The Boston Licensing Board tomorrow considers approving a proposal to transfer the beer and wine license held by Gerard's on Adams Street in Dorchester to the soon-to-open Aloft Hotel on D Street - and to grant a new full-service liquor license to Gerard's purchasers, who are planning on renovating the Dorchester institution.
At a hearing today, a lawyer for Russell DeMariano and Edward Brooks, who would operate both establishments, said the Aloft restaurant would cater to hotel guests. DeMarino and Brooks, both Dorchester natives, said they want to upgrade Gerard's for the new century. They are seeking one of the new neighborhood-specific licenses approved by the state legislature, which means they could not resell it.
Attorney Karen Simao said this alone shows their committment to upgrading Gerard's - they couldn't buy the restaurant and then flip it, even if they wanted to, she said, adding that DeMarino literally grew up a block away from Gerard's, as did his parents.
Simao added that with the renovations, Gerard's would get a new name. She said the current working name is Landmark Public House, but added that could change.
City officials enthusiastically supported the Gerard's proposal, but differed on the closing time that should be allowed. The mayor's office and Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) said the restaurant should, at least initially, only be allowed to stay open until midnight. They pointed to the Erie Pub and Sam Maverick's as places that close then and said the proposed owners could come back in a year or two for a later closing if they have not problems.
An aided to City Councilor Michael Flaherty (at large), however, said the two are not only Dorchester natives, they have a "stellar reputation" and should be given a 1 a.m. closing time right off the bat.
At-large councilors Steve Murphy and Michelle Wu both support the proposed Dorchester license, but their aides took no stand on the closing time at today's hearing.