Landlord says he has replacement for shuttered Hyde Park restaurant - if he can get the old owners' liquor license taken away

UPDATE: Board defers any action until at least mid-November.

John Button, who owns the Fairmount Avenue building where Townsends once dished up upscale fare, told the Boston Licensing Board he's found somebody willing to open a new restaurant there - but only if he can clear up the legal uncertainty over the restaurant's liquor license.

Button and his lawyer, Dennis Quilty, appeared at a hearing Tuesday at which the board was to consider whether to revoke Michael and Rosaleen Tallon's liquor license for the restaurant, which has been shut since Button evicted them nine months ago.

The Tallons themselves did not appear and board member Suzanne Ianella said that was reason enough for her to vote to revoke their license - which is tied to the restaurant's specific address - at a board meeting on Thursday. However, she cautioned Button that the Tallons could appeal revocation to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and that could tie up the issue for "months and months and months." Specific locations can't have two liquor licenses, even if one is not being used.

Representatives from the mayor's office, City Councilor Rob Consalvo and Hyde Park Main Streets all sided with Button, saying it's a shame the prominent space is vacant and that nothing has come of rumored efforts to move Townsends to another location in the neighborhood.




Puts the butt in button

He forced the Tallons out of the space and destroyed one of the few good dining choices for miles around. I hope the license is tied up for years.

If another restaurant opens there, I will tell my friends to avoid it - the same way I once told them to go to Townsend's. None of my money will go into Button's pockets if I can help it.

No. Rent was never raised.

By on

No. Rent was never raised. Although Tallon was almost a year behind on his rent, closure was not due to landlord. Tallon voluntarily closed the doors. Place was always busy but $ never found it's way to went somewhere tho

Do you know why the Tallons

By on

Do you know why the Tallons were evicted? As the recent kerfuffle in the Fenway News shows*, sometimes it's important to know the facts.

*The Fenway News alleged the Berklee School evicted Looney Tunes and Daddy's Junky Music in order to jack the rent. It turns out all the Daddy's stores in the US closed and Looney Tunes weren't paying rent.

Just the facts please

By on

Wow, is this guy on a mission or what?

Your comments, "hoping the license is tied up for years" and "tell my friends to avoid it" is a real positive comment for any business looking to open up in Hyde Park, especially in a location that has been an empty restaurant space all year. Way to go! Townsends was heading south long before the landlord gave them the boot. Nobody "forced" anyone out. It's just really hard to open a restaurant each night when you haven't paid the bills and there ain't nothin' in the kitchen to serve your guests! No vendor or supplier would ever deal with them again - and that IS a fact. Now they are furthering the damage done by holding the licensing up for no good reason.

Please make sure to tell ALL your friends to avoid any new business venture in Hyde Park. We have enough idiots looking for another barstool to occupy in HP and don't need more of your attitude!

Time to Walk Away

By on

It is time for Mike Tallon to walk away. None of us really know what went on between Mike Tallon and John Button...but what is clearly happening now is that Mike Tallon is selfishly holding onto a liquor license that he has no intention of using.

Mike Tallon THINKS that by preventing John Button from renting that space to another restaurant he is getting the ultimate revenge.

What Mr. Tallon needs to consider is that by holding onto that liquor license he is, in fact, punishing all his loyal patrons who supported HIS restaurant for all the years he was in businees. We are the ones who need a restaurant to go into that space to help revitalize the center of town.

So PLEASE, Mike Tallon, let the liquor license go and let Hyde Park finally mend.

Maybe Adam can answer

By on

Whats keeping the license board from transferring the liquor license to a different location? My guess is that it would be within their powers, no?

Two-step process

By on

They can't just assign an existing license to somebody else. First they have to revoke the license. Then they can dole it out to somebody else.

Tomorrow, the board votes whether to revoke the Townsend's license. If they do that, then they can assign the license to the next restaurant that applies for it (which could very well be somebody other than the Townsend's landlord). Unless, that is, the Tallons appeal the revocation to the state ABCC, which could tie up the whole thing for quite some time, since that board tends to be very, um, deliberative.

It looks like the prospective

By on

It looks like the prospective restaurant owner is low-balling the sale price of the liquor license. Boston does not allow a liquor license to be put on a shelf to collect dust. A pouring license has a "use it or loose it" clause of one year. However, a few tricks can let it drag out for a few years. For example, if you show a commitment to a new location with a lease – even a dummy lease — it buys time. A liquor license is a significant asset with no fixed price. The present owner I'm sure is working hard at finding the highest bidder.

..More Perspective

By on

Actually, the license that Mike Tallon currently holds is one of the new licenses from the city. He cannot sell that license he can only transfer it to another establishment that HE is running. So he is doing exactly as Bostonium wrote " buying time" with false information of a new restaurant.

THAT is why it is crucial for Mr. Tallon to release this license, as that license is tied to the location formerly known as Townsends. The Licensing Board will not release another liquor license to that location until he releases the one his is holding on to. That is why that space is still vacant.

Stop being so selfish, Mike Tallon. . .You've already done enough harm to this community...

I hope the license doesn't go to the highest bidder in Back Bay

By on

Hopefully the existing liquor license doesn't get bought by someone outside Hyde Park for a huge sum of cash and no future restaraunt will open where Townsends closed! Getting really sick of walking past that empty storefront on my way to the Hyde or Annabelles!

Hey Lanny- time to wake up.

By on

Hey Lanny- time to wake up. EVERYONE knows that Tallon was at fault for this. Nothing to do with Button. Did you do any homework whatsoever on the situation before running your mouth? Did you know how much he owes Button, his staff, his patrons that he allowed to "invest" in the restaurant, the city, the banks, the vendors? Did you talk to any of his past staff members? Have you talked to Button?

I was once victim to Tallon's "poor me" stories until I saw the documentation. Check court records or better yet, call Button and just ask him what happened. I'm sure he would be more than happy to speak with you. He just had too much class to drag someone else's name through the mud (even though it was warranted).