The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council voted to support two proposals from The Living Room, a restaurant, bar and lounge at 101-107 Atlantic Avenue in the Mercantile Building, on the corner of Richmond and Commercial Streets.
In a vote of 5-3, the Neighborhood Council supported The Living Room’s request for an extension of its closing hour on its all-alcohol beverages license from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 am, on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays and for private events. This application was opposed by the Residents’ Association last week. These advisory votes of the neighborhood groups now go to the Boston Licensing Board which makes the official determination.
In a vote of 7-1, the Neighborhood Council also supported The Living Room’s application to add a Disc Jockey (DJ) to its entertainment license on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays and for private events. This request was also supported last week by the Residents’ Association. These advisory votes now go to the the Mayor’s Office of Licensing and Consumer Affairs which regulates entertainment licenses.
The videos below show the presentation, discussion and vote of The Living Room applications from the NEWNC meeting, held on Monday, March 15, 2011 at the Nazzaro Center. (The video is split into 3 clips, press play on the video to start each one.)
In other business at this meeting, there was a presentation from North Bennet Street School (video coming in another post). Goody Glovers was also on the agenda for live entertainment, but did not show up at the meeting.
Editor’s Note: As you can see, I am trying something new by using video instead of the usual written meeting summary. With the exception of a few seconds between video clips, the entire presentation, discussion and vote is shown. Permission to video the meeting was granted by the council before the meeting. I can usually post video faster than the written pieces and it likely provides a more accurate disposition than the isolated quotes in a summary. However, there are some limitations from viewing angles and sound (I am working on better audio.) If you like the videos, I will do more recordings of public meetings in the future. Please feel free to comment below or send an email to email@example.com.
15 Replies to “Neighborhood Council, NEWNC, Votes to Support The Living Room’s 2:00am Closing Extension & DJ”
Please keep the written word, some of us are in work while we are keeping up to date with neighborhood events and cannot listen to audio.
Love the videos! With small kids, I can't make many evening meetings and this gives us the opportunity to see what happens. This site is excellent. More, more, more !!!
Can't believe the vote. What are they thinking. Let's turn the waterfront into another faneuil hall. Seems like the meeting was stuffed with living room clubbers and employees.
Video is great.
This (2AM license) was a "nice to have" for the Living Room…not a "must have". If the statements made are accurate, the way the DJ license/law is written is just plain dumb. And I have been at establishments in Boston that had an iPod behind the bar and took requests from me and didn't need or have a DJ license.
I find it hard to believe the the Living Room thinks they know where their patrons are going and what they are doing once they leave. Is the only way to Hanover St. and back through the neighborhood back up Richmond St.? Are people that stupid to take that as a reason to believe patrons aren't making noise in the North End once they leave? Really?
Hopefully the licensing board won't cave in but…why doesn't the Neighborhood Council understand that now businesses like Tresca, Monica's, etc will use this as a reason to go back in front of the Council and continually ask for a 2AM license (and frankly, I wouldn't blame them)? This is just going to open more of a Pandora's Box. Not sure how the Council could not figure that out.
Matt, you are an excellent writer, but the videos are a great way to show these types of meetings. Really appreciate the time and energy you put into keeping us informed. For the commenter, "me", I would simply include a brief summary as you did in this article. I also am at work but I can listen to audio (headphones!).
What I don't understand is how the Licensing board is going to give the Living Room 2am when they just denied Monicas (right down the street) for 1am????? It doesn't make any sense to me. This is more of a club than monicas and likely to cause more neighborhood problems.
According to the owners of the Living Room, they are not a club because they don't charge a cover, don't have a promoter and some other cockamamie reason they gave when I asked them the club question. Hopefully the Licensing board, Capt O'Rourke and Councillor LaMattina will prevail and not grant a 2 AM license. John Hauck packed the meeting with employees and patrons…including a guy formerly at Commercial Wharf, now at the Mariner who claimed he couldn't hear noise from The Living Room but could hear it from Tia's. Given the distance, I found his comments ludicrous. Felt like the old days of a NEWRA meetings when a business packed the room and got what he wanted. I for one was outraged by the NEWNC vote to support the 2AM license. NEWNC elections are in May and I will let my votes reflect my outrage.
As someone that attended both the NEWRA and NEWNC meeting, I felt the living room made some salient points in regards to their application for liqour extension/DJ license. The DJ license is clearly a technicality in the cities licensing code, a bartender picking songs on an ipod requires a DJ license, and for anyone that has been to the living room they do not promote or attract a "club" like atmosphere and clientele. As for the liquor extension, many of the direct abutters on commercial and atlantic ave expressed no complaints of noise. As to an earlier comment about a "Pandora's Box" The four winds, sail loft, both have 2am licenses and sit on the periphery of the north end away from the densely populated hanover/salem st area. Tresca and Monica's sit right in the middle of these areas and would directly effect the heart of the north end. It's not an apples to apples comparison to put The living room in same category.
A good friend of mine lives in the same building as the Living Room and when I'm at her place I can frequently hear noise from Tia's, but nothing from TLR. So obviously distance is not the only factor in noise polution.
I support the Living Room's application for a later closing, though I'd rather see the DJ license rejected. It seems to me that the DJ thing has more potential for noise and disruption than the later closing time, especially given the proximity to other places with a late closing.
Ben L, I agree the LR made some decent points about these issues but…it makes no difference whether we call this a club or not. If it acts like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Not calling it a club make NO difference. It's just semantics.
And noise FROM the LR is really not what's at issue here. It's the patrons leaving the LR at 2AM that become the issue. No one can guarantee that those leaving don't make noise as they walk to their apt.s somewhere in the North End at 2:30 AM. I just don't see how another 2AM license is any good for anyone but the owner of the LR.
Supporting commentary from Living Room employees is a joke. Does anyone expect them to oppose the DJ or hours extension? Supporting commentary from senior citizens who were probably given free food and then asked to sign a letter is laughable. Poor babies don't want to leave the Living Room and go to one of the three places that have 2 AM licenses because they are more high classs then those oterh people should walk to Battery Wharf, The Boston Harbor Hotel, THe Boston Millenium Hotel, THe INtercontinental Hotel, the Liberty Hotel, or the new hotel on State/Court St. Better yet…GO HOME at I:30 and have a nightcap in the peace and quiet of your apt/condo.
The whole notion of how their waterfront location should give them an exception is crap. In fact, it's the complete opposite from what they are saying. Many of my neighbors moved from the interior North End to the waterfront to stay in the neighborhood but escape the noise. Now, this guy wants to bring out-of-control Hanover St. to Atlantic Ave. He should transfer his license to one of the many empty storefronts in Faneuil Hall or Union St.
No one that owns property on the waterfront wants 2 am licenses anymore than the people who live on Prince St.
@Waterfront Resident: Watch for the public notice of the Living Rooms hearing before the licensing board ( this site , regional review) and then send a letter to the licensing board about your opposition. Get your neighbors to do the same or sent a joint letter.
To follow up on Joyce’s suggestion that this vote should be remembered when the council elections come up, it should be noted that the following members voted in favor of the extension to 2:00 a.m.: Marie Simboli, Anne Devlin Tagliaferro, Giancarlo Tiberi, David Marx and Luciana Burdi. I believe that Marie Simboli and Anne Devlin Tagliaferro are not up for re-election until next year so I guess they are assuming that people have short memories. Jonathan Sproul, Donna Freni and Jorge Mendoza voted against the extension. The president, Steven Passacantilli, who only votes in the case of a tie, spoke favorably about the Living Room and late night closings and made a derogatory comment about those who oppose late night extensions. People may want to keep this in mind if they call his employer, City Councilor Sal LaMattina, to express their opposition to this extension and they get him on the phone. Councilor LaMattina himself is on record as opposing 2:00 a.m. extensions.
@Mary McGee: The problem with the NEWNC election is two fold:
1. Getting people to run
2. Getting people to vote. There are too many NEWRA members ( and other NEWF residents) who do not bother to come out to vote for the Council elections in May to balance the people who get their friends and large numbers of family members to come out to vote.
I was at the meeting and Stephen was referring to a difference between him as a 30 something and his 65 yr old father and other older people like me. I was there and he was not being derogatory. Stephen actually opposes the 2AM extension and had there been a tie, his vote would have made it 5 against to 4 in favor. I know this from many conversations with him both before and after Monday nights meeting.
I think people should call Sal not to complain about Stephen but to encourage him to stick to his guns and oppose any 2AM extensions. I also think a few phone calls to Captain O'Rourke or Sgt Lema at BPD Area A-1 would be useful. Lets just hope that in the end the licensing board says no to the extension request.
BTW…Ryan Kenney and Mario Alfano were not at the meeting so keep that in mind when voting.
Having our elected representatives on tape is quite instructive. Listen to the remarks about the "___'s (who) come out for stuff like this" and are "taking a pass tonight" which were made right before the vote was taken. If the speaker was opposed to the extension, he masked it well. It is quite easy to say how you would have voted on a vote you knew you would not have to make. I do agree that people should be calling Sal LaMattina to express their opposition to the extension. My only point is that they should make sure that they are expressing their opposition to someone who will report it accurately to Sal.
To Mary, Joyce, Jimmy and the other haters on the page. Did you ever stop to consider that maybe the majority of the people in the North End are FOR the extension. I love how a select minority think that whatever they feel is best for the North End is the correct way – and any other viewpoints are wrong.
The extension will not impact anyone from a noise standpoint. If the residents of the North End are for the extension, what makes you think you are above what the people want? Who are you that makes your misguided opinion any more important then other people? They had over 500 people write letters supporting the extension. If you had 500+ people write letters against it then maybe you would have a point. But you didn't so you don't.
You can cry all you want and run to Sal but it's not going to do you any good this time. Sal does not speak for all the people of the north end. The younger residents of the North End are sick of the elder generation thinking they have more say then we do. That time is long gone and next voting time you will see a wave of new voters who are going to speak loud and clear with thier votes.
Waterfront Resident: If you don't like the noise in the city- move to the suburbs.
Jimmy – you say you don't see how a 2am license is good for anyone but the living room. How ignorant of you to think that because you would have no use for it that eveyone else thinks the same? Some residents find great value in having the hours extended. That's why 500 of them wrote letters…
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