The Wharf District Council met Tuesday night, December 18, to discuss various issues related to the waterfront area and the city at-large.

James Hook Lobster

James Hook Lobster, located at 440 Atlantic Avenue, is looking to get a beer and wine license for their establishment. The license would be for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day expect Friday, which would be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patrons would have to buy the drink inside the restaurant and then they could enjoy it outside on their patio area.

Council members wanted to make sure there would be a staff member outside at all times when customers are drinking, and that the area is closed off so people can’t wander off with a drink in their hand. James Hook Lobster said they would be amendable to those needs.

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“We don’t want to be a beer garden,” said Attorney John Connell. “We would be a very unpopular beer garden closing at 5 p.m.”

James Hook Lobster will have a hearing on January 2 about the license.

Plastic Bag Ban

Stephanie Acquario, Boston’s Plastic Bag Reduction Coordinator, appeared before the council to talk about the city’s new ban on plastic bags. The ban is an effort to reduce plastic waste in our environment as well as plastic litter on city streets.

The ban started on December 14, but inspections will be done in phases. Retailers 20,000 square feet or larger will start to be inspected now, to make sure they are following the ban. In April, businesses at least 10,000 square feet will be inspected and, in July, establishments less than 10,000 square feet will be inspected.

Stores will have to offer paper or environment-friendly bags; however, customers will have to pay a nickel for each bag.

Some in the council worried about low-income folks and the elderly being charged for a bag.

Acquario said she has been going out to neighborhoods to educate residents on the ban and encourages people to keep their own reusable bag to avoid the charge. She has been giving out bags to lower-income communities and stocking them at Boston community centers for local residents to use. Acquario also presented and answered questions at the December North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association meeting.

Finally, the Wharf District Council will have a meeting on January 15 with Pine Street Inn and Boston Police about the state of homelessness in the city.


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