Board doles out full liquor licenses to lucky North End restaurants

The Boston Licensing Board this week granted valuable full-liquor licenses to several North End restaurants that say they need to fend off advances from fancier places on the waterfront.

But with only a total of ten of the new licenses to dole out - and several of those already awarded - the board also denied requests from several restaurants in the North End, on the waterfront and in some other neighborhoods.

The winners of one of the new licenses - which are worth more than $300,000 on the open market - include Cantina Italiana on Hanover Street, possibly the neighborhood's oldest restaurant, Frank DiPasquale's Mare on Mechanic Court and Monica's Trattoria on Prince Street.

Also winning the valuable licenses: Antonio's, an Italian restaurant on Cambridge Street at the foot of Beacon Hill, Earl's in the Prudential Center, which promised Bar Boulud quality food and drinks at Cheesecake Factory prices, Lolita at 253 Summer St., Yotel, an impending hotel on Seaport Boulevard and Scorpion at 25 Northern Blvd.

Losing their bids are the still unopened Ben Cotto on Hanover Street - whose owner said he needed a license to help recoup the life savings he's poured into renovations - Ducali Pizzeria on Causeway Street, which has a beer and wine license, Antico Forno on Salem Street, which also lost a bid to transfer its beer and wine license to a cafe further down the street.

The board is still considering a full-liquor requests from Carmelina's on Hanover Street. And the board deferred action on a request from Scopa, 319 Hanover St., making its third attempt to win a beer and wine license.

Non-North End losers include Nicki Greek Kitchen on Brookline Avenue, which has a beer and wine license, Aloft Lounge on D Street and Haley Henry, a proposed restaurant at 45 Province St. downtown whose owner, Haley Fortier, said would be Boston's first wine-bar restaurant featuring locally sourced beers, wines, meat and fish.

The board deferred action on requests from the Retreat, a proposed restaurant on Sumner Street in Jeffreys Point, East Boston, whose owner says she needs the license as collateral for a loan to complete the upscale, 75-seat restaurant.

Restaurants that did not get a license can try to buy one on the open market, or wait until next January, when the board will get the authority to issue another five all-alcohol licenses.

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Comments

Wow, North End tycoon Frank

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Wow, North End tycoon Frank DiPasquale was "lucky enough" to "win" one of the new liquor licenses??!!....$uch a lucky guy, eh? $uch a lucky guy.....reminiscent of taxi tycoon Eddie T. "winning" the lotteries on several Boston taxi medallions back in the day, for only a $1500 licensing fee on each medallion....Medallion values subsequently peaked at over $600,000 in 2014 (before the Ubers and Lyfts wiped out the value, but Eddie T. had already sold MANY off, and reaped millions - as did several members of the City of BostonTaxi Commission, the Boston City Council and the Boston Police Hackney Division (which "regulates" the industry) did... oh-so- quietly. ("Thanks Eddie"...."No, thank YOU Councilor. And you too, Lieutenant. And...")

Silly you, Mr and Mrs. Taxpayer, wondering how a cop's salary can possibly afford that mini-mansion in Barnstable?...Or in posh Alton Bay along Lake Winnepesaukee, etc etc?....Oh, that's right...I forgot...it's from working "plenty of overtime" and "paid details", etc etc blah blah (wink wink-nudge nudge)

Will someone please wake up

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Will someone please wake up Carmen Ortiz from her nap and put her to work?

reality be damned

what is the reasoning the politicians are using behind an artificial limit on the licenses? i just wanna know what flavor BS i'm being fed

tia

Adults can't be trusted to do

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Adults can't be trusted to do adult things wherever they want.
Also, who cares if you need a free (basically free) license to use as collateral for a loan? Or if you sink your life savings in a business venture. The states cronies aren't responsible for bailing you out. That said, seems like a rather obvious pay to play scenario.

Today, or originally?

Originally, it was all about the 100 year old Nativist/Brahmin stereotype of the Irish as a bunch of drunken brawlers. Today, it's theoretically about limiting the social costs of alcohol by limiting its availability. Personally I think it makes the problem worse, because people who can't drink at a neighborhood bar they can kneewalk home from, are going to be more tempted to drive to a bar, rather than just staying home.

Good lord, but that stinks of corruption.

Looks like the Boston Licensing Board is even more willing to strap on the kneepads for deep-pocketed restaurant johns than the Andelmans.

The grossest joke here is Earl's: "Bar Boulud quality food and drinks at Cheesecake Factory prices." Sorry, Earl's, but you're already the Canadian Cheesecake Factory,and that's not a compliment. Meanwhile, Daniel Boulud is quietly tarnishing his reputation by putting his name on that feeble, ugly, shamelessly overpriced Boston outlet. Not your best aspirational analogy.

Choosing which restaurants

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Choosing which restaurants succeed or fail is certainly a legitimate role of government.

You will be surprised to know

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You will be surprised to know that in 2015 Frank and the missus each donated $1000 to Representative Aaron Michelwitz, a member of the legislature which engineered this debacle.