The Battery Wharf Hotel received an overwhelmingly supportive vote of 23-3 from the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) in favor of transferring its alcohol license. The transaction is a result of the recent purchase of hotel operations from the Fairmont to Toronto’s Westmont Hospitality Group in partnership with Thomas Tan of Bestford Hospitality Group.
Operations are expected to remain the same at the Aragosta restaurant and no physical changes are expected, according to representatives of new Westmont owner. Attending the meeting were Battery Wharf Hotel General Manager Trish Berry, Food & Beverage Director John Collins and Attorney Joe Devlin. The hotel has already dropped “Fairmont” from its name, resulting in simply the “Battery Wharf Hotel.” It will be affiliated with the consortium, Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
The alcohol license is being purchased from Sweet Basil, Inc. d/b/a The Cactus Club to replace Battery Wharf’s existing Innholder License which cannot be transferred to new owner. Because the old license will disappear, there is no new net increase in neighborhood licenses.
The acquisition of the 150-room Battery Wharf Hotel came with a price tag of $48.6 million and is factoring in higher room rates, according to Banker & Tradesman. The new license was purchased for an undisclosed sum. However, recent transfer prices for a 7-day, 2 am all-alcohol license are upwards of $200,000.
The hotel currently leases space to the Exhale Spa and has several other unoccupied retail spaces, including two ground-level retail spaces that are 7,200 and 2,400 square feet, along with a 5,400-square-foot second-floor suite with harbor views.
“What we’re hoping to do is find some great restaurants, maybe a cafe, or bakeries, that would fit in and be a great amenity,” Westmont director of asset management Greg Bingaman told the Boston Business Journal.
Condominium owners at Battery Wharf spoke in favor of the transfer, although one Burroughs Wharf resident complained about the patio noise. There was also a request to have promoted access to the 2nd floor viewing platform above the small maritime museum and public restrooms.
After the comment and question period, NEWRA members voted 23-3 by secret ballot to support the liquor license transfer application.
Please view the video above for the complete discussion at NEWRA from its February 12, 2015 meeting.