The operator of a small Manhattan music hall hopes to open a similar facility at Van Ness and Kilmarnock streets in the Fenway.
Ken Rockwood, who has run the Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side since 2005, told the Boston Licensing Board today it would take him six to eight months to build out the 1,850-square foot space in the back section of the building that houses the Fenway Target store - although he added the actual opening date might also depend on Covid-19 issues.
The board could decide at a meeting Thursday whether to approve Rockwood's request to buy the liquor license of the shuttered Uno in Kenmore Square for his new club, which would have room for up to 95 patrons with tables in place or 120 if most of the tables were removed. Rockwood is also seeking permission to change the license from one which requires food service to one that would let him serve just alcohol.
The Boston music scene has been battered over the past year by a series of venue shutdowns, many related to Covid-19.
Among the proposal's supporters: Sean Curran of the Boston Arts Academy Foundation. The school is expected to move into its new building on Ipswich Street next year, and Curran said he could think of nothing better for students than to have a "successful and intimate space" nearby featuring "virtuoso performances" by great musicians.
Curran added the music hall would further cement the Fenway's position as an arts center in the Boston area.
As required, Rockwood's local attorney, Joseph Hanley, described the "public need" for a liquor license at that location. "The need was being met transferred to a smaller facility more consistent with the ethos of the Fenway as a music and performing arts area."
The mayor's office and the offices of Councilor Kenzie Bok, who represents the Fenway and at-large Councilor Anissa Essaibi-George also backed the proposal. The Fenway Civic Association also backed the proposal.