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In the City that Always Sleeps, you don't just start selling pizza after midnight because you want to

A Washington Street pizza place that has been staying open until 4 a.m. even though its license calls for a midnight closing was scheduled for two hearings before the Boston Licensing Board this week - one to answer to a citation issued by police , the other to formally ask permission to stay open to, if not 4 a.m., at least 3 a.m.

At a hearing yesterday, a BPD licensing detective said that, responding to neighborhood complaints, he paid Alex Pizza, 1254 Washington St. a visit around 12:10 a.m. on May 17 and found the place open and serving customers, with signs advertising food service until 4 a.m.

At a hearing today, the board considers a request from the restaurant to extend its closing time from midnight to 3 a.m.

The board decides what to do about the citation and the request at a meeting tomorrow.

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Comments

Eh, don't see why one business should get a reward for operating illegally when other businesses follow the rules.

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Voting closed 14

seems like a pretty dumb rule to me

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Voting closed 26

Then petition to have it changed. Regardless, just because you personally don't agree with laws, regulations, rules or what have you, doesn't mean you're exempt from following them.

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If you are not serving alcohol, you should be able to open your restaurant or retail establishment whenever you feel like opening it. There is no reason for the local government or police or licensing authority to care about it.

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Voting closed 28

Why should there be a rule about operating times? Because businesses attract people and people aren’t always considerate.

The post-party crowd may not think [care] about the fact that that their blasting car stereo, slamming car doors, shouting down the street to their buddies who have also come for a late-night snack, is bothering people in the neighborhood who are trying to sleep. Midnight is one thing, but 3 or 4am is quite another. I say this as someone who has lived on main streets for most of my life.

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Voting closed 2

I agree most places should be able to stay open late but I wouldn't go as far as to say there is no reason to make them close early. It might be a quiet residential neighborhood where the noise from a restaurant open until 4 am could be keeping neighbors up.

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Should someone be able to buy a house in the middle of a residential neighborhood and convert the property to, say, a small petrochemical refinery?

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Voting closed 4

A factory is not a retail store or a restaurant, and the restaurant already is allowed by zoning here.

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Voting closed 6

The restaurant is allowed there at midnight. It is not allowed there at 4AM.

Zoning creates geographic separation between property uses that are likely to adversely affect each other.

Scheduling restrictions create temporal separation between property uses that are likely to adversely affect each other.

A restaurant operating next door to a house at 9PM is not particularly a nuisance. A restaurant operating next door to a house at 4AM is a significant hardship on the next door neighbor.

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Voting closed 5

I don't believe this restaurant serves alcohol, and even if it does, it doesn't do so after 1 or 2 am.

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in what way is a restaurant a nuisance?

An open restaurant produces a level of noise from exhaust fans and people coming and going that is incompatible with neighbors trying to sleep.

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Voting closed 3

This restaurant is located in the middle of a one-story commercial block opposite a park. There are no immediate residential abutters. They have been operating with extended hours (but without proper permits) for many years and the neighborhood was not even aware of it. There have been no complaints or issues. I believe the East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) has provided a letter of support for the permit request for extended hour.

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Voting closed 5

Zoning is supposed to create zones, so everyone knows the rules in advance.

Business hour restrictions on a license are done case-by-case, based on how the licensing board feels about the particular business. It's not like this neighborhood is labeled on the city zoning map as "Business B-12" which means all restaurants can stay open until midnight.

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Voting closed 0

Eh, I don't see why people should get a reward for coming here illegally when other people follow the rules.

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If they are open until 4 and doing well, there is obviously a need for it. Granted they shouldn't have been operating past their posted closing time, but slap them on the wrist and grant the license This city's archaic ways are absurd.

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Voting closed 24

The neighbors were complaining so obviously something ruffled their feathers.

They knew about the licensing and hours of operation limits when the rented the location. Every restaurant in Massachusetts needs a permit to open and hours of operation are always an aspect of that. This isn't a Boston only thing.

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Voting closed 20

that someone can buy a pizza from their local business at 3 am?

The more late-night businesses there are, the better the neighborhood is. I appreciate having a 24-hour 7-Eleven a half block from my apartment.

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Why should neighbors care that someone can buy a pizza from their local business at 3 AM?

Because having the exhaust fans operating, the front door opening and closing, and people coming and going at 3AM, all 25 feet from my head while I'm trying to sleep, is a significant hardship.

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Voting closed 8

I respect that but what if it's 3am and I need a slice of pizza?

I feel like there's an assumption that someone getting food at this time is half a degenerate. But I've had jobs that get out at 3am. The whole world in 2019 isn't 9-5.

Obviously this wouldn't work out well everywhere in the city but we have so few places open at that time for a city of our size. It's weird compared to other cities.

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Voting closed 5

For all we know it's someone who didn't like their slice and complained and got thrown out and decided to try to rat them out to the cops for being open too late.

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Voting closed 7

When the city alters longstanding rules governing permitted use and operating hours, it's moving money from the pocket of the adjacent homeowner (whose house is now worth less than it was before, due to the nuisance of a business operating at 4AM) into the pocket of the restaurant owner (whose purchase price for the restaurant reflected the more limited operating hours in effect at the time of purchase, but whose property is now worth more due to the expanded hours).

That's not to say that the city should never change any zoning; of course times change, neighborhoods change, and patterns of commerce change. But it's important not to ignore that such changes shift a lot of money from some folks to other folks.

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Some people like living near all-night businesses.

Manhattan has plenty of them, and homes aren't exactly cheap there.

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If you can get cookies til 3am. Insomnia Cookies is open till 3am, and they deliver, it only seem right that you should be able to get pizza til 3 as well. (I hope they deliver too. )

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Voting closed 12

Attend the hearing if you feel passionately about 3am pizza delivery.

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The licensing board should have a huge poster of Grumpy Cat's face on its office door with the caption "NO" on it. LOL

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This was not an issue until gentrification hit that portion of the South end.

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Voting closed 5

This is in response to a police citation. This is not about gentrification. It is about not having the proper permits.

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Maybe instead of cracking down on people filling a need in the community, the board should go after other late night pizza SCAMS like Regal.

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