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Long closed Fenway restaurant still closed, but owner swears that this time, honest to goodness, he hopes to open it up again

The Boston Licensing Board today gave local restaurateur Douglas Bacon a November deadline to re-open a Westland Avenue restaurant and bar he bought in 2012, closed for renovations and then never re-opened - or have the joint's liquor license taken away. Bacon said he hopes he can meet that deadline.

The demand came at what has become Bacon's annual appearance before the board to express his embarrassment at not opening the empty space at 10A Westland Ave., to beg forgiveness and to ask for more time to get the place ready for business. In the meantime, he's changed the name of the restaurant from Symphony 8 to the Westland.

"I'm embarrassed at this point," he said at his annual visit to City Hall to reiterate his shame and his saga of architects and contractors doing him wrong on what he at first thought would be a $100,000 renovation job - and to acknowledge that he might have also been distracted by having to take care of another business that was busy failing, even as he was continuing to pay rent on the vacant Westland Avenue site.

But, he also said, "every day we're closer to opening." He said he expects the Westland to be ready for fire and building inspections in early November and to actually open the doors to diners in December.

Board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini told him she was amazed to open the restaurant file and learn that the liquor license, for which Bacon paid $275,000 in 2012, has gone unused so long. Restaurant owners are not supposed to sit on licenses for a long time.

"Six years, that's a long time," she said, adding she will have her staff schedule a hearing for November on the status of the work. "If there hasn't been significant progress with this licensed premise, we are going to cancel your license at that time."



Does anyone know the real story here? Is this common?

Voting closed 21

The guy who owned Ciao Bella on Newbury Street made similar appearances after his project to renovate a historic old building ran into all sorts of issues (like when the city insisted he install an elevator for ADA reasons). The project eventually failed and the building was foreclosed and sold off.

Voting closed 22

Does anyone remember Manray? The Cambridge club closed in 2004.

Don Hollan the owner was still sitting on that license as of 2014.

Im not sure of the status at this point but I remember the ongoing saga with the Cambridge licensing board.

Voting closed 24

It's now called Sonia and is part of the Middle.East Club

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.. Sonia was TT's, right?

Voting closed 28

TT's and Man Ray were across the street from one another.

Voting closed 16

The owner of TTs owned the liquor license and the one show I was at was when they first opened was dry as they had no license. I think they can serve now but I've no idea whether this was Manrays license or TTs.

Voting closed 18

Sonia's is what was formerly TT's, not Manray

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Yes. Manray was NEAR what is now Sonia's but did not become Sonia's.

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he was supposed to reopen Manray at the old Blockbuster space on MA Ave but fell through. Doubt he stil has the L.

Voting closed 12

I wonder if they had the same attorney?

Voting closed 11

Bacon always represents himself.

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0 degrees of Douglas Bacon

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Personal contextual anecdote: I moved to the neighborhood in May 2012. Since then, I have moved twice, changed jobs, and had two relationships, one resulting in a marriage coming up on its third year. Crikey.

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Personal contextual anecdote: I moved to the neighborhood in 2007. I've had none of those things.

Voting closed 34

Probably still better at opening a restaurant than this dude.

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Some background, from last August on Eater.com:

More than three years after ownership of a restaurant near Symphony Hall changed hands, a new concept will finally make its debut in the vacant space. The Westland, taking its name from its 10 Westland Ave. address where Symphony 8 operated until 2013, will open soon with a selection of tavern-style dishes, beer, and more according to Boston Magazine.

Owner Douglas Bacon purchased the space following the closure of Symphony 8 and worked to renovate it over the last several years, as previously reported. Bacon also owns a series of bars and restaurants in Allston-Brighton, including White Horse Tavern, Harry’s Bar & Grill, The Avenue, and Hopewell Kitchen & Bar.


Voting closed 15

With a litany of high end establishments like that, the Fenway can excitedly look forward to dishes such as:

* Broken glass a la floor
* Vomit, followed by more vomit
* A punch in the face
* Budwieser
* Other Budweiser
* French fries**

Can't wait.

** Sysco french fries.

Voting closed 33

You have not visited Hopewell. But I did snort at "other Budweiser."

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You are correct. Far be it from me to cast aspersions when they are not warranted. I thought the Avenue and White Horse were going to carry the day. I used to live 1/2 a block behind the Silhouette, and even back then, in my misspent youth, I thought the White Horse was garbage.

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