Failed Forest Hills bar could prove tonic for impending waterfront hotel

The Boston Licensing Board this week hears a request from the owner of the failed Tonic bar in Forest Hills to sell his all-alcohol license to the owners of the Envoy Hotel, scheduled to open this summer across from the Barking Crab and the Moakley Courthouse in South Boston.

The hotel is planning two bars: A ground-level watering hole called the Outlook and a rooftop bar called the Lookout. Also planned: A 50-seat sidewalk patio.

Tonic opened in 2012, shut down not long after, briefly re-opened, then shut for good in 2013. Plans to convert it to an Italian restaurant or a Chinese restaurant went nowhere.

The board considers the proposed license sale on Wednesday in its eighth-floor hearing room in City Hall. Its hearings begin at 10 a.m.

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Sorry to see

yet another all-alcohol license leaving a neighborhood for the big money in the Seaport area.

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Important question

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The light on Tonic's sign is still on! I am constantly baffled by this. How has NStar not cut them off? How has no one (the landlord?) not hit the switch? In combination with the blacked-out windows, it looks like a false storefront on an old movie set -- nothing behind it at all.

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Yeah

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And it's such a bright sign, too!

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The failure of Tonic wasn't much of a mystery,

and I don't think it was typical of most neighborhood restaurant failures. (I reviewed it for Stuff Magazine shortly after it opened.) The owner spent large on a very modern, nightclub-like design (accompanied by awful, overloud house music), and got rid of a pretty good opening chef after a couple of months, purportedly because he wanted to cut food costs. What was left was too fancy to draw a neighborhood crowd, with food and drink that wasn't compelling enough for destination diners.

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Voting is closed. 8