also, it's bizarre to see "need" and "extended closing hour" in the same sentence. People may need, for example, food, a job or a kidney transplant. A later closing hour for a bar/lounge/restaurant is what some people – including the owner – may want, but it isn't a need.

Comments are closed.