Hey, there! Log in / Register

North End restaurant owner plans to run for mayor

The Herald reports that Jorge Mendoza-Iturralde, one of the North End restaurant owners with beef over dining on patios on public sidewalks plans to run for mayor against Michelle Wu next year.

Mendoza-Iturralde was one of the plaintiffs in the original suit over the issue, in which he and the others accused Wu of hating white Italian men as her only reason for charging North End restaurant owners a fee to be able to set up patios on sidewalks and at the curb in the wake of the pandemic, rather than because of unique trash and parking issues in the crowded neighborhood.

In January, he joined with a larger group of North End restaurant owners in a revived suit after the city banned all such patios on public property in the North End, this time claiming Wu just hates Italians.

Mendoza-Iturralde was also a plaintiff in a lawsuit over the city's brief masking requirement for indoor spaces, which a federal judge dismissed.

Mendoza-Iturralde joins a short list of possible opponents for Wu that includes Josh Kraft, who until recently lived in Brookline, but who is now registered to vote in the North End.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 


Ad:


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

for whiny, overprivileged, hilariously self-entitled dudes! They can call it the "Help, Help, I'm Being Oppressed by an Elitist Foreign Lady!" Party.

Maybe he can make the first plank in his platform his plan to warp the fabric of space-time so that patio dining makes sense everywhere in the North End that his and his fellow snivelers' little hearts desire.

up
127

..is a Spanish name; Specifically Basque. Where exactly does he fit into the "Hates White Italian Men" spectrum?

up
14

If two things changed:

1) I moved across the river.

2) He came out for a "close Hanover Street and turn it into a pedestrian only street like actual cities in Italy." If he loves Italians so much, I see no reason he shouldn't want to emulate their culture in that way.

I won't hold my breath.

up
78

The Communist agenda has to end. Fox News has a good piece on Wu’s attempt to abolish the gang registry and ending arrests for larceny and thefts. They never brought up her hatred for white males and her anti business policies.

up
53

"The communist agenda"?

up
53

n/t

up
16

her hatred for white males and her anti business policies.

Cry about it.

up
72

From the group of whinny white people who cried over the ink choice on a political flyer.

up
14

What in the wide, wide world of sports are you talking about?

up
14

does this comment actually contain? I'm not sure there are any.

up
61

We've known about the colonization by Martians for decades. Orson Wells predicted it. Stanley Kubrick told us (he just go the wrong planet).

Now, finally the Martians have invaded Massachusetts, made themselves to look like an woman of Asian parentage and are now slowing turning us all into Martian slaves.

Long live the People's Republic of Mars!

up
66

She’s part of the conspiracy by the Martian lizard people to inject us with space socialism through vaccines. The only cure is to make a hat out of tin foil to keep them from controlling our minds through our fillings.

up
40

That wasn't Anon's post @Daan, it was anon.

the City to appropriate taxpayer owned and maintained public property for the benefit of a few businesses? Sounds suspiciously pinko to me.

Just kidding. I realized anon doesn't have the faintest idea how communism actually works as soon as I read, "Fox News has a good piece...."

up
73

Communism, noun: anything that anyone to the left of Joe Manchin does that OP doesn't like.

up
14

Lots of restaurants out in the street and scooters going by, pedestrians and cars too.

Then again, the newer residents of the North End who really want a Diane Lane level near vacant Italian hill town as their Italian living experience, over an actual Italian city, would complain.

up
25

being turned into an idyllic pedestrian mall anytime soon. Most patios in the South End are street adjacent, with all the noise and traffic exhaust that that entails, and that's just fine: we're not asking to ban food delivery scooters.

But patio expansion here hasn't significantly, adversely affected street parking, emergency services or pedestrian access. Those are the basic differences that these North End restaurant owners continue to deliberately ignore with their bad-faith arguments about being singled out unfairly because of who they are or how they vote.

up
51

I would love to hear an example of where patio dining negatively affected emergency services access.

up
26

Did you read the article you posted? It was double parked drivers blocking the fire trucks, not restaurant patios. If people actually cared about emergency services reaching their destination then they would be in favor of pedestrian only streets in every neighborhood. People can get out of the way quickly. Illegally parked SUVs can't. Yet another example of why cars ruin cities and endanger everyone.

up
33

They were double-parked because all the curb space was replaced by patios. Additionally, one of the fire dept staff they interviewed said they were concerned about the risk of hitting people on patios if they ever caught their equipment on the patio furniture extended into the road space.

I don't give a shit what direction the city goes in with North End streets. Pedestrian-only with tons of patios. Car-only with no patios. The person I responded to wanted to know when the patios got in the way of emergency services. The article is pretty clear on the fact that it caused more people to choose to park anywhere (for lack of better options due to the patios) and that the fire dept is concerned about the patios being a hazard for them on Hanover.

up
22

Not emergency services, but the Ride was unable to pick up my partner from a family get-together on Clark Street summer before last. The driver drove around at least twenty minutes before finding a place blocks away on North Street that my partner then had to get to in a unpowered wheel chair.
It wasn't always easy to get the Ride or a cab/Lyft in the North End, but this never happened before COVID.

up
12

We the people would like to have livable cities for humans and not worry about people wanting free shite for life. Park in a garage and make all street spots handicapped only.

I can only imagine how many HP placards applications would be sent in.

up
35

The North End is the wrong neighborhood to live in if you have a car.

up
55

Willing to pay my way? A comparison based on 2 different cities, in 2 different cultures, with 2 different histories provides little useful information. But if you're willing to for me to enjoy a trip to Naples then I could bring back information on how the comparison might be useful and valid.

up
15

are fantastic, it's not one of my favorite places in Italy.

The traffic is awful, which makes for bad air quality, though it's not as bad as Milan. Street-level crime (like muggings) is a real issue, especially for tourists. My biggest surprise was how dirty it is: they have big problems with basic trash handling and graffiti -- odd for city with a huge organized-crime presence. And everybody smokes, including the kids, though that is still true of many cities in Europe.

Beyond the restaurants and markets and some beautiful old churches, it's not much of a paragon of urban living, especially by Italian standards. But the point about exhaust-choked sidewalk patios is a valid one.

up
30

You just described the North End in miniature.

I had a blast. It felt like 80's Boston engorged.

up
11

were never that good.

up
23

Reason being the fire station.

up
16

Pedestrians can get out of the way a lot faster than cars as an ambulance being able to get through a crowd (much bigger than is likely to happen on any regular basis here) at Somerville porchfest.

up
12

Yes you can. Closing Hanover to vehicles makes it easier for fire trucks to get to the station.

up
28

All the tables , chairs and people that would inevitably be there.

Pretty sure I too heard that Hanover can never be closed to traffic aka pedestrian only while the BFD station was located there. Think Walsh took a dive in on it and it would not surprise me one bit if Menino took a look.

If the street's a pedestrian zone, then pedestrians can use the street, and restaurants (if they must) can use what is now the sidewalk.

up
12

This made my day. I needed a good laugh. Will George Regan and Jim Rooney endorse?

up
37

Crossing my fingers that Regan's incompetent firm does the PR for the campaign. I need the laugh.

What do North End residents think of the city limiting outdoor dining there? I generally support changes to streets and sidewalks to make them more pedestrian friendly but I would understand residents having concerns about parking and perhaps noise from the patios. Are the restaurant owners completely out of sinc with residents? Or is the city just not allowing something both business owners and residents support?

up
17

My read on the situation is that the restaurants want it but the older residents do not like it because:

- it takes away overnight on-street parking (even though the city in prior years has provided free garage spaces to make up for the loss)
- all those diners can be noisy
- there is more trash generated than usual (I don't understand this complaint because restaurants have staff that take care of that)
- the sidewalks end up being extra crowded with restaurant staff walking back and forth to the patios

Personally, I think this is solvable, but it seems that Mayor Wu doesn't actually want to solve it because many of the restaurants owners have been very obnoxious to her. So she has just said "fine, no outdoor dining on-street."

There are a few solutions to this IMO:
- Where there is the highest density of restaurants, close certain blocks of Hanover St to vehicles except for emergency and delivery vehicles. Try to limit deliveries to overnight where possible. Encourage deliveries and drop-offs to use the cross streets.
- If Hanover St remains open to vehicles, put the patios directly adjacent to the restaurants. Build a boardwalk at sidewalk level where the on-street parking is today and route pedestrian traffic onto the boardwalk. That way restaurant servers are not walking back and forth across the sidewalk to get to the patios.

up
29

Pedestrianizing the street would be a really major change. If residents oppose it they surely outnumber business owners - many of whom aren't Boston voters - so the conservative move is to not make the change. The restauranteurs just have way more reach with the media so their voices are going to be a lot louder than residents' voices.

I don't know of any other street in the city that has been made pedestrian only without major redevelopment on the street. I love the idea but again residents' opinions ought to hold more weight.

up
24

I thought the Wu admin wanted to charge an extra fee to mitigate noise, clean up, and parking impacts but the business owners didn’t want to pay.

up
25

Because it only applied to the North End, then the city barred the practice completely, again in the North End only.

up
23

The crowded sidewalks are a major issue. Because of the narrow streets and sidewalks, it's a major accessibility problem for people with mobility impairments. Forcing them to walk or use their wheelchairs in the streets is dangerous, especially with the fire station right there.

up
30

Limiting parking further and expanding the sidewalk would be beneficial for disability access. Long term I think that change makes sense for the neighborhood but it will probably require pilot pedestrian days and slow removal of parking spaces and rehabbing the sidewalks, not an overnight change allowing outdoor dining on the existing street/sidewalk.

up
10

Parking is a nightmare without the patios. Having them cuts the number of parking spots and increases traffic to the area, including people who park on the street to save on garage parking, knowing that they won't get a ticket (restaurant owners heavily encourage this so people will come to the neighborhood). They do ticket people with the proper resident parking stickers for being more than 3" from the curb or your bumper is 1" past a no parking sign though. This alone is a big impact on the residents.

Sidewalks are narrow and crowded already, making passage for able bodied residents hard let alone in a wheelchair, pushing a carriage, etc. Add to that businesses who are claiming a section of sidewalk to feed their patrons and you have to walk in the streets to get home (not safe). Garbage and rodents are already a problem - outdoor patios increase that issue.

Wu wasn't outlawing patio dining in the North End as well, just acknowledging that it has a bigger impact on the neighborhood compared to other areas (the Back Bay has wide sidewalks and multiple lanes on streets, same with the South End). So they were complaining about having to pay for the additional city services required to implement patio dining that they thought they should get for free (including the garage parking offered to residents, which isn't needed in other neighborhoods).

"Encouraging" deliveries at off hours is laughable - they (drivers & owners) don't care if it's inconvenient to deliver during rush hour so the only encouragement that would work is ticketing, which would require additional city services to implement and would be viewed by the Owners as another attack on them.

If you go through the previous discussions on this topic on this page, you'll see what the residents have to say which is in support of no patio dining. Blaming this on "older residents" is ridiculous - I lived there in my 20s and had to move because of all the issues. People who want to eat in the North End minimize the issues. People who live there back Wu.

Having said all that, it would help to close Hanover between cross streets (no through traffic except for emergency vehicles). Seating could be increased and pedestrians could walk on the streets, leaving the sidewalks to be used by the businesses. If they're going to lose parking spots, make it worth it. It would be better if Newbury St was also closed to traffic (except cross streets). I'm very pro patio seating in the Summer for all neighborhoods but the North End business owners, many of whom don't even live in Boston, need to drop the entitlement.

up
36

Have you lived in the North End?

Parking is a nightmare without the patios.

I mean, sure you can live in the North End and own a car, but of all of the places in Boston to live, it's probably the one where it's hardest to do so.

And it's not because of the patios, it's because there are 7 times as many residents as parking spaces. People still seem to want to live there, though. Maybe if you live in the North End and want free parking you should consider living somewhere that is not the North End?

up
24

Still impacted me without a car with the people circling, double parking, and the people from the burbs thinking there should be free parking for them with no tickets (and getting their wishes). I also said it was bad even without the patios, speaking from experience (a rarity in these discussions I know). The residents already have to put up with so much living in such a touristy area - the festivals that take over the neighborhood and bring crowds, noise, trash to the area. Major congestion on holidays, both car and pedestrian (residents with cars almost guaranteed to get a ticket on Valentine's Day if they dare to use their car that day. Mike's Pastry boxes abandoned on the sidewalks. Now these absentee restaurant owners, many who live in the burbs, want more free stuff that impacts all the residents, whether they have cars or not. I chose the option of no car at the time because I could - saving all that money on insurance, tickets, maintenance and not having to pay to garage it would pay for a lot of taxis. But you can't tell people they can't have cars - you don't know their lives. Some have mobility issues, some have families, their job requires it. They have to deal with the scarcity or pay for off street by their choice - having people come as outsiders feeling entitled to resident only spots only makes it worse. They all know, because they live there like I did, what the parking situation is and how patio dining makes it worse. The restaurant owners could still have it too but they opted to make it about Wu instead of how the North End is different than all the other neighborhoods. Maybe Jorge will realize it too if/when he tries to prove Boston residency to be eligible to run.

up
13

The restaurant owners aren't the only ones acting entitled. The drivers complaining about parking are too. The temper tantrums drivers throw over the welfare they receive in the form of free parking is embarrassing. At least the restaurant patios are creating jobs and tax revenue for the city and state. All the cars create is noise and pollution.

up
26

Wu will be mayor for as long as she wants to be and nobody can stop her. Not even the son of a man who owns the Patriots and hangs out with Trump.

up
38

Incumbent Boston mayors have always easily won reelection, but I don't think that's a given for Mayor Wu. Progressive policies today are not seen as favorable as they were four years ago, especially related to migrants.

If the 2021 mayoral election were held today, I wouldn't be surprised if Essaibi George wins.

up
24

It's mostly about getting out the vote and running a very good campaign. Ever since Wu won the most votes as an at-large city councilor she knew how to run a city-wide election better than anyone else. And she continued to get the most citywide votes as an at-large city councilor for many elections in a row She had always beaten Essaibi Georg and would've done so again today.

She will always win for Mayor until she stops running. I'd bet you $500 and give you 2-1 odds, but you're an anon so I can't.

up
30

Deal?

up
17

Terms

1. The bet is in effect for every election that she runs in including in 2025 and the loser will pay the day after the election.

2. 2025 - I owe you $500 or you owe me $250 on November 5th 2025

3. 2029 - same rules - paid the day after the election.

4. We can revisit for 2033 if you don't want to be out $750.

5. Come find me on U-Hub.

up
20

She will always win for Mayor until she stops running. I'd bet you $500 and give you 2-1 odds, but you're an anon so I can't.

One bet, not one bet per election year. Deal, or are you worried you’ll lose?

up
18

So I win when she decides not to run for mayor or if her time as mayor ever ends by not losing an election.

You win if she ever loses while running for mayor. Can we attach the prize money to the inflation index? $250 won't be worth as much in 10 - 20 years?

up
10

Again, you said:

She will always win for Mayor until she stops running. I'd bet you $500 and give you 2-1 odds, but you're an anon so I can't.

If she decides not to run that’s a push. She didn’t win or lose so no one wins the bet.

Additionally, the bet was for $500, not $250.

Deal?

up
10

That's not a push, that's the only way you can lose and it's exactly what I meant when I typed the sentences that you keep quoting. You copied and pasted them so much, I'm surprised you still don't understand what they mean.

It seems like you agree with me about Wu since you won't take the bet, but the offer still stands. Take it or leave it.

up
13

And are now moving the goal posts, not me. It was a bad bet for you so I’m happy you’re finally seeing it.

up
10

thanks for the laughs

Apparently I don't know how to write a bet correctly, but I do believe that if someone is truly confident about something they should put some money on it. Otherwise they're just talking. The original bet I was proposing was - you put down $500 and you win $1000 if Wu ever loses an election for Mayor of Boston. The payout is 2 to 1. If she decides to stop running for Mayor or leaves her office during mid term then I keep the $500. Robo knows that's what I meant, but he was having fun with language and is obviously a more experienced bettor than me. Either way no one took me up on the bet because they know in their hearts that she won't lose.

not with him. what you said is quite clear.

up
10

"she will always win for mayor until she stops running" is satisfied if she decides not to run. That is decidedly NOT a push.

The offer of a bet is open to negotiation until it is signed. But that is the problem with restaurant owners of the North End, especially the fellow who owns several North End restaurants AND does not live in the North End.

They refuse to acknowledge that the world does to revolved around them but that they have to negotiate with the people elected to represent all of Boston, not just their petty egos.

up
15

Do you think I keep saying ‘deal’? I’m holding residente to their original terms. Then you go off on a tangent, lol.

Would not read again and want my 5 seconds back.

up
11

2-1 odds approximately means Wu loses every 3rd election. Those aren't great odds.

For reference, betting odds for Trump winning 2016 were only around 20% at the start of 2016, which is when Trump was crushing the Republican debates, and Clinton carrying the election seemed inevitable.

Apparently I don't know how to write a bet correctly, but I do believe that if someone is truly confident about something they should put some money on it. Otherwise they're just talking. The original bet I was proposing was - you put down $500 and you win $1000 if Wu ever loses an election for Mayor of Boston. The payout is 2 to 1. If she decides to stop running for Mayor or leaves her office during mid term then I keep the $500. Robo knows that's what I meant, but he was having fun with language and is obviously a more experienced bettor than me. Either way no one took me up on the bet because they know in their hearts that she won't lose.

up
10

Clearly, I did not.

I really hope you’re not in any form of engineering.

up
11

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why do you think we had a Republican Governor for so long? All you have to do to keep your job as a Massachusetts politician is do a few good things, stay out of trouble and you'll be re-elected.

The one exception to this rule was James Michael Curley who had awesome spin doctors; "he did it for a friend." was one of his campaign slogans when he was an Alderman and helped a couple of guys get into Federal Civil Service illegally. He went on to become one of Boston's longest serving Mayors.

Because the city has gone to shit since Wu took over.

Has she solved Mass and Cass? No, but she hasn't taken the "progressive" let-people-shoot-up-in-a-tent-city stance either. She's threaded the needle pretty well.

How about crime. Crime was going to shoot up under "progressive" mayors like San Francisco or Seattle or [insert name of city here to scare people]. So far this year murders are down 83% from the same period last year, shootings are down about 50% to about one shooting incident per week. Wu has distanced herself from the ACAB-defund-the-police elements of The Left, and seems to be threading that needle well, too.

Then there's the politics. Basically everyone she supported in the last election won; a couple of councilors who were thorns in her side were defeated and she supported their opponents (well, Kendra Lara basically defeated herself in the primary, but Wu supported the eventual winner in the general). There are no indications from that election that there is some groundswell of anti-progressive sentiment which would bring her vote share down. Plus there really aren't any rising stars on the City Council; this ain't 2016 when the NYT ran a national "14 young dems" piece and two were members of the Boston City Council (Ayanna and Michelle).

So who is going to run against her? Two white guys of various different stripes? One of whom is a business owner who may or may not live in Boston, one of whom is nepo baby who has certainly done well by the community but who definitely does not live in Boston? Wu has an absolute turnout machine and that's not something you can build by throwing some money at the problem and shaking a few hands. Annissa was sort of the de facto conservative white candidate in the race, Andrea and Kim split the Black vote, and she wound up getting trounced. (A Wu-Andrea race would have been a lot closer, I bet.) She'd probably be the kind of candidate who would do well against Wu, but I don't think she's about to give up her day job.

So, yeah, if you want I'd probably give the same odds. Michelle is a good politician. I'd probably give you even odds between "Wu loses a mayor race" and "Wu wins a Senate or Gov race" too. (Her second term would end in 2029, and she could choose between a probably-retiring Maura Healey and a probably-retiring Elizabeth Warren.)

up
29

When residential property taxes increase and continue to do so to cover the commercial tax hole.

up
11

She will keep winning.

Sorry, I had to.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Yes I came back just to say that. LOLOLOLOLOL

up
56

.

up
22

She will continue to succeed.

I'm sure it's as easy as he thinks it is, and maybe by the end of the movie he'll find true love at last, then realize that was what he was looking for all along.

up
53

I am so confused by these North End restaurant owners. They seem to be living in some sort of bubble.

That said, I don't think it'd be a bad idea to eliminate parking on one or both sides of Hanover Street, widen the sidewalks, replace the concrete sidewalk with brick, and allow the restaurants to set up patio dining. Boston can set up a Business Improvement District to pay for it all.

up
21

On the one hand, he wants to court the "fuck Wu" vote...on the other hand, his name is "Jorge Mendoza" and those same people will want to deport him to Mexico sooner than vote for him.

up
36

speaker and not at all one of the Italian-Americans he claims to speak for. Given the Basque-origin family name (his full surname is Mendoza-Iturralde,) I'd guess he immigrated to the US from Argentina.

up
20

...but the people I'm talking about are not.

up
22

Which Florida city is he running for mayor?

up
24

He's got a wedding coming up on Thursday next week to get ready for...and he's announcing his campaign now? Sheesh, talk about compounding your problems.

In the meantime, I wish the happy couple well. It seems like only 15 years ago when his soon-to-be wife was fresh out of college at 22 and joined the staff at Monica's where they met. He was 41 but took her under his wing and now look at them go...bride and groom.

By the way, do you think he knows he can't live in South Yarmouth and be mayor? Or do you think he lives at 4 Stillman Pl where he owns but doesn't claim the residential exemption? Or does the fact that every unit in 4 Stillman Pl appears to be rented (as far as I can tell) strongly suggest that Jorge isn't a resident of the city after all?

Either he doesn't live in Boston or he's too stupid to claim residency...either way not a strong start for his campaign to get my vote...

up
60

What can he offer? All conceivable tzars and offices have been created already.

up
17

Why run for Mayor of Boston when he can lead a secession effort? Clearly, lack of outdoor dining in the North End is the civil rights issue of our time! I can't wait to see his outreach to Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.

Seriously...the knives have been out for Mayor Wu since election night. There's racism here, but it's not coming from the Mayor.

up
18

this chucklehead's plan to burn through a bunch of his own money tilting at windmills, and then pull 3% of the vote in the general election.

up
48

Donnie 'Punchy' Palmer, 8th CD
Catherine Vitale, councilor-at-very large
Shawn Nelson, councilor-at-large

up
18

WU has a solid base throughout all the Boston neighborhoods LGBTQ crowd , the Elderly, the Hispanics love her , and all the political power makers in City will continue to back her.

up
10

The thing I find most hilarious about the whole "Wu hates the North End" trope, is that, by placing some limits on privatization of public sidewalk space, she gave the North End something that the North End, by which I mean the people who actually live there) had been asking for. That the decision annoyed some of the out-of-town business owners who operate restaurants there, is a different matter entirely.

up
17