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Fenway: No to waitresses in skimpy outfits, yes to high-end chefs

The Boston Licensing Board tomorrow decides whether to approve two new restaurants in the Fenway: A Tilted Kilt where Copperfield's is and Tapestry where Church is.

The Tilted Kilt at 96 Brookline Ave. would be the first Boston outlet of a national chain that is sort of like Hooters, except the bonnie lasses wear wee tartan skirts instead of shorts.

At a hearing today, proposed manager Yury Singh urged the board to bar that thought from their minds, however. He called the proposed eatery a "sports pub" that attracts everybody from families with young children to little old ladies - such as the group of 12 senior women he says are regulars at the Bethesda, MD Tilted Kilt he currently manages.

He added, "our food is very good, surprisingly, for pub food."

The Fenway Civic Association and City Councilor Josh Zakim, however, say there's a reason Boston doesn't have any Hooters, Tilted Skirts or Coyote Uglies. They just "don't work well in the city," Nick Carter, an aide to Zakim, told the board.

The association opposed the proposed new restaurant.

Tilted Kilt attorney Dennis Quilty said this was the first he'd heard of a civic-association nay vote; he said the group's board held a meeting on the proposal on Aug. 21 and never gave him or the restaurant a chance to answer any specific questions.

Both the association and Zakim did support a proposal by Marlena Ward to buy Church's liquor license and turn the entertainment venue into a two-part restaurant called Tapestry that would not offer up any live music.

Ward, formerly a vice president for financial planning at Dana Farber, would oversee the proposed restaurant while her step-daughter, Meghan, and her fiance, both of whom have extensive experience as chefs, would orchestrate the "chef-driven" menus at the Expo Kitchen, which would feature lower-priced entrees and the Clubroom, where people could go for more sophisticated and expensive high-end dining.

"Absolutely not," she said when asked if Tapestry would offer live entertainment. She added that in contrast to the 20-something hard drinkers who frequented Church, her client would skew much older. Unlike Church, where she estimated 70% of sales were in the form of alcohol, Tapestry probably wouldn't exceed 25% of sales for liquor.

Ward said she and her stepdaughter wanted to open a restaurant together and that they'd had their eye on the Church space for several months when its owners finally decided to throw in the towel and sell.

The proposal, also supported by Mayor Walsh's office, calls for brunch on weekends, dinner until 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays - and an overall 2 a.m. closing time.

An attorney for a neighboring condo association said his clients appreciated the new concept but asked the board to set a midnight closing time because the only reason people would go to the new restaurant after the kitchen closes would be to drink and that the later closing time could open the gates to similar hours at new restaurants in the fast growing neighborhood.

A Fenway resident countered by noting that Tasty Burger and Hojoko already have 2 a.m. closing times.

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Comments

The chainification of Fenmore is pretty sad, but isn't a place like Tilted Kilt better served in a more educationally-depressed area like Nashua, NH?

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The Fenway area takes a pretty big IQ hit on game nights.

Nashua does already have a Tilted Kilt location which opened in 2014. Interestingly, the Hooters in Nashua didn't fare all that well and disappeared several years ago.

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The Fenway area takes a pretty big IQ hit on game nights.

educationally-depressed area like Nashua, NH

Words fail me, but I'll try....these two phrases sound like they come from elitist buffoons that fit the stereotype of what a typical elitist snob from Boston would say.

I have no skin in the game, but wow. Do you guys ever hear yourself talk? And, do you talk this way in public? Would you say the same thing about sections of the city where high school graduation rates aren't what they should be?

Honestly I wasn't going to comment on it but it really bugs me that it seems certain groups of humans are open for condescending ridcule. Is there a rule book or something that lists which groups are allowed to be considered this way in such a broad generalization?

Thanks.

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Unfortunately there is no dismissive hand-wave emoji that I could have added to my post, but you sum up my general feeling about things quite well.

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- spot on.

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I lived in the Fenway for a number of years, and it's unfortunately true.

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The IQ deficit is still far less pronounced now that the 70s-80s era big hair magnet discos and their associated drug use are long gone.

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Pretty nice place. Intellectual population.

Walked by a Tilted Kilt recently during a visit.

City Hall should not be in the biz of making ethical decisions. If it's a location, zoning or other objection - OK - but we shouldn't be outlawing law abiding businesses (like Chik Fil-A) just because you don't like something about their owners or their otherwise legal business practices.

Effectively it's Jerry Remy's with waitresses in short skirts.

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Why should the city be picking the private businesses that a landlord is able to his space to?

I guess it leaves open nice opportunities for graft.

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Because we don't want anymore bar food and drunks running around the Fenway.

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You're replacing Copperfield's with Tilted Kilt. They aren't making the space bigger. They aren't replacing an orphanage. They're taking a bar/restaurant and making it a restaurant/bar.

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I saw what was on offer, however, figured it wasn't my kind of place, and decided to grab a bike share bike to one of the hipster neighborhoods for dinner instead. It was a popular watering hole with twenty billion blaring screens.

That doesn't mean that it isn't a decent place to eat, just that it wasn't my kind of place to eat.

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Was in that area for business and the location was close to my hotel, so it kept coming up on my search of "decent restaurants in the area with good reviews" regardless of the type of search/website used. Went to their homepage and decided it wasn't the kind of place I wanted to go to, but evidently it does rate better than Hooters for the most part it seems.

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They'd be standing in for the interests of neighbors and other business owners in that sense. I'm not entirely opposed to things like this being managed this way.

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If it's a public-facing establishment, then people who live near it should have a say. But, and the but is a pretty big one: if the area is almost all commercial property, the city should not be in a position to kill something out of spite or in search of bribes or "gifts."

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But, and the but is a pretty big one: if the area is almost all commercial property, the city should not be in a position to kill something out of spite or in search of bribes or "gifts."

The "if" is incorrect, however. There's a residential neighborhood that consists almost exclusively of large multi-unit dwellings (the remaining footprint is small businesses, mostly restaurants, and a church and an assisted living facility) -- it is relatively small in footprint, but because of the very high residential density, you're talking about more people calling the place home than a casual observer would think. The conclusion is a bit sketchy too -- there are valid reasons to kill projects, it isn't all about bribery.

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Stevil mentioned something that got under my skin, too. This quote:

They just "don't work well in the city," Nick Carter, an aide to Zakim, told the board.

Sorry Nick, but it's not your job to decide what works well.

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is now working as an aide to Zakim? Wow. Just wow.

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Also the fact that the kid's barely old enough to drink. Congrats on having a good job right out of school, but maybe you don't know everything about what "works" in the city.

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He speaks for the people who live in the neighborhood -- that is what he was elected to do. Not that complicated! You want Boston to be a city of corporate retail and restaurant chains? Move to Burlington. Bye now!

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I understand a person doing their job and representing their constituency. Just say you don't want the place. But don't give false reasons for your logic like saying those places just "don't work". When people start pulling that crap, their credibility goes downhill fast.

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Any legal enterprise proposed for a location zoned for legal enterprises shouldn't have to pass this kind of review. This bit from the civic association really says it all:

The Fenway Civic Association and City Councilor Josh Zakim, however, say there's a reason Boston doesn't have any Hooters, Tilted Skirts or Coyote Uglies. They just "don't work well in the city," Nick Carter, an aide to Zakim, told the board.

Perhaps so, in which case, let them fail after six months. But that's Tilted Kilts' risk to take.

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Agreed. Also, I would think Twisted Kilt would be much more successful at one of the new casinos. Kenmore Sq. / Fenway has turned into a crappy outdoor mall of overpriced chains and empty bank branches. Character and sense of uniqueness is being erased to the point where soon it will be indistinguishable from Anytown, USA.

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So take that for what it is.

I cannot for the life of me understand the popularity of places such as Hooters or Tilted Kilt.

I have been to Hooters. The one up in Saugus. It is packed. It is the biggest sausage fest since Machine opened back in the 90s. The food is pure crap. Its famed wings are the worst I have ever eaten. Every waitress looked identical. Nice body but perma tanned, dumb as a box of rocks and annoying high pitched voice like nails on a chalk board. More make up and perfume than the ladies section of Macys.

I get it. Its eye candy. But you can get that anywhere else in the city without buying junk food and cheap bud.

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This one is Celtic-themed, so those bare midriffs will be fair-skinned.

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It's a place for starry eyed suburbanites to go into the "big bad city" and overpay for junk food while looking at marginally attractive women.

Hooters and Coyote Ugly both failed in Boston in a matter of 2-3 years. A TK wouldn't fare much better.

Lower Boylston Street in the Fenway is rapidly changing from a sea of parking lots and seasonal sport bars to a year round shopping and dining destination. The last thing it needs is another mediocre sports bar wasting space.

With all the club music venues closing in Boston and Cambridge I don't understand why the Copperfields location isn't being looked as a possible venue. It is about the right size and already hosts some music. Why not turn it into the new Middle East, All Asia, Paradise, Church, Rat, etc? That would beat the stuffing out of a generic sports bar.

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The city would rather drive away young talented artists.. tourist money is where its at.

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I did a short consulting stint in Overland Park, KS and Hooters was a family restaurant there. People would bring their children, grandparents, all members of the family. When I scrunched up my nose and said "ewwww!" I invariably got "They have the best wings! You should go!" as a response.

No thanks. There are plenty of places to get good wings around here.

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I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. But hey were just plain nasty.

Huge balls of fried batter with a small wing or drumstick inside. The hot sauce sucked.

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Saying you go to Hooters for their nasty (breaded, yech) wings is like saying you read Playboy for the... never mind.

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(one of these days I am going to figure out who you are LOL)

But LOL @ "Biggest Sausage Fest since Machine opened"

No that would be the backroom of the Ramrod upstairs... before they remodeled.

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Once, I mentioned Ramrod to a friend of mine. This friend - who is gay and male, but from rural Connecticut, god help him - asked in all earnestness, "Wait. Why is it called Ramrod?" Oh, honey.

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As a fellow gay... probably for the same reason gay sports bars like Boxers in New York and Philly do well. Shitty food, beer, and "hot" shirtless bartenders who make their tips flirting, smiling, and being pretty. That said I still go to these places when I'm in the cities...

Speaking of Machine I always felt they should have remodeled the upstairs into a more friendly sports bar - something like HiTops in SF.

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Speaking of Machine I always felt they should have remodeled the upstairs into a more friendly sports bar - something like HiTops in SF.

While I miss the seediness of the old RamRod (pre-remodel)... I agree. They need to re-invent themselves. Machine has turned into a 18+ hang out now.. and RR is just an overflow bar now from downstairs.

When Machine and the downstairs pool room opened, the intention was to be sports bar like... but it never worked out that way.

(and hot shirtless guys working for tips.. isn't this most gay bars anyways?)

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So cool to go to a bar for the hot, shirtless guys working for tips.....but not cool to go to a Hooters for "hot", large-breasted women working for tips?

Do they serve better wings at Machine?

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But they have a killer sausage.

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(and hot shirtless guys working for tips.. isn't this most gay bars anyways?)

That's certainly not the case at Cathedral Station, Club Cafe, The Alley, The Eagle, or Trophy Room (Nor Sister Sorel, which isn't officially a gay bar, but usually is by default). I think that covers most gay bars in Boston Proper at least...

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The food is pure crap. Its famed wings are the worst I have ever eaten

I disagree. Girls aside, it caters to a slightly cheaper market for basic wings and beer than joints like BWW.

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And i for the life of me don't understand Gay bar.

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On your experience.

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IMAGE(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ip9ziFU0FO8/VBg-4ZPujkI/AAAAAAAAf3c/HtSDA31NJ2g/s1600/blue_oyster_bar.jpg)

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My wife and I go to Hooters in Malden from time to time. We take our kids. There's absolutely no titillation -- they could replace their waitresses with campy men or replicas or grouchy old ladies and we'd go just as often. We like the wings, the big mugs of pisswater beer, and sports on TV.

Some people like breaded wings, Miller Lite, and low expectations -- if only as an occasional guilty pleasure.

Still, I'm hopeful that Fenway is able to shun chain retail. I think one of the things that make cities more interesting and valuable is that they offer things that you can't get at your suburban shopping mall.

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Just so we can get past this canard...the following places in Fenway are already chains:

Yard House
Panera
Chipotle
Starbucks
Jillian's
Shaw's
REI
Bed Bath and Beyond
Residence Inn
Regal Cinemas
Blick Art
Target
Marshalls
Domino's
House of Blues
Subway
Guitar Center
Dunkin' Donuts
Staples
CVS
Au Bon Pain
West Elm
7-Eleven

This doesn't even count local "chains" like Boston Beer Works, Wahlburgers, Regina Pizzeria, Sal's, Emack & Bolio's, etc.

And far from "shunning" these things, the Target is a fairly new concept for Target called a "City Target", they're looking to add a City Wegmans, and some of the above listed places are the busiest places on the weekends in the Fenway area.

So, can we stop wringing our hands over a "chain" as if that's a reason the "Tilted Kilt" is going to ruin the neighborhood?

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None are proper restaurants, just fast food joints. And, let's not forget that
* Jillian's started in Boston at that location
* Dunkie's is from Quincy
* CVS got started in Cumberland and Woonsocket RI
* Staples is out of Framingham
* House of Blues was founded in Cambridge
* Marshalls: Framingham
* Shars/Star: founded in Maine, operated out of West Bridgewater Mass

30 percent of your "chain" list are local stores. And those local chains are local too.

So yeah, Fenway isn't 100 percent one-offs. You're knocking down straw men. Fenway has managed to maintain a number of one-offs, some local businesses, and some businesses with local roots that went and got successful nationwide.

Furthermore, some businesses are far more natural chains, whereas others need not be. Fast food? Move theaters? National retail. Proper restaurants and bars, dry cleaners? Local. Grocery? Regional. It's still a neighborhood, so it's got to have amenities across the spectrum, and that means its going to have some chains just because chains can perform those business functions more cheaply. Nevertheless, there's a heap of business types where local and interesting can do well, and my hope is that in those areas (including restaurants and bars), we keep local and manage to avoid national, be it Kilts or Applebees or whatev.

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Nice move of the goalposts. Suddenly, chains are okay if they just happened to have started within a 100 mi radius of where you're complaining about?

And then you cherry-pick a half dozen or so of my list to "prove" that the list is suspect?

And what is a "proper restaurant" chain? You named Applebees? Really? So, Yard House isn't a "proper restaurant"? That's the No True Scotsman fallacy.

So, cherry-picking, no true scotsman, and moving the goalpost. Three fallacious arguments, you're out.

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To oppose a business because you don't care to patronize it. Funny, I didn't know Tilted Kilt sold heroin to schoolchildren. Get a (expletive) life.

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There should be zoning laws in place that as long as you adhere to those laws, you should be able to open any business and let the market dictate whether it stays or goes.

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The Fenway Civic Association and City Councilor Josh Zakim, however, say there's a reason Boston doesn't have any Hooters, Tilted Skirts or Coyote Uglies. They just "don't work well in the city," Nick Carter, an aide to Zakim, told the board.

You know what doesn't work well? Letting you speak for who can and can't operate restaurants in your neighborhood. You know why there's no Hooters or Coyote Ugly in Boston? Because there was one of each and they went out of business. NOT because the neighborhood didn't let them exist. They were also both over by The Garden and maybe Tilted Kilt (did he call them Tilted Skirts or is that a typo, Adam?) being by Fenway Park or the quality of the food or the quality of the service or who knows what will have found the magic that lets them stay in business.

You don't want "breasteraunts" opening in Boston, make a law that requires staff to be clothed to your minimum standard. But to oppose them opening is going to need something a lot stronger than "they don't work well". Lots of places "don't work well"...then they close up shop and we move on to something new there. That's how it works. You're not trying to protect them from wasting money. I'll assume the owner isn't some kind of money-laundering mobster whom you might oppose based on the likelihood of running illegal activities from the place. The Fenway area isn't put upon by having them there. The outside of the one I've seen before looks like a pub. They probably won't even need to make many changes from the brick exterior of Copperfield's.

So, you've opposed them because? Because they dress skimpy to serve food? Thanks, Prudence. Grow up.

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there is no difference between between a hooters/tilted kilt/etc than strega on the waterfront. their female wait staff dress like high end hookers.

in regards to this replacing copperfields, the morality police should take the tilted kilt as a win. copperfields didn't know what a real ID looked like and let everyone in. half of my high school was being served there our senior year, and every BU freshman knows its an easy bar to get into. at least a national chain will bother to check IDs of its patrons (their liability exposure is too high not to)

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Is way more offensive than looking at a TK Girl.

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The proposal, also supported by Mayor Walsh's office

I've stated this before, but it bears repeating. The Mayor's Office has absolutely no business getting involved in decisions like these, as it can be implied that they are using the power of said office to infulence the decision.

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Or endure another few decades of a mayor who thinks the city's resources belong to him, to be doled out to his friends and denied to his enemies.

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Generally, the mayor's office goes along with whatever the local neighborhood association decides. That didn't change at all with the change in mayor.

Personally, even aside from that, I like knowing how the mayor stands on issues.

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pitch their case themselves then.

Personally, even aside from that, I like knowing how the mayor stands on issues

Even when the Mayor's stand on a NEIGHBORHOOD issue may indirectly infulence the outcome of decisions related to that issue. That's borderline abuse of power, especally when the Mayor may support opposition that has no legitimate basis.

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or the Fort Point channel with Boston2024.

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unless you've got hot young guys wearing kilts as well

why not!

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Yes. Men in kilts. Yes indeed.

IMAGE(http://40.media.tumblr.com/16c75230cfa2f6595f1a719106f48fb1/tumblr_ni3ovcJffV1qa0wj4o1_500.jpg)

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... a double!

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Kilts are required uniform.

They all tip the scale around 400#.

I should hook you up.

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Here's Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who played The Mountain on that silly TV show everyone's so crazy about.

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These anti-Tilted Kilt people remind me of Eastwood in Gran Torino....Get off my lawn!

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I hafta wonder: if the city councilor & neighborhood association had instead given their opinion, backing the Tilted Kilt setting up shop, saying that it mayn't do well in the Boston market but let's give them a chance over other suggested viable candidates anyway; and the mayor came in supporting that -- if we'd be seeing the same reaction here about the city keeping its nose out of neighborhood concerns.

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FRED: Paul. Come in for a second. I want you to listen to this.

PAUL: (to Elaine) Hi.

ELAINE: Hi.

FRED: Paul, woman here claims there's a restaurant on the West side that's only hiring large-breasted women.

PAUL: (to Elaine) Really?

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Great clip!

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Tilted Kilt, whatever, if it came to the area I just wouldn't go. Excited about Tapestry, as I used to frequent Church (great mussels!)

But...

the only reason people would go to the new restaurant after the kitchen closes would be to drink

And just what is wrong with that? As a resident of the neighborhood, I don't see why these people insist that the only way for the neighborhood to be good is to have only food, no drinking, and everything rolled up by early in the night. That just creates a dead neighborhood, not one that's a good place to live. Especially since it sounds like Tapestry is aiming more at the higher-end crowd (i.e. not drunk sox fans) what's the problem with someone having a 1am cocktail?

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My concern would be with places like the infamous lingerie espresso stands endemic to the Seattle area, which were kind of gross to begin with but really wore out their welcome by being hotbeds of prostitution and drug sales. Both of which I think should be legalized, in fact - but regulated and not taking place, for example, right next door to a kids' water park (as was the actual case with one Seattle-area example).

I guess Hooters and maybe even this Kilt thing are established enough to know better than to let those sort of shenanigans play out, but it's a valid concern for existing residents, based on the history of sex-industry-lite food service businesses that have proven themselves to be rotten neighbors in the past.

Like the casinos, don't promise me THIS one's magically gonna be squeaky-clean if that's never actually happened before.

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A study showed that 20% of fish sold in Boston restaurants are misrepresented as a different (i.e., more expensive) species. I guess "lass" will be rebranded pauper Russian students at Berkelee.

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FENWAY RESIDENts NeeD no mOre BARF places for {drunk} after GAMes
or THURSday to Saturday college Drinkers. PlentY now. PlentY now place/s
to meat, drink, BaRF.

PlaCe to Eat gooD we we want. Mayor knows. Zakim Knows. Nick "the Pick On Him" the KID. He Know.

We say NO. No.

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Go home John A. Keith/JimboJones/BostonBred/Lurker you're drunk!

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There are a lot of places that dont work well in the city. Thats why they go out of business.

Does the city require a 100 year lease on all new businesses? No?

Then let them open and fail. And if theyre successful, you clearly have no idea what people want.

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That's a bit simplistic, in a neighborhood that has a large out-of-town tourist influx 80 days of the year. There's money to be made catering to those people, but there's also a valid interest in business that serves the people who actually live there 365 days a year.

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