Food & Drink

Figuring the “Bar Misery” of the North End Using New Liquor License Data

Using newly released city licensing data online, North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association President Ford Cavallari gave an update on liquor license density in the neighborhood at NEWRA’s March meeting. Using the number of alcohol licenses and licensed seats, he tabulated the statistics shown below. Notably, the North End has the highest population density in the city. (View the video above to hear the complete analysis presented at the NEWRA meeting on the liquor license data, summarized below.)

The city database shows 88 alcohol licenses in the North End with 7926 licensed seats, translating to 1.28 residents per liquor license seats. Coming up with a measurement of “bar misery,” Cavallari compared the relative number of licensed seats to each neighborhood’s population density.

The North End is fourth on the “bar misery index” after Downtown, the Fenway/Kenmore and the West End. The other neighborhoods include entertainment districts surrounding Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park and TD Garden, respectively. “We have to be careful if we find ourselves comparable to nightclub areas, we could be asking for trouble,” Cavallari noted.

In terms of closing hours, the number of late night, post 1:00 a.m. licensed seats are in the largest restaurants and bars. Implying that NEWRA should understand the impact of venue size when reviewing alcohol licenses, Cavallari said “If you look at where real skew is, it is the big establishments that dominate the pouring seats. I want to make sure we have perspective and look at the big and little guys in context. We don’t want to be excessively hard on the smaller, entrepreneurial startups with the smaller number of seats.”

The liquor license data is newly released by City Hall in a transparency effort highly commended by the NEWRA President. He intends to follow up with City Hall for additional source data to have an ongoing discussion including other neighborhood associations throughout the city.

4 Replies to “Figuring the “Bar Misery” of the North End Using New Liquor License Data

    1. Thanks for the correction, Mark. Looking at the map, it appears many of those licensed seats come from Faneuil Hall, Theater District and Downtown Crossing. I updated the post to reflect that. Thanks again.

  1. No Matter which way you turn & twist this, the No. End has far too many bars & restaurants for the the small area
    that it is. Menino was not thinking of any residents when he gave all these restaurants & bars the go ahead.
    In May of 2012 Menino addressed the Chamber of Commerce of Richmond, Va. at Fenway Park & told them all
    these Neighborhood Groups hate their husbands & wives & everyone & they need a place to vent. I never will forget
    those words as long as I live & this is where we are today. Hooray for the the Restaurants & Bars & to Hell for
    the Residents. I love the No. End, it is my home, but these are facts, like it or not.

  2. Hey Marie I agree Residents do suffer as I have said before We have to shut our windows come spring and summer so we can sleep and crank up air conditioner so that our bills are astronomical, from the people coming from the bars and restaurants yelling loudly because they are so drunk its so annoying but restaurants and bars are going to be in the north end anywhere there is any space more restaurants and bars to come! its a shame I’m in Arizona cant post too much I will add their are are good people who own restaurants and bars its the patrons that leave who behave badly!

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