La Neta on Newbury Street Seeking Entertainment License

The owner of La Neta, a Newbury Street taco shop, appeared at the Monday, Oct. 3, meeting of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) License and Building Use Committee to discuss his plan to petition the city for an entertainment license.

Allan Rodriquez said the restaurant would like to offer live music inside three or four times each week. The performances would be limited to one or two musicians due to space constraints, while he said he would give up space for one table to the left of the door to create a performance area.

“We can only fit one or two people max,” said Rodriguez, who added that he would consider hiring Berklee College of Music students as musicians.

Rodriguez said he would seek an entertainment license for La Neta’s current hours of operation of 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (or a 1 a.m. closing once the building expands into the space next door).

The music would be acoustic, not amplified, added Rodriguez, and could provide the soundtrack for special events at the restaurant, such as a Tequila Night or for brunch (although La Neta doesn’t currently offer brunch). But there would be no music before noontime, he added.

While Rodriquez indicated that he would like to install speakers to carry the music to the outdoor patio, Elliott Laffer, chair of NABB’s board of directors, said this request would be a non-starter as far as his group is concerned.

Conrad Armstrong, committee chair, said he would notify Rodriguez of their determination on his application (i.e. whether to send a letter of opposition or a letter of the non-opposition to the city) before Friday, Oct. 13.

Rodriquez was previously before the committee on Dec. 6 of last year to outline his plan to expand his La Neta at 255 Newbury St. into the adjacent retail space at 253 Newbury St., previously occupied by the Boston Olive Oil Company. He said he plans to add a bar in the new space, but that the restaurant’s current 23-seat occupancy wouldn’t increase as a result of the expansion. In another scheduled agenda item, Back Bay Social at 867 Boylston St. is also seeking an entertainment license for live music from the city, but that item wasn’t ultimately heard by the committee due to a scheduling conflict for the applicant’s attorney, said Armstrong.

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