Fate of Southie Tasty in hands of Boston Licensing Board
The board decides tomorrow whether a proposal by Tasty Burger to limit its hours and cut back an outdoor patio at a proposed L Street location are enough to warrant a food serving license or whether some nearby residents are right that the burger outlet would ruin the neighborhood.
Tasty Burger had originally proposed staying open until 1 a.m. at the site of the old Boathouse ice-cream place and add a 40-seat patio, but in the face of criticism from neighbors scaled its proposed hours back to 10 p.m. most nights and midnight on Friday and Saturday - and agreed to cut the number of outdoor seats to 20. The patio will only be open until 10 p.m. all nights.
Tasty Burger lawyer Joseph Hanley, of McDermott, Quilty and Miller told the board this morning the Southie Tasty would be nothing like the one in the Fenway: No beer, no indoor seating, no parking lot. Instead, it would be sort of like the Boathouse, only with burgers - and also ice cream. He said 10 p.m. five nights a week was a more than reasonable answer to residents' concerns about late-night noise, noting several other nearby restaurants and bars are open until 1 a.m.
Hanley said Boston is in dire need of such high-quality, small outlets for burgers.
Several residents who attended the hearing, however, said the proposed patio directly abuts residential properties in an area where noise is already amplified and relayed long distances, that the concrete pad Tasty Burger has already put down for it could mean basement flooding, that South Boston already has places to get a good burger and that boozers coming out of nearby bars will use their stoops for eating burgers and their alleyways for relieving themselves. Residents said they were not opposed to any business at the site, but said they wanted something more like the Boathouse - a place that closed early in the evening and wasn't open at all in the winter.
Mayor Tom Menino, City Councilor Bill Linehan and state Sen. Jack Hart sent representatives to support the outlet, saying the restaurant had proposed reasonable compromises to respect neighbors and that if the later weekend hours proved a problem, the board could scale them back. State Rep. Nick Collins, however, opposed the burger outlet because of the concerns from neighbors.