The Boston Licensing Board said today it would hold off a vote on letting a Burger King franchisee open an outlet on River Street on the Hyde Park/Mattapan line after aides to several elected officials said they could not support the proposal until at least after the franchisee meets with Belnel Road-area residents, who say they don't want to see a burger place open until 2 am. in their backyard.
At a hearing today, a representative for Northeast Foods, LLC said the operator would be willing to amend its proposed closing time to midnight instead of the 2 a.m. it had requested.
But Dave Vittorini, an aide to City Councilor Michelle Wu (at large), said the councilor could not support the proposal because the Belnel Family Neighborhood Association, which represents residents on the Mattapan side of the Shops at Riverwood, is "totally against" a 2 a.m. closing time and that it wants to actually meet with Burger King representatives before changing that stance.
Meetings with neighborhood groups is key part of the process in Boston for licensing and zoning applications - boards often defer action where applicants have yet to meet with neighborhood groups.
Joining Wu in opposition were councilors Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale), Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) and state Sen. Nick Collins. A neighborhood liaison for Mayor Walsh did not voice opposition, but did ask the board to defer any action until after Northeast meets with residents.