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The City that Always Sleeps wakes up briefly, shoots down the idea of late-night tacos, goes back to bed

The Boston Licensing Board today approved a taqueria in an Emerson College dorm on Boylston Street - but with the midnight closing time sought by the local neighborhood group, which was worried what would happen to all the freshmen in the dorm if they could get tacos after midnight - as opposed to pizza, which they can get across the street even after the neighborhood's sidewalks are rolled up.

John Schall had sought a 2 a.m. closing time for his proposed El Jefe's Taqueria in the Little Building, 80 Boylston St., arguing that it's a known fact college students eat after midnight, that he would have a security guard on duty late at night and that he has had no problems at his Harvard Square outlet, which is open until 4 a.m.

But the Midtown-Park Plaza Neighborhood Association argued that the neighborhood where their six- and seven-figure condos sit is a potential hellhole when the sun goes down and that they were only thinking of the 1,000 freshmen in the Little Building in arguing 2 a.m. was just too late, and never mind that New York Pizza on Tremont Street is open until at least 1 a.m. - and 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday - and that nothing is stopping those hordes of freshmen from risking their lives walking to Chinatown or the South Street Diner for late-night food.

The mayor's office and Councilor Ed Flynn backed the residents - who had earlier convinced Tasty Burger to roll back the closing time at its impending Winter Street outlet from 2 a.m. to midnight.

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Comments

This is what I love about Boston, always putting the welfare of neighbors first. The city of the golden rule, This is world class.

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Obviously, you’ve never heard of the ZBA, the entity that never puts Boston’s neighbors first.

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As a lifelong Bostonian, this city is really boring, increasing late night activity would make this city more fun and livable.

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Voting closed 9

...but to combat creeping urbanism instead of crime -- stomp out any small inroad that might lead to normalization of more urban thinking. Can't build a snowball if you melt the flakes before they hit the ground.

Why are the NIMBY voices so much more powerful here than in NYC?

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Voting closed 85

Seriously, pointing to "public safety" as a reason that a taco place can't be open late at night ought to be the main campaign ad for whoever his opponent is. It's just straight up a dereliction of his duties to make this claim.

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Voting closed 67

I mean, except when it did, which is why there are so few eating establishments opened after midnight in the area.

And for the record, I thought a 2 AM closing time was a good idea. Are there even abutting residents other than those in the Emerson dorms?

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Voting closed 17

There's an apartment building right across the street, to start.

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Is the Boston Common.

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... of Boylston and Tremont.
The neighboring apartment building is across Tremont.

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In my recent trips to the area (I love Boloco that much) I got the impression due to the construction that it was in from the corner. Then again, I didn't used to frequent the area that much.

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Voting closed 5

to be allowed to provide input on such matters.

And, when objections are raised for nebulous reasons such as "well, crime will increase", allow the business to open (or extend hours) for a probationary period and monitor the dynamic the NIMBYs predict will be affected to see if the predicted issues actually happen.

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Voting closed 5

Replace "tacos" with pizza and you have a 80s Ninja Turtles episode plot here. It's cartoonish, and not in a good way.

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Voting closed 17

is infuriatingly stupid.

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Voting closed 44

Sounds like some Emerson students should join the neighborhood association. At the very least they should've been able to speak on their own behalf at the hearing.

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The new gateway drug.

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As much as I love tacos and want Emerson kids to enjoy their Boston experience, I must point out that there are LOTS of people living downtown and with all the bars, clubs and theaters, Saturday night/Sunday morning is pretty awful with 1000's of drunks all getting out at once (I think there is something like 20K "seats" permitted at licensed premises in the Theatre district). They're all looking for food or somewhere else to continue the party. Its like a small town suddenly appeared and everyone's hammered, go down there some time and see if you like it. I agree there should be some way to have our tacos and eat them too, but I can understand why residents would object to more things closing at 2AM, stagger them instead.

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Voting closed 17

I mean nobody lives within the block occupied by the Emerson buildings but Emerson students. I think it's more likely the Midtown-Park Plaza Neighborhood Association consists of Centerfolds and The Glass Slipper than any residents.

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There's an apartment building literally across the street. And there are a couple of other residential buildings maybe a block down Tremont.

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It's not like there was some long-standing neighborhood there and all the bars and clubs just moved in.

The bars and clubs were there long before any of the residents.

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Voting closed 39

if you actively choose to live Downtown in a major city, you should expect all of these things.

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Voting closed 45

.. including Downtown and Chinatown, are protected by noise ordinances.

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Those after hours taco raves do get pretty lit.

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They should move to West Roxbury.

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Voting closed 38

"Its like a small town suddenly appeared..."

in the middle of a large major American city!!!! Dude, your comment broke my brain.

"go down there some time and see if you like it." Are you kidding? I love hitting up New York Pizza at 2am for a large slice of pepperoni and watching the mix of humanity that is out and about. One time my friend's slice slid right off of his plate and onto the dirty Tremont Street sidewalk; I yelled "5 seconds!"and he still ate it.

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Voting closed 19

I've never heard of them before and the sure act like the elderly matrons at Friends of the Public Garden (very close by). Are we sure they talk for neighborhood and we need to care?

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Voting closed 19

City Hall puts great stock in a process that includes an area's designated neighborhood association(s). If you try to get any sort of license or zoning approval without first talking to that group or group, your application will be either deferred or rejected.

Whether this is the best way to do things is another question, but that's why they're important (also, ask yourself how you'd feel if City Hall made decisions for specific neighborhoods without local input).

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And city councilors listen to their voting constituents, as represented by the neighborhood associations. Most people can't be bothered to pay attention to their neighborhood associations.

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It's a business district, with some theatres, some hotels, and some student dorms, plus a few million-dollar condos owned by Saudi princes and the like.

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Elderly and low income housing a block away whose residents bear the brunt of late night and early morning traffic.
An apartment building right across the street.
St Francis House just half a block away giving refuge to the homeless.

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It's in the dorm building? Does that mean just the dorm residents or visitors or it's in a public space, business space at street level etc?

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It's right on Boylston Street, with an entrance from the street and it would be open to the public.

At the same time, there would be an entrance in the back, from the Little Building, that Emerson students could use

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Voting closed 12

Maria's Taqueria is still (blessedly) next to NYP on that stretch of Tremont St. Google says they close at 1am. Sounds like that neighborhood association is (unintentionally) stopping a taco war

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Voting closed 9