Mario Batali will pay $410,000 for the liquor license of the closed Castlebar on Washington Street so he can serve libations to patrons of his planned wood-fired pizza place on the South Boston waterfront
Batali's attorney, Joseph Hanley, told the Boston Licensing Board that Batali will spend $2.5 million in total to outfit his planned Babbo on Fan Pier.
As required, Hanley answered the question of the public need for the new restaurant: He said the Innovation District is attracting innovators, who need an innovative restaurant in which to eat.
He noted the construction of a new residential tower right next door to the office building in which Babbo would be located. Although the area already has a number of high-end restaurants, Babbo would be the first with wood-fired pizza.
He said the restaurant would have about 210 seats, with 22 more seats in an outdoor patio, and that it would serve food right up until its 2 a.m. closing time.
Hanley added that Boston's "culinary community" is excited by the prospect of Batali's first Boston restaurant and that it would help cement Boston's growing reputation as a culiinary hotspot.
The board votes tomorrow on whether to approve the request, which was supported by the mayor's office and several city councilors.
Last month, the proposed operators of a Korean fusion restaurant across from Faneuil Hall Maketplace spent $425,000 for an all-alcohol license.