Douglas Bacon bringin' home the restaurant in the Fenway, he swears

Serial restrepreneur Douglas Bacon told the Boston Licensing Board today he hopes to have the long shuttered Symphony 8 restaurant on Westland Avenue open for business in a few months.

It's the same thing Bacon told the board in May 2014, but he swears this time he really means it.

Bacon was hauled before the board for a hearing this morning on why the board shouldn't take away the liquor license that's lain dormant since the spring of 2013 - holders of the lucrative licenses aren't supposed to just sit on them.

Bacon, who owns six restaurants in the area, said he's been beset by ongoing issues at both Westland Avenue and his other locations.

Symphony 8 is in an old building and renovations have proven more challenging than expected - he said he's now on his third designer and his second general contractor. Still, he said, there is progress: The restaurant has a new HVAC system and a new storefront.

Bacon acknowledged some of the problems might be because he hasn't been paying as much attention to the work as he'd like - because he's had to spend a fair amount of time finding qualified managers and staff in a tough labor market for his other restaurants.

He said he is painfully aware of what Symphony 8's long hiatus means, because he's still paying rent on the space and hie's already poured $800,000 into the renovations.

He said he is now aiming to open by July 15.

The board decides Thursday whether to give Bacon yet another extension on a deadline to use the license or lose it. After hearing Bacon's explanation, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini suggested a six-month extension.

Police say guy stabbed repeatedly outside JP bar remains tight lipped on attack

Sat, 11/12/2016 - 01:58

Boston Police say a man was stabbed several times outside the Drinking Fountain on Nov. 12 by a group of four people who had been denied entrance into the Washington Street watering hole earlier in the evening and that his attackers fled towards Forest Hills in a white sedan. Read more.

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Drunken Bruins fan ruins birthday party

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 01:58

A birthday celebration in a function room at a Park Plaza pub ended in a brawl when an unwanted drunk guy who kept returning grabbed a female guest he had somehow convinced to dance with him, police detectives told the Boston Licensing Board this morning. Read more.

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Codman Square to get nippier: State overrules Boston ban on sale of liquor in tiny bottles at local packie

The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission ruled last month that the Boston Licensing Board erred in requiring the new owners of a Washington Street liquor store to stop selling nips.

The ruling requires the local licensing board to amend Crown Liquors' license to permit nips sales at its 571 Washington St. outlet.

In recent years, the licensing board has generally required new owners of package-store licenses to not sell nips on the theory they encourage street drinking and littering.

The state commission ruled the board can keep doing that - but only on proof there is support in the surrounding community for such a license requirement.

Although representatives from Mayor Walsh's office and City Councilor Michael Flaherty urged the board at a November, 2015 hearing to ban the nips when Christ and George Stamatos took over the old MOD liquor store, the commission said no residents formally objected to nips sales and that neither of the city officials provided any specific reasoning at the hearing to ban nips.

Mod Liquors had sold nips for 35 years, the commission said.

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