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East Boston Burger King eventually wants to go 24 hours, but for now would settle for 2 a.m. closing time

The owner of the Burger King at 944 Bennington St. in East Boston filed a request to stay open 24 hours a day, but at a hearing today acknowledged he's not quite ready to pull the trigger on City that Never Sleeps-style operations.

BK franchisee Brek Kohler told the Boston Licensing Board that right now he just wanted to legalize the burger place's operations until 2 a.m. - the time the place has been closing for a couple years now even though it is only licensed to stay open no later than midnight. He said he applied for a 24-hour license to save the board trouble - so that when he does finally get ready to commit to Whoppers at 4 a.m., he doesn't have to bother them by coming back again.

Board members politely said, yeah, no, they're not going to do that. This is Boston and they're not going to permit 24-hour operations without a full "community process" through which residents have a chance to speak about whether to let Kohler have it his way. The typical process in Boston involves at least one meeting with nearby residents and a presentation before the local community association.

Kohler apologized for staying open past his licensed closing time. He said he had a comptroller who was in charge of licensing for the location and she "dropped the ball" several years ago and just never applied to extend the hours.

He said that currently, the Bennington burger outlet closes its doors to dine-in customers at 10 p.m. and that the later, if not currently legal, hours are only for the drive-thru.

He said he's seen growing demand for late-night food pickups with the rise of third-party delivery services, which he said now accounts for roughly 65% of the outlet's business after midnight.



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