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Owner of shuttered Roxbury bar hopes to re-open it as a restaurant this fall

Norvia Pena says her long closed Norvia's Place, 2807 Washington St., should re-open this fall - with more of an emphasis on food than drinks.

Pena was before the Boston Licensing Board to explain why she's not using her valuable liquor license. Pena intended to close, but when she started doing kitchen renovations last year, "the [building's] foundation basically started to crumble," her attorney, Carolyn Conway said, adding that while the location has been home to a bar since the 1930s, nobody had ever done any major upkeep on the place before.

Conway said Pena is now on track to re-open in September, with a 45-seat restaurant, instead of a bar that sat only 15. Conway said Pena has poured $100,000 already into repairs and renovations, and that her landlord, the Stamatos family, has also worked to keep the building up.

The board votes Thursday whether to grant Pena permission to remain closed until the fall.



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It's great to see someone actually working to improve a place in Roxbury. So many places get shuttered and left behind here, so when someone actually takes on the task of rebuilding, the city should be fully supportive. Also, this region is otherwise a bit of a desert - I never went to the bar (because I have young children, and so hitting a small dive wasn't in my schedule) but if it is expanding into a restaurant then this would be great for the area. I hope the city gives Pena the leeway needed to take on the project instead of yanking the license and selling it to some dumb chain to put up yet another alston bar.

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but it wouldn't hurt if she had the community, directly adjacent to her establishment, to support and help foster her efforts as a non divey establishment or any watering hole is desperately needed in this desert.

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I went there once, as I used to live nearby. No draft beer, so I didn't return, but I'm glad to see that they plan on reopening and expanding. The neighborhood needs a local.

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