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Plans for pool-based bar fall flat in Allston

Boston Restaurant Talk reports Flat Top Johnny's has canceled its plans to open a location in Allston, claiming that people who actually live there opposed the idea.

The neighborhood was strongly against us moving in and we are not the kind of business to ignore their wishes.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

Seriously, go fuck yourself. A business wants to open in your neighborhood and your reaction is that it's bad and it should go away?

Move out of the neighborhood to some soulless suburb with rows of Applebees for "culture."

Enjoy your empty building, I guess?

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Seems kind of odd they'd just give up like that before any sort of formal community meetings or hearings. People willing to commit large amounts of money to a project just don't normally do that. Did Liz Breadon threaten they'd be swimming with the fishes or something?

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… this is very near the exact location where one of the NIMBY’S in the area strongly objected to the possibility of Stone Hearth Pizza (of all places) opening up and bringing in “a bunch of Homer Simpson types” to our ‘hood.

If that cranky old control-freak is still alive, the idea of a pool hall probably sent him into a frenzy.

Allow me to echo the “fuck you” above. I was really looking forward to this.

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Paul Berkeley is the man you're mentioning. Used to head the Allston-Brighton whatever Association. Probably part of the reason Brighton left to create its own civic group instead...

When I heard about this today, his was the first thought I had too.

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He moved out of Allston a few years ago.

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Lots of people who have lived in Allston for generations didn’t want this project.

Telling us to move? HAHA go fuck ya self! Move someplace else, our neighborhood doesn’t want it and go eat shit if you don’t like it.

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I'll tell this story at your funeral.

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FTJ's? Too bad!
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Sounds like more of a Shelbyville sort of thing, anyway.

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And that starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for POOL!

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https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/3Z2JhdmdsbesXXM1Xuk4GsXl9s2Vfjs0hPBx3G...

Password is: 0.jdd!tJ

FTJ discussion appears to start around 00:48:00.

I'm just listening now myself.

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Because maybe my comment above was incorrect.

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From the questions and comments everything seemed REALLY positive at the ACA meeting. One questioner asked a lot of negative questions ("will the outdoor seating face the residence next door?" "how loud is 'background music' because the building isn't sound proofed?" "wine and beer or full alcohol license...because I'm not happy if it's full alcohol license..." "I don't know if I like the 2 AM closing time for the weekends"). But she was the only one. Everyone in the chat messages was also positive as well.

So, the only thing I can guess is it was at the abutters' meeting that they mentioned they'd be doing next where everything went to shit?

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https://twitter.com/certaintragedy/status/1420175471346585600

People were asked to attend the Aug 3 abutters' meeting run by the Mayor's Office because proponents had heard that very vocal assholes opponents were going to show up to shut down the restaurant opening.

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Who wouldn’t welcome a bar and pool hall which closes at two am in a residential area when there are empty spaces already in the commercial zone? Those nimby people are just crazy .they should be super happy about that and should welcome all development because that’s super important to the people who don’t have to have it in their own backyard .

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Welcome to Boston. We don't have "commercial zones". The building is literally a commercial space already.

As for what's in whose backyard, I've got a police station, hospital, and fire station within walking distance of my front door. If you think a bar patio is noisy or has odd hours, I've got some news for you. Also, you're welcome, since if you need any of those things in an emergency, they let me know first before coming to your side of the neighborhood. But I'm not complaining about them because WE LIVE IN A CITY.

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So, I've had a chance to watch the abutters' meeting recording (I've shared the link with Adam as he'll be much more versed in whether it's possible to share it with the public or not...I've asked the Mayor rep, Conor Newman, if I can upload a copy to YouTube for anyone interested in watching it, but haven't gotten a response and I don't want to run afoul of any public access/privacy laws or anything).

It was about 75% negative, 25% positive responses in the recording (comments written during the WebEx meeting did not enter the recording for review...except when Conor read them aloud).

It was also about 75% old people and 25% young people responses. Some of the responses were just downright bitchy because the landlord is Harvard and had nothing to do with John or the restaurant. All of the other negative comments were on what might happen when you let "pool, and alcohol, and music" into the neighborhood as one commenter put it.

I mean, some of them were downright comical too. The one worrying about all the kids who pass by the address to get to the rebuilt park nearby shouldn't be passing a "major alcohol community hub" on their way to corrupt them...that was a doozy.

Anyways, I hope John looks at opportunities in Brighton. I'd rather walk to FTJ than bike.

EDIT: As I watched the abutters meeting, all I could think about is that Flat Top Johnny's has the word Top in it and that starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool and that T...it stands for Trouble...right here in River City...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTXEJizAneY

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.

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Age discrimination is not a good look.

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.

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Looks like that’s exactly what happened. https://twitter.com/parshally_there/status/1423717747326922757

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I’m assuming you are a renter.

Newsflash- homeowners are more invested in the community because, well, we own houses here.

We can mobilize, we can get signatures, and we know from years and years of doing it who will oppose these garbage proposals.

None of my comments will end up on universal hub and that’s fine (thanks Adam). The way you get things done in the neighborhood is signatures, people writing letters, and making phone calls. We know exactly who will be behind us every time a piece of shit proposal like this comes along.

Thanks for the laugh while I was typing this.

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I've "just rented" the same place in your community for over 20 years. Feel free to write me off as "not invested". I've been looking to buy here, but your investments are inflated like your ego making it impossible for any of us to be as "invested" in the community as you are. Even if we did, we'd be the "new guy" and written off because we "are moving in and trying to ruin the neighborhood". It doesn't matter if I buy/rent/sleep in a van for people with attitudes like yours. You want things your way and never changing and if I don't agree, I'm too new, don't have a feel for the place, just a renter...take your pick.

I'm sure the 15-20 people that showed up at the abutters' meeting are the same cranks that showed up to oppose Hearth Stone Pizza and others along the way. How's Our Fathers gin bar working out for you? It's spitting distance from 210 N Harvard. Lots of 2 AM noise complaints before COVID-19 shut them down? No, of course not. What about the live music at Article 24? Everyone on Abby Rd move out yet due to abutting the parking lot? Brato turned the lot next door into a patio because of COVID...all those residences on N Beacon and Glencoe turned into ghost towns yet?

Look at all those "garbage proposals" of places staying open late and serving alcohol...in a city. And yet, when they actually get approved and open, nothing. All you cranks move on to the next thing to oppose on some twisted NIMBY principles trapped in your head and it turns out everything worked out just fine.

And, how's this for a laugh...if you just register for a completely anonymous account like the rest of us, then you don't have to beleaguer Adam with approving your posts out of his spam-prevention system, so they'll show up immediately as you post them. Your posts don't show up, not because you're being put upon, but because it plays into your martyr complex and you don't know how to improve the situation and adapt. Some might say that suits you though.

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to replace the one the closed near faneuil st? wtf are all those kids doing to stay cool this summer?

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Don’t tell me Cleveland Circle pool is gone!

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I was trying to imagine a swimming pool-based bar in Allston and how that would work.

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Glad I'm not alone.

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now with a vape room.

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I am so tired of the NIMBYism. I am so tired of the "we're not New York" bullshit. I'm so tired of winy retiree neighbors with nothing better to do show up and incessantly bitch about having to live in a city. I'm tired of these people having more power to fuck everything up than they deserve.

We lost half the decent bars we had pre Covid. We'll never recover them. We'll never get happy hour. Fuck any idea of enjoying the airspace above your apartment on a pArTy deck.

God this fucking sucks. It was bad enough losing FTJ. Feels like losing them again but for even more ridiculous reasons.

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I bet there are some places on Dot Ave that could accommodate FTJ, would love to see it!

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Why do I suspect “the neighborhood” was not a fully representative sample of all the people who live in Lower Allston? Including all the grad students in Soldiers Field Park and One Western Avenue, some of whom haven’t moved in yet for their first year, but would live here when Flat Top Johnny’s opened.

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... is that the people who get organized and show up, have more of a voice in shaping public policy than the people who don't give a shit and can't be bothered.

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...is that the "abutters" get a notice on their door and the rest of us who live in the community, but not within a certain radius, don't get a voice. Additionally, each "civic association" gets a meeting, so if you want to advocate for a place that you might frequent, you'd have to keep track of every neighborhood's civic association meeting that you might ever travel to in order to advocate for every business you might like to see develop just to stem off the organized cranks.

So, yeah, democracy at work. Hurray.

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...is that the "abutters" get a notice on their door and the rest of us who live in the community, but not within a certain radius, don't get a voice.

Just because you aren't an abutter doesn't mean you can't speak at the meetings. All of these hearings are scheduled in advance, and the schedule and agenda is published on the relevant city agency's website.

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I'll just check that page every day and see if anything gets posted to my interest. I've got nothing better to do.

Come on, Bob. Get real.

Even IF someone did that and tried to patrol the abutters meetings for the entire city so that cranks can't dismiss something that they might want to enjoy some day...these meetings are the living embodiment of the Gish Gallop. Hundreds of dumb things being said with no basis in reality that would take 2-3x longer each to argue against than it took to say them in the first place. Look above in this very thread. One person can say "this is a garbage proposal that will ruin the neighborhood due to billiards and alcohol" and it takes 3-4 different examples to prove otherwise.

Or, hell, you just said "Just because you aren't an abutter doesn't mean you can't speak at the meetings" and it took me a paragraph to explain how dumb and useless it would be to do so in counter-point.

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