The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) heard several zoning & licensing applications last night at its monthly meeting.

  • Esmaeil Mahdavi, represented by Attorney Daniel Toscano, presented an appeal for zoning relief at 196 Endicott St. to change the legal occupancy from a three-family to four-family dwelling. The new basement unit would be converted from what was previously commercial and have “walk-out” capabilities as part of the renovation of the entire building. The units will be marketed as luxury condos. There was a brief discussion regarding the potential for a roof deck. The plan is not to include a roof deck, which would require future approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Residents also asked about the plan for trash disposal without a basement. The owner and architect indicated that trash will be kept in owner units and disposed as residential trash on the street.

Vote: 22 support, 15 oppose. NEWRA will write a letter in support of the application. (NEWNC also supported this application.)

  • Next, was an application by Artu owner, Nancy Frattaroli, represented by Attorney William Ferrullo. Artu at 6 Prince St. is applying to update and correct an existing non-live entertainment license to reflect the hours of operation (2:00 a.m. closing) and capacity (99 persons) which have been in effect since 2001. No change to entertainment is planned, which currently includes one TV and background music. There was limited discussion regarding the application.

Vote: 31 support and 8 oppose. NEWRA will write a letter in support of the application.

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  • Third on the agenda was Volle Nolle, 351 Hanover St., with an application by owner Torri Crowell to the Licensing Board for a new 7-day C.V. Malt (beer) and Wine License, with an 11:00 p.m. closing hour. There was no significant discussion regarding the application.

Vote: 29 support and 10 oppose. NEWRA will write a letter in support of the application. (NEWNC also supported this application.)

  • The last licensing application on the agenda was for Caffe Lil Italy at 178 Salem Street. Attorney Daniel Toscano represented owner Carla Gomes Aggripino who is applying to the Licensing Board for a new 7-day beer and wine license with a closing hour of 9:00 p.m.

Similar to the previous Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) meeting and NEWRA ZLC Committee meeting, this proposal spurred significant debate. The positives were reflective of the strong reputation of the owner, who also operates Antico Forno and Terramia restaurants. The negatives raised were mostly about the potential for problems at this location on a residential part of Salem St., across from the Old North Church. Supporters pointed out the many licenses operate around other neighborhood churches.

There were also some questions regarding the need for beer and wine at a coffee/sandwich shop, characterized by a question from Bob Skole who asked, “What type of wine goes with bagels?” Attorney Toscano responded that the beer/wine (and cordials in the future) would accompany the shop’s sandwich and dessert offerings.

Abutters Michael and Angela Aquilino spoke against the application, as they have in prior meetings. Mr. Aquilino referenced a National Geographic article on the decline of Venice as a result of excess tourism, but NEWRA President Stephanie Houge halted the discussion not directly related to the application.

Supporters of the application emphasized the pristine record of the owner and the change to an earlier closing hour to 9:00 p.m. in the application that was previously set at 11:00 p.m.

Vote: 18 support and 21 oppose. NEWRA will write a letter opposing the application. (NEWNC also opposed this application although local officials offered support.)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Being the only candidate that was born and raised in the North End who has 2 local restaurants for the last 18 years that were never cited for any violations I find it difficult to understand the strong opposition against me having a beer/wine and cordial license at Cafe Lil Italy. What these boards fail to recognize is that I have a vested interest in the neighborhood as a resident as well as a business person. Furthermore, if I were given a license I would not allow customers to disturb the peace and quiet of residents that is also why I agreed to a 9 pm closing. Members and residents can go on about my pristine record as a business owner but by not giving me a license it seems to be a contradiction. As I said before I am not being judged on my reputation but on the reputation of the business person that was there 10 years ago.

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