Taking objection an all-alcohol license, 1:00 am closing hour, at Gennaro’s 5 North Square Restaurant, the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 8-21 to oppose the request. The vote splits the two neighborhood groups on the application as the Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted to support the all-alcohol license at their last meeting.
Speaking against the upgrade from beer and wine to all-alcohol was North Square abutter, Sandro Carella (Maria the Dressmaker’s son), who explained his recent letter expressing concerns about potential late night bar activity in North Square. Attorney Daniel Toscano responded that the restaurant generally closes around 10:30 pm and has an upscale clientele. Owner Gerry Riccio said that he has no intention of turning 5 North Square into a bar or tavern but wants the 1:00 am closing hour flexibility to serve late night dinner guests, such as celebrities.
A potential proviso to have food served with alcohol was discussed, but not resolved. Attorney Toscano said that is a “lousy provision” because some people like to drink before or after they eat. A request to stipulate that alcohol will only be served with food was not agreed to by the applicant.
Several residents reiterated the concerns expressed earlier in the meeting by Boston Police regarding how expanded late night conditions on alcohol licenses could exacerbate quality of life problems with noise on the streets.
NEWRA ZLC Co-Chair David Kubiak addressed the status of the small bar at the restaurant and also reviewed the latest statistics regarding the density and economic value of alcohol licenses in the North End.
The Licensing Board hearing at City Hall occurred a few weeks ago although the decision was deferred until after the NEWRA meeting. With split votes from the two neighborhood groups, the Licensing Board is expected to make the final ruling in the near future.
Watch the above video for the complete presentation and discussion of this licensing application at the NEWRA meeting held on February 14, 2012 at the Nazzaro Community Center in Boston’s North End.