Glynn Hospitality Group, who operates Dillon’s Restaurant at 955 Boylston Street in the Back Bay, was granted permission to have live entertainment at the Zoning Board of Appeal hearing on August 14.
Mike Ross from Prince Lobel represented the hospitality group at the hearing, and said that they met with the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) and agreed to end outdoor entertainment at 10:00pm and limit it to one amplified microphone. There will also be indoor entertainment with a DJ booth and acoustic music, as well as televisions outside, and Ross said that they worked with NABB on that as well so that they are not visible from the street. They also don’t necessarily have to have the volume up; they would just be a place for people to watch a game, Ross said.
“What’s happening more and more in restaurants, they just have records at hostess stands—that’s considered a DJ booth,” Ross said. It will be less like a traditional DJ and more like a casual side table record player that plays music, which he called a “nice amenity for the restaurant.”
Nothing will change in terms of capacity; the current capacity is 344 and Ross said that the building is fully sprinklered.
Yissel Guerrero from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services went on the record in support of this project. Elliott Laffer from NABB said that they voted on the outdoor entertainment part and agreed that in addition to the 10:00 end time for outdoor performing and the single microphone, there would be no more than five acoustic performers.
He said that he didn’t recall a discussion of a DJ “so I’m a little bit taken aback by this DJ discussion,” he said. “The concern would be there that it starts looking more like a club than a restaurant.”
Ross said that they would be happy to limit it to five acoustic performers. The Board approved the live entertainment, with the provisos that the outdoor space closes at 10:00pm, there would be one microphone, and five performers.
Other food related violations were also heard at Tuesday’s hearing. At 1250 Boylston Street, applicant Jehad Hamed proposed the placement of a food truck on the corner. The current violations include a use regulation violation, because a food truck is a forbidden use for that area. The truck would operate with anticipated hours of 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day, year-round and would have four to six parking spots on site.
Yissel Guerrero from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said that the Fenway Civic Association does not like the forbidden use and the trash collection issue, but “We believe that the applicant will work with the neighborhood,” she said.
Hamed said that they are going to contract with a public service company to put a trash and recycle bin, as well as designate an employee to make sure the area is clean. He also said that they would be willing to work with the Civic Association to make sure the area is kept clean.
The food truck, called Sufra, will serve Mediterranean halal food. Hamed said that the reason they decided to open in the Fenway area is because they have received numerous requests from people from the Gulf region who come for medical purposes. They would like to have food cooked a certain way and be able to have a taste of their food and feel at home, he said.
The Board approved this food truck, but only to this specific vendor.
Jonquils Cafe at 125 Newbury Street proposed a change in occupancy from offices and retail to offices, retail, and cafe and also to have outdoor seating with 22 seats for the cafe.
The violation is cafe use, and this is a companion case from ISD for a violation of outdoor seating for cafe.
Attorney Dennis Quilty said this cafe would be a sustainable healthy option cafe with mostly steamed options. He said that this project has been reviewed by NABB and “extensive interaction” with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services.
There would be 27 seats indoors and 22 seats outdoors. Yissel Guerrero from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services went on record in support of this project.
Elliott Laffer from NABB said that the only concern was that the cooking be limited to steaming and any necessary venting would go to the roof, which has been addressed.
There was a motion for approval to this petitioner only, which was approved by the Board.