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North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) President Ford Cavallari called out the “elephant in the room” at the group’s February meeting, referring to the new all-alcohol licenses recently granted by the Boston Licensing Board. [See All-Alcohol License Upgrades Granted to Three North End Restaurants]

“Royal Rumble” and “gifts of up to $350,000” were the terms used by NEWRA executives to describe the process by which the licensing board awarded the licenses within 30 days of its authorization. This accelerated timeframe did not allow the Residents Association to hear and vote on the licenses, according to NEWRA executives. The new licenses are ‘upgrades’ for existing beer and wine licenses, the latter of which will be returned to the city and eventually re-granted to other establishments.

In the North End, new all-alcohol licenses were awarded to Cantina Italiana, Mare and Monica’s Trattoria. With only a limited number of licenses available, the Licensing Board denied the all-alcohol upgrade requests by North End applicants Antico Forno, Strega Ristorante and Ducali Pizzeria and Bar. Antico Forno intended to subsequently transfer its beer/wine license to Caffe ‘Lil Italy. After the initial round of license awards, Carmelina’s on Hanover Street was also passed over for an all-alcohol license upgrade at a subsequent hearing. Deferred by the Licensing Board was Scopa Restaurant on Hanover Street who separately applied for a beer and wine license. Applicants can re-apply month-to-month in hopes that more licenses become available.

Support for the North End applicants was shown at the January meeting of the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) as well as an abutter’s meeting hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.

View the NEWRA discussion on the alcohol licenses in the above video from the February 11, 2016 meeting at the Nazzaro Community Center in Boston’s North End.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Seems a little bit of an overreaction. in reality this will not have a major impact on the quality of life in this neighborhood. These establishments were already serving alcohol. Also it is only 3 restaurants. I’m happy for them god bless and good luck.

  2. I agree with Geno. The abutters approved as well as NEWNC. NEWRA seems to be annoyed that their monthly meeting was too late for them to weigh in, which would have been meaningless anyway. It’s not martini drinkers making noise outside my window, it’s kids drunk on beer. But now I can get a martini at more establishments. And the city responded to a request in less than thirty days? Bravo! I say.

  3. I don’t think this was an over reaction at all. There are very few full liquor licenses in this neighborhood when compared with beer and wine. Monica’s deserved the license, however the cantina already had one and transferred it to their other restaurant which is Fiore and the owner of mare already has one as well. so now we have 2 people who own 2 liquor licenses each that they could sell for close to a million dollars if they choose to. Cantina transferred theirs to Fiore and they get another? For what? They have shown that they don’t think they need one. Why not give them to people who actually need them and don’t have the money to buy one?

    • Monica’s on Richmond St already has an all alcohol license so with your reasoning, their restaurant on Prince St did not deserve one either. your reasoning is NONSENSE

  4. Let us all get 1 thing straight, whether we like it or not, they probably all will end up with full liquor
    licenses, they don’t care about RESIDENTS, they only care about MONEY. I feel bad for Carla
    from Antico Forno who has been a successful business woman & she didn’t get 1 and doesn’t have
    any in her other restaurants either. Was it because she is a Female & not a Male? Who really
    knows, you don’t think we will ever find out the Truth, do you? Fiore made a great move when he
    took the license from the Cantina & moved it to Fiore’s because the bar is larger & he has an outside
    patio. Did this move hurt the Cantina, of course, this establishment had a full liquor license for years
    and his customers were accustomed to this. Both Carla & Fiore have “1” thing in their favor, neither
    one of their establishments have had fights that ended up on our neighborhood streets. If they are
    giving liquor licenses out on MERIT, instead of Payoffs, they both deserve the liquor licenses.
    It comes down to Who you Know, not What you Know. A lot of our Neighborhood Restaurants run
    these Political Affairs for our Politicians & they in turn get rewarded, as well as some of our Residents
    who attend & make contributions. The contributions from residents entitles them to much better
    snow removal, the sidewalks are repaired faster
    than yours or mine because of contributions, & so on & so on. This crap has been going on for
    years. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could run for Public Office that didn’t have to rely on
    campaign money, and use their own money? The Highest Bidder always WINS. This to me, is
    a form of Corruption, and they will deny this until they are Blue in the Face, or should I say
    Green.

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