New owners of perpetual construction site on Newbury Street get more time to not use their liquor license

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday gave UrbanMeritage until October to find somebody to use the liquor license at the old Ciao Bella, 240A Newbury St., that previous owner Joseph Cimino had sat on for years as he tried finishing up what turned into a money pit of a renovation project that is still not done.

Separately, the board last week granted Restoration Hardware another three months to do something with the liquor license it has never used at its Boylston Street location.

UrbanMeritage principal Vin Norton and attorney Dennis Quilty told the board on Tuesday that they were in serious negotiations with a prospective tenant for the restaurant space Cimino had prepped but that negotiations fell through and they're now looking for another restaurant operator to re-open the space.

"There's only a few months of work left to be done," Norton said, echoing similar comments that Cimino repeatedly made at his quarterly meetings with the board to seek permission to continue to hold the license without using it as he tried to renovate the building, which ran into an endless series of construction and accessibility issues.

Under questioning from board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer, Norton acknowledged he and his partners had yet to install the elevator that was a major reason for Cimino's delays and growing expenses.

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