A taqueria owner who has been trying to get later hours for his Boston restaurants finally won a battle today when the Boston Licensing Board agreed to extend the closing time of one of the outlets from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.
The board voted unanimously to let John Schall's El Jefe at 269 Huntington Ave., just outbound from Mass. Ave., stay open an hour later.
The vote came after a Wednesday hearing at which Schall said he'd been asked by firefighters, police officers, nurses and doctors if he could stay open later for them so they can get something decent to eat after they get off work.
Schall added that the extra hour would also benefit hungry, hard-studying Northeastern students.
Schall has used the hungry-student argument before, in efforts to get late night hours at his restaurants at Emerson and near BU's Agganis Arena with little luck, even after he would note that Cambridge let his Harvard Square outlet stay open until 4.
But this time, the board took note that Schall has had no problems with his current 2 a.m. closing.
In addition to the hundreds of names on both paper and online petitions, Schall told the board that the busiest time at the Huntington Avenue branch now is between 1 and 2 a.m. - and that it's not uncommon for his staff to close the doors at 2 with 20 to 25 people still standing outside hoping for some of his "high quality, affordable Mexican street food."