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Newmarket Square becoming late-night food haven

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday gave New Market Pizza and Grill at 850 Mass. Ave. permission to extend its closing time from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week, after its owner and lawyer assured the board there was a tremendous market for late-night food in an area frequented by hospital workers and cops.

A nearby McDonald's is already licensed for 24-hour operations. Victoria's Diner, a few blocks away, is open 24 hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while the Hen House across from that is open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Attorney George Heos said the pizza place would prove a welcome respite for nearby Boston Medical Center and Boston and Transit police who want "very high quality" food, as opposed to the stuff he said they now find at McDonald's. The pizza place was already licensed for delivery service until 3 a.m., but Heos said many people want to be able to chose what they want in person, rather than from a menu over the phone.

City officials, who routinely oppose late-night hours almost everywhere else in the city, stayed mute when board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer asked if anybody was opposed to the proposal.

State Rep. Carlos Henriquez, who did not attend the hearing, tweeted this morning he is worried about the ramifications of that stretch of Mass. Ave. becoming a place where people getting out of bars at 2 a.m. know they can get food. Late-night eateries should be allowed in more places - rather than just Newmarket and Chinatown - he wrote:

Let's have them in every neighborhood so no one has to go too far & there is equity. And there should be a plan for crowd control, either private security or paid BPD detail on nights w/ high volume. Fri/Sat.

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thinking anyone cares what his criminal self thinks.

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As far as I'm aware, Newmarket Square is very industrial/post-industrial and there's not a lot of residences aroundl. Maybe this is a good test case for a "Hamsterdam" of late-night eating, isolated away from residences and bars, where any ruckus can be contained?

Also, Hen House is the BOMB.

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