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.