Capital Grille plans to bring new casual dining concept to former Papa Razzi space

The owners of the Capital Grille intend to transform the former Papa Razzi space into a self-described “polished casual” restaurant, representatives from the venture told members of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay Licensing and Building Use Committee Monday at the Lenox Hotel.
Andrew Upton, an attorney for the applicant, said restaurateurs intend to open Capital Burger at 159 Newbury St., adding that the more-affordable sister concept would offer dishes besides burgers, including steak and salmon, as well as boast an extensive wine list. Capital Burger currently has two other locations in Washington, D.C., and Reston, Va.
The Back Bay restaurant’s proposed hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Representatives for the applicant indicated they would be willing to close the outdoor patio at 10 p.m. in accordance with a request from Elliot Laffer, committee co-chair.
The restaurant’s seating capacity would be the same as the erstwhile Papa Razzi, with 168 sets outside and another 30 inside, said Art McIntosh, deign director and project manager.
Around $5.5 million has been allocated for the budget of the new restaurant, Upton said,
Laffer said one zoning proviso for the new restaurant is that all garbage must be stored inside and put out for pickup no more than one half-hour before the designated collection time. “I understand Papa Razzi didn’t do that,” he added.
McIntosh agreed that the restaurant wouldn’t schedule trash collection before 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends.
Upton indicated that the new restaurant would seek an entertainment license for background music only, but Laffer discouraged its use on the patio and said the request would likely not be well received.
At Laffer’s urging, the applicant also agreed to only serve alcohol to patrons seated at tables both inside and outside who order food. (This wouldn’t apply to customers sitting at the bar, however.)
McIntosh said the new restaurant hopes to open in September or October, and that on-site demolition and construction is expected to take about five to six months to complete.
In another matter, Attorney Jon Aieta detailed plans to open a restaurant with a Mediterranean concept in the space formerly occupied by Dosa Factory (and before that, Steve’s Greek Cuisine) at 316 Newbury St.
“We would concentrate on fine dining and fine drinks with an emphasis on wine,” Aieta said, adding that the restaurant, called Villa Luisa, wouldn’t have a full liquor license and instead only serve wine, beer and cordials.
The new proposed restaurant is based on the Villa Luisa in Mallorca, Spain, and affiliated with Dirk Visser and the Visser family. The Vissers own and operate Quaglinos at the Hotel Europe in Zurich, as well as the Salsa Shop and In de Waag, which are both based in the Netherlands and fast-casual and fine-dining restaurants, respectively, said Chris Agostino, the family’s attorney.
Herb Entwistle is the new restaurant’s manager of record, Aieta said.
The restaurant’s capacity would be 46 seats, with three at the bar and no outdoor patio seating proposed. Its hours of operation would be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lunch and dinner, and the applicant won’t seek an entertainment license.
Also, Agostino said he expected his client would be agreeable to Laffer’s request that garbage be stored in a locked dumpster on the premises.
The city’s Licensing Board was scheduled to review this application yesterday during at City Hall.
Moreover, another applicant presented plans to open a new casual restaurant serving burgers and shakes in the basement of the space formerly occupied by Tapeo at 266 Newbury St.
The restaurant, called Good Kitchen, has proposed hours of operation of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and wouldn’t serve alcohol. Its seating capacity would be 54 inside and an addition 24 on the outside patio, according to the applicant.

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