The Boston Licensing Board today approved plans for the operators of a Quincy restaurant to open an outlet on Border Street near Decatur Street that hopes to attract both East Boston residents and a growing community of Eastie restaurant workers who'd prefer to cap their nights near home rather than across the harbor.
For proposed manager Vanik Hacopian, Pearl & Lime would be a homecoming: He was born in Orient Heights and now lives in Jeffries Point - with a few years in between as a professional skateboarder in California. Hacopian said that even though the restaurant will be in a part of East Boston where high-priced condos now spawn like mushrooms, he wanted to ensure even long-time residents of East Boston feel welcome.
The restaurant represents "a fresh pan-Latin concept with a neighborhood price point," his lawyer, Andrew Upton, told the board at a hearing yesterday. Food influences will include Mexican, Central American and a dash of South American, with elegant cocktails, "but with a focus on service" and "prices that are affordable to all."
However, whether the restaurant quickly gets the liquor license it asked for depends on whether the city has any to give out, which it might not. If not, Pearl & Lime would either have to wait for the off chance that somebody turns one in or try to buy one on the open market, at six-figure prices.
The board this morning added that although it approved granting a liquor license, it would hold off actually issuing one, should one be available, until after the restaurant meets with neighbors. That kind of meeting normally happens before licensing hearings, but confusion at City Hall during the changeover of both administration and staffing at the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, meant that meeting was never scheduled.