Fairmont Battery Wharf, 377-395 Commercial St., presented to the North End / Waterfront Residents Association (NEWRA) its application to extend the closing hour on its 86-seat outdoor terrace (food and all-alcohol) from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The NEWRA meeting was held on June 9, 2011 at the Nazzaro Center.
Presenting for the Fairmont Hotel was General Manager Matthew Sterne and Attorney Dennis Quilty. The hotel has 150 hotel rooms/suites and the recently opened Aragosta Restaurant which replaced Sensing in the same location. In addition, there are currently two vacant commercial spaces. The 177 residential units are managed separately from the hotel. There is a residence advisory committee but a formal condominium board has yet to be formed. The advisory committee has agreed to the later closing hour on the terrace.
A previous application to add outdoor live and recorded entertainment on the patio has been withdrawn by management due to neighbor concerns. The Fairmont intends to do sound testing outside and possibly return with an entertainment application in the future.
The indoor restaurant closing hour will remain at 2:00 a.m. Upon opening two years ago, hotel management originally applied for a 2:00 a.m. closing hour on the patio, but agreed to 10:00 p.m. in response to neighborhood concerns.
Management said the 11:00 p.m. closing will also include customer departure from the outdoor terrace (i.e., not a half-hour later as often allowed under alcohol licenses).
At the meeting, some Battery Wharf resident owners took objection to the 11:00 p.m. closing hour request, noting the loud noise that comes from the terrace. Management cited other resident owners that supported the change and noted the hotel’s desire to keep the noise reasonable for their own guests.
In answer to my question, management said the license change would only apply to the existing terrace. The other patio areas adjacent to other Fairmont buildings will continue to have a 10:00 p.m. license closing hour. One patio is currently being used by the guests of the hotel’s version of a gold club near Battery Street. The other patio is vacant pending occupancy of a commercial operation in the building abutting Commercial Street.
NEWRA members voted 15-8 in support of the 11:00 p.m. patio closing hour. NEWNC also supported this request at a prior meeting. A Licensing Board hearing is scheduled for June 15, 2011, 10:00 a.m. at City Hall, 8th Floor.