Back Bay eatery wins approval for acoustic music and a record-spinning maitre d'

The Board of Appeals yesterday approved plans by Dillon's, 955 Boylston St., to host acoustic performers both inside and on a patio outside and to give the maitre d' the ability to spin records when nobody's doing live singing.

The 344-seat Dillon's agreed with a request from the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay to cut off outdoor performances by 10 p.m. And while the restaurant can host up to five musicians at a time on the patio, there will only be one microphone, to amplify the voice, not the instrument, of one performer.

Dillon's attorney Mike Ross assured the board that the DJ booth will basically just be a record player that one of the hosts can use to play music, not some big Studio 54-type setup.

"It's considered kind of a new evolution in the restaurant world," he said.

NABB's Eliott Laffer, however, said the DJ equipment was news to him and said Glynn Hospitality, which owns the onetime Division 16 police station, should come back to NABB to discuss that; he said the fear would be that Dillon's might morph from a restaurant to a club. Ross, however, said the DJ provision was included in the restaurant's application, a copy of which he said NABB got.

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