BRA refuses to concede defeat: Sues National Park Service to try to stick a restaurant at the end of Long Wharf

The BRA, which has battled some North End residents for years over its unquenching desire to turn a kiosk at the end of Long Wharf into a restaurant, has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Park Service, which now says the kiosk needs to be left alone, because it's basically parkland, reports.



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Does anyone know which restaurant owner/group is behind the BRA trying so hard to get this done? It feels like some last favor of the Menino administration, like the Yawkey way screw job, that someone is badly trying to preserve. Otherwise, why the struggle?

There are tons of restaurant options right there - this isn't an underserved area and they'd be taking away a great little water front public space so some private company can make fat money from a waterfront site. Something has to be driving this.

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The name of the restaurant's owner is in the original story. It doesn't seem as though someone is "behind" this as much as it is the city trying to make money.

The city?

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Or the BRA - usually the proceeds of these "deals" is how they fund their operations. I have a feeling they are trying to raise money for themselves - not the city.

The original operator gave up

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And used his liquor license to open a restaurant in South Boston instead. So if the BRA does win, they're going to have to find somebody willing to go through the rigamarole/expense of getting a liquor license.

Because it's the right thing to do?

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It's a useless pavilion on an oversized plaza that seems to get more use by nesting birds than people. It costs money to maintain it. I've always found the end of the Long Wharf to be pathetically underutilized, and this would drive more people down there.

Is the 36,000 square feet of plaza surrounding it not enough public space? Turning the pavilion into a restaurant would give people a reason to go down there, especially if there is lots of outdoor seating (which I'm sure there will be). Look at how successful the bars in front of the Marriott are. It's not like this is going to make the entire end of the pier private property, it's just giving people something to do.

long wharf gets used

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I've been there in the summer when it has lots of people, just hanging out. One of the few spots around that hasn't been commercialized. It's one of the relaxing spots where I would always take visitors as part of a walking tour of the city.

BRA has needed to be dismantled, and its members investigated, for years. Maybe they're pushing their luck by annoying a federal agency.

It's great after dark. There

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It's great after dark. There are so many ways you could relax out there: smoke crack; smoke meth; snort heroin; shoot heroin; etc., etc. The possibilities for relaxation are only limited by the junkie's imagination!

And another problem

The area floods pretty seriously on a storm tide. Businesses back to the main part of the wharf typically board up, and serious waves break over the end where the kiosk thing is.

It would be difficult to run a business out of there in the coming years, unless it was designed around the reality of closing and flooding several times a year.

Put a set of food trucks there...

And the crowds will come. Put tables under the pavilion and make it a spot for up to aix food trucks.

It would also help if more shade and seats could be added to the rest of the space. Maybe some shaded benches like the ones that were originally on the Esplanade. Those could make it through some wind storms.

The UH crew could put together a better use for this space than the BRA.


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Might have some merit.

That kiosk makes me think of the pavillions at Revere Beach. A while ago el hubbo and I were enjoying an evening walking by (I was introducing him to joy of Kelley's on the beach as opposed to Kelley's on Route 1) and a group of older Italian (I'm guessing) folks had accordions and maybe other instruments and were having a fun little dance party. I don't know if it were impromptu or a thing set up by a group but you could see they were having fun.

I wonder if something like that could happen there?


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Do you actually ever go to Long Wharf?

It's far from underutilized, especially in the summer with all the traffic coming off of the BHC boats and from the aquarium. Only in winter is it less frequented, for obvious reasons - and even then, it's usually a prime spot for New Year's fireworks.

I'll second that. I have

I'll second that. I have found it to be a nice place to go sit and eat lunch and get away from downtown and your office for a lil bit. You can watch what's going on in the Harbor and around it. And it's always had a lot of people doing the same and tourists milling around when there. I'm not necessary against putting something in that pavilion (I love the food truck idea actually), but this space as currently utilized has merits as is.


It's also nice because there is nothing there. Sit quietly and watch the water traffic. It's nice anf relaxing and a great way to spend some time. Put yet another restaurant there (especially with alcohol) and there goes any hope of it being park-like.

Well put.

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We really need to lose this NIMBY mentality of "we don't want it, so it shouldn't be built - even though we can't give you any valid reasons supported by FACTS not to build it."

And I'm getting sick of this whole "but it's public space" whining as well. It's a CITY, and cities thrive on restaurants and other businesses.

If you spend much time in the area

You would realize that the storm tide flooding issue is a fact.

Also note the fact that the BRA doesn't even have a taker for the space. Perhaps that is because of the fact that business in this space will be highly seasonal.

Hell yeah.

Surge would be brutal in a hurricane or winter nor'easter.

I realized that the fencing I saw in early March may be there to keep the homeless from using it when there is a good chance a wave will carry em off.

And it's another bit of Harborwalk without much railing extended.

It's well off shore so the possibilities of drunks in the drink drowned is higher than the other places where they already are taking dives.

In a way it is very funny.

In the recent Dubaization of Boston, the architects made a drab industrial subway tunnel backup vent into something charming but with limited use potential and likely jurisdiction muddle.

If it were the utilitarian 50s you'd probably just have a drab stack there. Or maybe a dummy shack thing to disguise it.

It's where you go to get out of the rain on days like today.

But in the beady eyed lizard mind of money grubbing schemers this is some failed chance to shove yet another sales pitch where it isn't needed or wanted.


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A government organization that makes its living making up the rules as it goes along is all bent out of shape saying that some other government organization is just making up the rules as it goes along.

Welcome to our world you dirtbags.

i walked the "back side" of

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i walked the "back side" of this wharf on sunday night. i saw one man shooting up heroin, a group of teenagers drinking 40s, and some woman who needed help getting a cab because she had bad diahrera (sp) (she later walked of when i wasked "too many" questions"). very strange walk.


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This is so frustrating.

The harborwalk has already been slowly invaded by restaurant and hotel "patio seating," the last thing we need is more privatization of public space.

I agree the pavilion isn't much to look at unless you're a character actor doing a bad southie accent, but if the BRA really wanted so badly to improve the area, then they can easily put in a parklet or historical markers á la Fan Pier, etc.. and still keep it open to everyone. Piers Park is lovely. Let's make it a mini that.

Now, where on Longwharf are

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Now, where on Longwharf are we talking about, the side close to Columbus park, or the side where tourist board Boston harbor cruises, or is it behind the Marriott hotel, Chart house, or is it the pavillion where tourist buy tickets for harbor cruises across from the entrance of the Marriott. Explain!

It is not an emergency exit

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It is not an emergency exit from Aquarium station. It is a vent shaft for the Blue Line tunnel under Boston Harbor. There is also one on the East Boston side. It passively (no fans) allows air in and out of the tunnel when trains pass by. During a fire in the tunnel, the fans would be turned on to exhaust the smoke. Not exactly the type of structure you would want to build a reasturant next to.


So we don't even seem to have speculators who can do thorough site research before going forward with said pipe dream proposal.

And the BRA can't be bothered to understand the purposes of its own stuff?


This gets back to my no doubt controversial assertion that successful money grubbing is not necessarily an indication of higher intelligence.

This period of childish CEO adulation and presumption of genius is really ready for the dumpster.

Ok, I know where, been there

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Ok, I know where, been there before, The Pier, it's kind of old and raggaty looking, but not another Resturaunt please... That area needs more retail... It will be nice to have a Mini shopping retail outlet on that pier, clothing apparel etc, christmas shopping on the pier, No food related business people should be concerned , another resturaunt on that pier will take away business from the north end.

And Piers Park where the counterpart emergency venting structure sits, about where you'd expect it to be.

It looks to be enclosed in the middle. Any bistro action there or did Boston waive its excretory function disdain and provide restrooms for a change?

Restrooms, yes.

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And a staffed police office right there where you've indicated (for better or worse).

But, keep in mind, Piers Park is Massport property.

I would add..

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It's unrealistic to assume "restaurants make things nice."

The worst parts of the harborwalk/waterfront areas are precisely those occupied by restaurants and bars. That's because when you have a fancy eatery or drinkery you naturally have the backside of that establishment - the dumpsters, the garbage, the rats, the sewage.

The most depressing part of Long Wharf I don't think is the pavilion - it's the backside of the Chart House. Gets pretty gross over there, imagine another, bigger place with more garbage in the summer months. No thanks.

The more imaginative homeless

..have thoroughly colonized the downtown Harborwalk system in any spots where they are unlikely to be disturbed.

This is a collateral damage aspect of grotesque income inequality married to rentier wealth confiscation. As Boston gets more glitzy, it also gets more like the third world oligarchies.

Who knew?

When I covered Fan Pier in June, every bench had a tenant.

The teens may have transient seasonal jobs in the money grub complex nearby.

The thing is a simple pavilion shelter in addition to whatever emergency exit function it has.

In March, it had temporary fences wrapping it.

Revere has a bunch of em too.

Lets turn those into hospitality pits while we're at it.

I love the mechanical assumptions like: "Every chump dump in the area is already a glowing success, therefore another chump dump will be a glowing success."

And this despite the risks associated with hospitality biz launches, the expense and failure rate.

Speculation is still just that and the feeble febrile pipe dreams of yet another connected hospitality jackass don't strike me as something worthy of support or some form of indirect corporate welfare.

Better to just let the pigeons and homeless roost in peace.

So this resturaunt is the

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So this resturaunt is the winning bidder for a 10 year lease on that land on that pier, BRA should look into other options besides using the land for another resturaunt, Garbage filled Dumpsters and Water rats will be behind this proposed resturaunt, garbage spilling into harbor, How many resturaunts does the harbor walk area really need, there are enough to choose from., How about a fitness / Yoga facility overlooking the harbor with juice bar and cafe...........