Plans Detailed for Greek Seafood Restaurant Proposed for 401 Newbury St.

A growing chain of New York City-based, upscale seafood restaurants with a Greek influence is planning to open its first Boston location at 400 Newbury St. (i.e. the Parcel 12 development above the Mass Turnpike), according to representatives for the venture on hand for the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay Licensing and Building Use Committee’s monthly meeting held virtually on Monday, May 6.

​Avra, which in addition to three Manhattan locations, also now has restaurants in Miami, Fla., and Beverly Hills, Calif., intends to occupy 13,000 square feet on two levels of the street and plaza-levels of the so-called ‘Car Gurus/Lego’ building and hotel, said cofounder Nick Tsoulos.  (Besides its Boston Location, Avra is also currently planning to open new outposts in Dallas, Texas, and in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, he said.)

​The ground level of the restaurant would be home to a vestibule, as well as an elevator and grand staircase, said Tsoulos, while the kitchen, dining room, bar, and private rooms would all be located on the second level.

​While the proposed restaurant would serve only lunch, brunch, and dinner (and not breakfast), the would-be establishment is seeking a traditional 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. license for the premises, said Attorney Dennis Quilty. He noted that the applicant would be seeking a corporation-to-corporation license change from the Samuels Corporation, with no change in location.

​In response to the applicant’s plan to create a patio with seating for around 50 diners between the hotel and office building, Conrad Armstrong, committee chair, and Elliott Laffer, a longtime NABB board member and past committee chair, both said they had previously requested a 1 a.m. closing time for the patio, especially given its close proximity to residential housing, including at 360 Newbury St.

​Attorney Quilty said as a new building, the location is readymade for deliveries, as well as for easy and convenient trash storage and disposal.

​Regarding next steps for the project, Attorney Quilty said the applicant would hold be holding an abutters meeting. “And then off we go,” he added.

​Tsoulos said they hoped to open the restaurant next April or May.

​In another matter, the committee heard from an applicant seeking to open a gym on the second floor of the building at 867 Boylston St., which is home to the Back Bay Social Club restaurant on its ground floor.

​The proposed second-floor space, which would offer personal fitness, was previously home to two other gyms over the years –  BURN Fitness Studios, and before that, Life in Synergy, said Kurt Therrien, the property owner.

​The new gym would have proposed hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with a 49-peson capacity, said Attorney Quilty, who represented this applicant as well.

Attorney Quilty said the applicant would be seeking a conditional use license from the city, even though the location had been home to previous gyms, and has requested a hearing date with the city ASAP.

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