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Long vacant Persian restaurant on Beacon Hill could be reborn as an American bistro

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the owners of Lala Rokh, which closed in 2018, sell their 97 Mt. Vernon St. location and its liquor license to Kristin Jenkins, an antiques dealer who hopes to open a "neighborhood American bistro."

If she wins the license, Jenkins, owner of Leonards New England in Seekonk, would follow her lifelong dream to open a restaurant, her lawyer, Gene Richard, told the board at a hearing today.

Richard described a space that would have antiques hanging on the walls, with upholstered seating and, in general, "the ambiance of a private club" that would feature "American seasonal fare," including steaks, seafood and pasta, with "all the side dishes and desserts you might expect," and, of course, classic cocktails and beer, including two on draft.

Although she will become the face of the restaurant, Jenkins will also hire an experienced restaurant general manager, chef and staff, Richard said, adding she will also be aided by her life partner, Aaron Sells, who has extensive experience in the Boston restaurant scene.

Richard said the space has been a restaurant since 1905, but with only four owners in that whole time, and that Lala Rokh owners Azita Bina-Seibel and Babak Bina spent considerable time to find just the right person to take it over.

The mayor's office supported the proposal, as did district City Councilor Kenzie Bok, who fondly recalled having both her high-school and college graduation parties at Lala Rokh. "The whole Beacon Hill neighborhood has been missing a restaurant in this space," Bok's aide, Kennedy Avery, told the board.

The Beacon Hill Civic Association issued a letter of non-opposition.

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Comments

Was a great nite spot, great food, service and the owners were a delight.

The place that was there previous to them was pretty darn good too but I'm dating myself

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Date nite spot that is...

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I, too, loved both restaurants at that spot and have been a long time fan of the romantic “date night” and special occasion restaurants that the city offered. I think of them often which means I’m officially now an old person. I actually lived a couple of doors down from that location for a while, when it was possible to find the rare affordable apartment on the hill.

The new plan sounds like a very nice post-Covid evening. Best wishes to anyone who is brave enough to open a restaurant today.

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Although Lala Rokh was more moderately priced.

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You could stroll down to Charles Street for some of the best pizza the city ever had at Bel Canto ... memories

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I think Bel Canto was the first pizzeria to offer “interesting” toppings before they actually became commonplace. I recall a choice of crust, too...white or whole wheat.

Ah, the restaurant memories! Remember when $5 bought an entire meal?

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