Update: Request denied.
The Boston Licensing Board could decide tomorrow whether to let DeLuca's Market on Charles Street serve beer and wine at tables to people who want to sup on charcuterie boards of cheese and meat samples.
Virgil Aiello, owner of the iconic market, which started as a fruit stand in 1900, said at a hearing today that customers keep asking him if for sit-down charcuterie - and the ability to order a beer or some wine to go with it. He said the sit-down service would be the latest evolution of the market in meeting the needs of both nearby residents and tourists.
But the mayor's office, City Councilor Kenzie Bok and the Beacon Hill Civic Association all urged the board to reject Aiello's proposal to allow sit-down service at the 20 tables he already has, at which customers used to be able to purchase take-out food that they would then eat right there. DeLuca's has an alcohol license, but only for the sale of cans and bottles to go, not for people to drink on the premises.
The civic association said the property wasn't well maintained and that Aiello was simply too vague about his plans for the space and even for what role his daughters would play in the operation of the market going forward. Aides to the mayor and Bok both said they had received large numbers of letters and e-mail messages in opposition.
Aiello said he has never had an ISD violation and that his daughters, who have long helped out at the market, will eventually become managers as he eases into retirement. He gave the board a petition signed by some 500 people in favor.
If the board does approve the DeLuca's proposal, it would then have to rummage around to see if it actually has any licenses to hand out.