The owners of four suburban sushi and Japanese-grill restaurants in the suburbs have proposed turning the vacant old Citibank branch at 1924 Beacon St. into their latest restaurant.
At a meeting last night, members of the Brighton-Allston Improvement Association gave thumbs up to the proposed Feng Shui Hibachi Sushi Lounge - but only on the proviso it seek a license to serve beer and wine and not a license to serve harder drinks.
Some members raised the specter of drunken young patrons careening through the neighborhood, leaving trash everywhere, breaking windows and using residents' yards as toilets. One resident said Brighton has tons of successful ethnic restaurants that don't serve alcohol.
Feng Shui attorney Brian Burke tried to assure residents that his clients, who have been in the restaurant business for 25 years, have never had any problems with patrons at their Chelmsford, Waltham, Cohasset and Tyngsboro locations. Look them up on those communities' police Web sites, he suggested. "You can rest assured this won't be a Mary Ann's," he said. "They have not had one incident in all the years they've had a restaurant."
Unfortunately for Burke, those were the same basic arguments made by the owners of Agoros on Chestnut Hill Avenue before it opened a year ago - it has since racked up nearly two weeks' worth of license suspensions for serving underage BC students in a series of incidents.
Still, after Burke and his clients left, the association voted to back their request for a food-serving license - as long as they limit themselves to a beer and wine license, rather than a full-alcohol license.