The Boston Licensing Board yesterday approved plans by HuE, in the Copley Square Hotel at Exeter Street and Huntington Avenue in the Back Bay, to let tables order bottle service after promising it's not going to try to recreate its predecessor, the Storyville nightclub.
The restaurant, which swears it caters to an older, more sophisticated and quieter crowd with a taste for "global" cuisine, has also applied to the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing for a live-entertainment license. But Kathleen Joyce, who chairs both the board and the office, said the application is not for patrons to cut a rug to, especially since the place does not have a dance floor - unlike one of co-owner George Aboujaoude's other ventures, Bijou in the Theater District.
At a hearing Wednesday, HuE - the capitalized E is silent - attorney Tom Miller said tables getting an entire bottle of spirits, to be poured by a waitperson, would "enhance the ambiance of the super-club concept," which consists of shared plates in "a globally inspired style."
As at other Boston places with bottle service, patrons would not be allowed to grab the bottle or pour the drinks themselves.
HuE will have roughly ten tables at which patrons could reserve bottle service, manager Nick Saber said.
Conrad Armstrong of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay expressed some concern because "when we hear bottle service, we think nightclub not dining service."
"This is a supper club," Miller said. "This is not intended to be a nightclub, this is a table establishment without a dance floor of any note." He added that the restaurant is open until 1:30 a.m., just a half hour before closing time.
Despite Miller's reassurances, board members agreed yesterday to specifically note the comments about bottle service being a supplement to dining, not partying, in their HuE file, just in case the owners try to change the concept in the future.