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Event space at Black Market in Nubian Square approved for liquor license - if city has one to give


The Boston Licensing Board today approved a liquor license for Black Market Social, 2136 Washington St. in Roxbury, where Kai and Christopher Grant have already expanded their store space to hold social, arts and business events.

At a hearing yesterday, Kai Grant said Nubian Square "is in deep need" of spaces with "a social club atmosphere" for events, especially now that the area is undergoing "extreme development."

Whether the Grants actually get a license to serve alcohol, however, depends on whether the city actually has any to give out.

The number of liquor licenses in Boston is set by the state legislature.

Also today, the board approved a liquor license for Jazz Urbane Cafe, a new restaurant and performance space planned for the Bolling Building. Unlike Black Market Social, there could soon be a license available for that space, under a bill now before Gov. Baker that would give Boston five new liquor licenses, but only for the Bolling Building and the Strand Theater in Uphams Corner.

The Grants are also partners in Nubian Ascend, a mixed-use complex that would include an artists' marketplace and a cultural hall with a performance space.



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We have to return permanent control of liquor licensing to the city. It's so deeply silly that it remains under state control while most (all?) other municipalities have home rule.

I get that it's probably not a huge legislative push for Healey upon taking office, but I'd like to see the wheels start turning on it anyway. Opening a restaurant or entertainment venue is hard enough without having to delay opening to scrounge around for an absurdly priced, scarce commodity that should be no harder or more expensive to obtain than a building inspection.

These new licenses that are bound to the address are a good step in fixing the situation we're in, but we need many more, and soon, if we're going to start rebuilding industries that got kneecapped by covid.

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