The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to approve what could be the first of ritzy new restaurants to go along with the fancy new apartments being built in Allston.
Michael Chapman needs board approval to spend $50,000 to buy the liquor license of Positano Boston in the Charlestown Navy Yard. At a hearing this morning, Chapman and his lawyers described an ambitious project, already underway, to turn a rat-infested, collapsing old building at 87 Glenville Ave. into the Glenville Stops.
Chapman wants to turn "a pretty notoriously run-down commercial property" into "the highest-end restaurant ever in Allston," one of his lawyers, Joshua Krefetz, told the board.
Chapman said that when he's done, he will have spent $900,000 replacing brick walls that had begun collapsing onto the street and a leaking roof and dealing with other issues, including "a major problem with rats" that apparently were still feasting on the remains of an old convenience store on the site when not roaming the neighborhood in search of food.
Food prices won't be cheap, and that's on purpose, his other lawyer, David McCool, said.
"A lot of establishments (in Allston) cater to a younger crowd," but the construction of the new apartments means folks with more established sources of income are looking for a different atmosphere when they go out to eat, not "the reckless atmosphere" so typical in other eateries in Allston.
Even the Allston Civic Association is on board. President Paul Berkeley noted the association hasn't had much luck holding back the tide of late-night liquor licenses, so "maybe if we can shoot for quality, we can improve the area."
If the board approves the license transfer, Chapman said he hopes to open by late August or early September.
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