The team behind Deuxave in the Back Bay is looking to transform the home of two failed South End restaurants into what their lawyer called "an urban, modern steakhouse concept."
Brian Piccini's proposed Boston Chops would move into the vacant space at 1375 Washington St. where Banq and Ginger Park both went out of business. Attorney Joseph Hanley said Piccini and his team - which includes executive chef Chris Coombs of Deuxave and dbar in Dorchester - are committed to the sort of "first class" operation the South End demands. Part of that would include an expanded bar to accommodate people who prefer bar dining - as well as a kitchen open right until a proposed 1 a.m. closing time.
However, at a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board today, attorney Joseph Hanley said they might have to wait until a liquor license frees up. Piccini has committed to extensive spending to soundproof the restaurant - which sits on the first floor of a residential building - and could not also afford the roughly $300,000 it would take to buy a liquor license on the open market.
Hanley said his clients have already hired engineers to design ways to minimize the impact on its upstairs neighbors - and they have lowered the ceilings and removed speakers that were attached to structural beams, which spread music throughout the building.
City officials, nearby residents and owners of some South End restaurants spoke in favor of the proposal. However, the resident whose unit sits directly atop the proposed bar said through his attorney he would want a memorandum of understanding to ensure he no longer has to endure the sort of late-night noise he suffered under the "sports bar" atmosphere of the earlier restaurants.
The licensing board votes on the request for a license and proposed 1 a.m. closing time tomorrow.