The Boston Licensing Board today gave local restaurateur Douglas Bacon a November deadline to re-open a Westland Avenue restaurant and bar he bought in 2012, closed for renovations and then never re-opened - or have the joint's liquor license taken away. Bacon said he hopes he can meet that deadline.
The demand came at what has become Bacon's annual appearance before the board to express his embarrassment at not opening the empty space at 10A Westland Ave., to beg forgiveness and to ask for more time to get the place ready for business. In the meantime, he's changed the name of the restaurant from 8 Symphony to the Westland.
"I'm embarrassed at this point," he said at his annual visit to City Hall to reiterate his shame and his saga of architects and contractors doing him wrong on what he at first thought would be a $100,000 renovation job - and to acknowledge that he might have also been distracted by having to take care of another business that was busy failing, even as he was continuing to pay rent on the vacant Westland Avenue site.
But, he also said, "every day we're closer to opening." He said he expects the Westland to be ready for fire and building inspections in early November and to actually open the doors to diners in December.
Board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told him she was amazed to open the restaurant file and learn that the liquor license, for which Bacon paid $275,000 in 2012, has gone unused so long. Restaurant owners are not supposed to sit on licenses for a long time.
"Six years, that's a long time," she said, adding she will have her staff schedule a hearing for November on the status of the work. "If there hasn't been significant progress with this licensed premise, we are going to cancel your license at that time."