Coran McCormack says his proposed Tonic, across the street from the Forest Hills T stop, would be a neighborhood bistro aimed at medical workers in the neighborhood who now have to travel all the way into the South End for something to eat after their night shifts end.
McCormack has the backing of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council in his bid to convert the old Griffin's Pub into a "nouvelle American" bistro that would be open until 2 a.m.
McCormack told the Boston Licensing Board today his kitchen would actually stop preparing food around 1 a.m., and would not sell liquor to anybody who came in after that time. The extra hour would let weary doctors, nurses and technicians unwind a bit, he said. "People come off work, they need to wind down. I don't want to have people come in and rush them out the door." He added he's trying to emulate the Franklin, a South End bistro.
Although McCormack is originally from Ireland, he said he never gave any thought to opening an Irish pub - JP already has enough of those, he said.
Still at issue is what happens if the licensing board has no licenses to give out - the city is limited in how many alcohol-serving permits it can grant. McCormack's attorney, Dennis Quilty, said McCormack has so far been unsuccessful in finding anybody from whom he can buy an existing license. Quilty said McCormack tried to buy Griffin's license, but it turned out different wings of the same family owned that bar and while McCormack was buying the building from one wing, the other part of the family was selling the liquor license to somebody else.