By Dan Murphy
Following an outpouring of opposition from neighbors, the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Zoning and Licensing Committee voted Wednesday to oppose without prejudice granting the variances that would permit a newrestaurant to open at the former location of The Spotted Apron at 326 Cambridge St.
Roger and William Zeghibe, the owners of the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street and Hub Pub on Province Street, have proposed transforming the space into an 89-seat restaurant that would serve wine, malt beverages and cordials and feature a 13-seat “dinner bar.” The establishment would offer breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and brunch on weekends, as well as takeout, and the menu would focus largely on healthy rotisserie fare. The proposed hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Besides the proposed late closing time, abutters also expressed concern that the restaurant would become primarily a drinking establishment.
“I don’t have any problem if beer and wine are served at the table…but I just can’t help but think this will be one great, big bar,” said Riccardo Rullo, son of the owner of the directly abutting residential-building at 3 Lindall Place.
Other neighbors voiced concerns in regard to the proposed operation, including increased trash, rodent and noise problems, as well as potential double-parking on Lindall Place.
Dominic Gervasi, the attorney representing the applicants, said their planned $350,000 investment in the kitchen demonstrates that the proposed establishment’s focus would be primarily on food. Gervasi added that the concept is still in the early stages and could easily be adapted to better suit the neighborhood.
Committee Chair Tom Clemens suggested the formation of a sub-committee to work with the applicants on revising the restaurant concept.
Meanwhile, the committee voted not to oppose granting the variance that would allow for the construction of a box dormer at the rear of the residential building at 13 Hancock St.
The committee also voted not to oppose granting the variances necessary to allow the homeowner of 6 Otis Place to build a 9½-foot-tall gazebo and a storage shed in the rear yard.