Food & Drink Real Estate

Amid Confusion, Residents’ Association Defers Vote on Monica’s Mercato Pizza

After a confusing debate regarding alleged zoning issues at Monica’s Mercato Pizza in Boston’s North End, the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) deferred its vote pending clarification from City Hall. This is a follow-up discussion to a January 2015 vote where NEWRA supported Monica’s new pizzeria operating in the lower level of 130-130B on Salem Street at the intersection of Noyes Place.

Co-owner Jorge Mendoza of Mendoza Brothers LLC presented the take out permit granted last year by the city’s Inspectional Services Department. He said there is no additional zoning issue or hearing to be scheduled with respect to the retail store and pizzeria. Monica’s Pizza has been operating out of the lower level for about a year.

Mendoza said a new permit application was mistakenly requested by a contractor and the subsequent denial by City Hall has since been rescinded. In the interim, regulations have also changed regarding the need for retail stores to have take out permits, especially with regards to the sale of prepared foods.

Abutter John Corey said he is representing himself and property owners on Noyes Place who are complaining about the side entrance to the lower level pizza operation at Monica’s. He alleges there is a zoning violation related to the basement operations.

After a heated debate, NEWRA President Ford Cavallari halted discussion and pushed for a deferral on the issue until there is more clarity on whether zoning relief is required. Maria Lanza from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said she would inquire further with Inspectional Services and report back to the group.

12 Replies to “Amid Confusion, Residents’ Association Defers Vote on Monica’s Mercato Pizza

  1. No wonder Geoge is frustrated . He obviously knows what permission was given. Terribly run meeting.
    The Mendozas are great neighbors… They have worked hard , and no one can dispute how well they keep their properties.
    Forza George!

  2. This is frustrating to watch. Before this item was put on NEWRA agenda, it obviously should have been researched. It’s just not fair to put an upstanding business family who is so involved in our neighborhood through this, for a landlord who doesn’t live in his property. Reason needs to have a place at these meetings.

  3. Who can dispute the Mendoza’s squeaky clean business ethics? They know the book on zoning issues and have been operating in the NE without a hitch for years. Some would say that calling him ‘Jorge’ in the meeting was racist. The Mendoza Brothers, LLC is most likely the winner in this issue. Bravo brothers !

    1. Wondering why it dragged on and on. I cannot imagine the patience the Mendoza brothers have shown throughout this craziness. Not sure calling George “Jorge” was quite kosher, but kudos to George for showing such restraint. Wow, especially since the major protester doesn’t even live in his own building. What a joke. It literally makes me sick!!!!!!!

      1. His name is spelled Jorge. This is how his name appears on his Facebook page. Jorge Mendoza-Iturralde

        1. Joyce; He is known as George in the North End and to his business associates. To use Jorge in the midst of a frustrating meeting is obviously meant as a dig. So what if his baptismal name is Jorge. Honestly….how many people in the NE are called by their baptismal names. Everyone has a neighborhood know that.

  4. It’s no surprise the City wants to skip over the steps that include neighborhood association meetings. John Corey obviously has “an issue” but is presenting it via a violation. The Mendoza family does so much for the neighborhood…and are certainly keeping the NE vibe that people talk so much about and why they pay the outrageous rents to people like Mr. Corey. John Corey. Not so much. Also- doesn’t it make you wonder why residences from his building weren’t there to lend a voice and support? Why is this being brought up one year after the fact? Should have never been on the agenda. I can see why Mr. Mendoza referred to Mr. Corey as a nuisance.

  5. The latest example of pure bullying by NEWRA and how their zoning committee uses their power to pursue personal vendettas. The only saving grace is their bitter pettiness taking center stage by the obvious setup of this gauntlet. Shame!

  6. Wow – I feel as though I was at a different meeting altogether. For those who haven’t watched the video to the end, please do so – it’s a hall-of-famer in terms of people behaving badly at a community meeting. And keep it mind that it was the City which issued the denial letter which raised the controversy in the first place. And that two abutters who are 20-year residents were present and couldn’t even get a word in edgewise. I understand that people want to support their friends. But if you aren’t personally experiencing the impact that the neighbors are experiencing, maybe you need to stand back a little. One reason we have so many restaurants and building additions for transients in the North End is because people have treated these issues like popularity contests (I agree with Phil Orlandella on this one.) No, we aren’t Beacon Hill, but in certain ways they have been smarter than we have about protecting their neighborhood and I give them credit for that. And I am tired of the business owners who think that their support of local causes gives them carte blanche to do anything they want. If you donate and don’t expect anything in return, that’s charity (and we have plenty of business owners who give generously and quietly). If you donate in order to leverage your business expansion plans, that’s a PR budget (and cheaper than retaining a communications firm). As far as properly pronouncing a person’s name being an insult, that’s a new one for me – I wonder what George Luis Borges would have thought of that?

  7. Disagree with the entire content. You are viewing this from a negative point of view. Actually a very negative comment with derogatory remarks ( although buffered by your so-called knowledge of the issue). The City rescinded the letter … it was a mistake. They have had rights for a year. Jorge is spanish for George. George is the English for Jorge. Oh yes, it was a zinger to call him Jorge, when, in fact, he is known as George around here. You are accusing the Mendoza family of donating for leverage business plans.
    AND, their donations do not give them carte blanche for ‘anything’. For what? They have no need to butter up people. They have worked very hard; their business ethics are exemplary.

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