The Boston Licensing Board today gave J.J. Foley's permission to add a new function room on the second floor of its building on East Berkeley Street.
Attorney Patrick Foley, a member of the Foley family, told the board yesterday the watering hole is trying to keep its dining area open on nights when it offers functions. Currently, the bar has to either shut the dining area for functions or turn away function business, he said.
He noted that unlike many of the other bars opening up these days in the area, Foley's continues to be run by the same family.
He noted the family has run the tavern since 1909, continued to operate it even when that area was a place respectable Bostonians avoided and that the family wanted to keep operating in an area with a growing population of well heeled residents and business owners who are increasingly thirsty for the Foley's experience.
One resident, an artist who lives across the street, attended the hearing to express concern about noise - he said the sound from Zumba studio that had been renting the second floor was so loud it prevented him from painting.
The Foleys said Zumba is a different thing altogether and that they would keep the second floor's window shut during functions. This seemed to satisfy the resident, who praised the Foleys for upgrading the bar from its days as a "stinky, horrible" bar frequented only by off-duty cops and Boston Herald workers.
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