A venerable neighborhood restaurateur has been charged with assisting in converting the Beacon Hill Pub into a high-end restaurant while the floors above are slated to become executive suites.
“The Beacon Hill Pub will be transformed into a fine dining establishment, which will have an operator and concept [that] is more in keeping with Beacon Hill,” said Babak Bina, co-founder and owner of BiNA Family Hospitality, which shuttered its landmark Charles Street restaurant Lala Rokh last year after more than a quarter of a century in business. “I have agreed to advise [the proprietors] on who might be a good operator and negotiate with them to take over as a tenant and restaurant owner. It will be another neighborhood destination for the residents and visitors alike.”
Last year, Stephen Whalen and Fred Starikov, managing partners of Brookline-based City Realty Group, along with senior loan officer and retired left-handed professional boxer Dana Rosenblatt and attorney Julius Sokol, reportedly bought the building at 147-149 Charles St. that is home to the longstanding neighborhood dive bar for $5,543,500 million, and City Realty is now leading the redevelopment project.
Besides developing a new restaurant concept, the project will include transforming the six existing apartments into 16 high-end executive suites, each furnished with a kitchenette, to accommodate business travelers on extended stays, as well as patients, family and staff from nearby hospitals. While today only the ground floor reaches the lot boundary, the floors above it would be built out on the existing footprint, which would add another 5 feet in height to gain an additional floor.
“The proposal would fill out the building though the extension above…and bring its massing more in line with neighbors,” said Josh Fetterman, City Realty’s director of project development and a licensed contractor.
The project also includes plans for an extensive rehabilitation of the building’s façade and entryway on Charles Street, brick repointing and restoration of masonry, as well as of the windows above the storefront.
The proposal is scheduled to go before the Beacon Hill Civic Association Zoning and Licensing Committee on Wednesday Oct. 2, and then pending approval from the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission, construction is expected to take between 10 and 12 months to complete, Fetterman said.
“We’re looking forward to taking a bar with no food service and repositioning it into a neighborhood restaurant with finer dining with Babak’s help,” Fetterman said. “We’re also more of a residential retail developer, and for this reason, we’ve partnered with Peter McLaughlin, who has a lot of experience in the business sphere, especially regarding executive suites.”
McLaughlin previously served as head of real estate for the San Francisco-based hospitality firm Sonder, Inc.
“We see gap in the market,” Fetterman said. “The Hill has a really good hotel presence…and really strong residential presence, but there’s a market for out-of-town [business people] and patients, family and staff from the hospitals.”
Once completed, Fetterman hopes the project will complement the luxurious Whitney Hotel, which opened over the summer directly across Charles Street.
“We look looking forward to working with abutters and the Civic Association to reposition the property into something that neighbors will appreciate, and that will compliment the neighborhood,” Fetterman said. “We want to make this property something everyone can be proud of.”