The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) voted 10-27 last week to ratify its previous vote opposing a zoning application that would allow the move of Pomodoro Restaurant to 204 Hanover Street, the former location of High Gear Jewelry. The new application has been simplified to contain only the occupancy change from retail to restaurant on the first floor, according to Attorney William Ferullo who represented the applicant.
Instead of voting explicitly on the new request, NEWRA President Ford Cavallari said the group’s executive committee decided to first determine whether the membership wanted to reconsider whether the application was sufficiently different from when it was last heard in July 2014. As such, the membership voted to that its previous vote will stand without considering the proposed changes.
Earlier in the week, the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) reconsidered its position and voted to support the new application that would allow for a restaurant at the location. NEWNC previously sided with the abutter (3-6), but after extensive argumentative debate, the council voted 5-3 vote in favor of the property owner to allow the restaurant.
Abutter Angela Romano (Romano Florist) and her attorney, George D., spoke in opposition to the restaurant proposal. Concerns cited include access through a gated alley, sidewalk lines, cigarette butts and noise from the outside seating. Other issues cited include disruption to her tenants from new mechanicals and venting.
Currently, the legal occupancy on the 204 Hanover Street ground floor is for a retail shop. The High Gear jewelry store moved out in March 2013.
Pomodoro, the Italian restaurant, is currently at 319 Hanover Street but has not been able to renew its lease there. The restaurant is owned and operated by Siobhan Carew. The restaurant is proposed to have 39 seats, including an 8 seat outside patio that is recessed within the owner’s property line. Inside, a dining counter will face Hanover Street similar to the existing Pomodoro at 319 Hanover Street. The residence door would be moved from the front on Hanover Street to the side alley. Ms. Carew intends to transfer her existing alcohol license to the new location. The abutter’s attorney raised Ms. Carew’s past labor problems that resulted in legal settlement last year as well as complaints at her Brookline establishments.
The neighborhood groups’ votes are advisory in nature. The application goes to City Hall on November 18 where the Zoning Board of Appeals will make the final determination.
For more information, view the above video that includes the presentation and debate at the neighborhood meeting held on November 13, 2014.