The Boston Licensing Board today warned the lawyer for the fancy home-furnishing chain that if it doesn't start serving the wine and beer for which it won a license at its Back Bay store last year, it could have that license taken away.
Restoration Hardware lawyer Howard Wayne told the board it's been unable to win ISD approval for the kitchen, restrooms and other facilities it needs to open a wine bar in its historic new location between Boylston and Newbury streets.
Wayne said the store wants to eventually open a wine bar, but if it can't, it would sell the license.
Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer, who voted against giving the store a license last year, literally threw her hands up in the air in anger. She said at a hearing last year, Restoration Hardware said it wanted to open a sort of cafe to serve "small bites" along with wine to customers browsing expensive home furnishings, not a wine bar.
She told Wayne she was upset that Restoration Hardware had "misrepresented" what it wanted to do in the space. "If your client's intent is to change (the nature of the wine and beer sales), I think they need to have the courtesy to tell us, because I'm comfortable at this point revoking the license," she said.
She added Restoration Hardware spent vast amounts of money and took a long time gutting and restoring the inside of the old Louis Boston and that she was finding it hard to believe the store was unable to carve out any space for a kitchen during that time.
Wayne said this was all news to him. He said he only took over as Restoration Hardware lawyer last year. At the board's license hearing, it was represented by go-to licensing lawyer Dennis Quilty.
Unless the store quickly begins serving beer and wine, the board will hold a hearing to consider taking back the license.