Swingers Reps Detail Business Plan for NABB’s LBU Committee

 Representatives for Swingers were back before the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay Licensing and Building Use Committee at its monthly virtual meeting on Monday, April 1, to discuss their plans to offer ‘elevated’ miniature golf, along with food and drink, at 761-793 Boylston St.

​Swingers launched in 2014 as a five-month pop-up in a London warehouse and has since expanded to two permanent locations in the UK capital, as well as three U.S. outposts in Washington, D.C.; Manhattan; and Las Vegas, respectively. The company’s proposed Boston location in the Boylston Street building which was previously home to Crate & Barrel, would span approximately 22,000 square feet, including a ground-floor entry area with a vestibule for queuing customers; more than half of the second floor; and the entire third floor.

​The team behind Swingers’ proposed Boston location previously appeared before the committee at its March 5 meeting but, in response to concerns raised at that time, agreed to return to provide additional details of the business plan.

​Jeremy Simmonds, one of Swingers’ co-founders, assured those on hand for the April 1 meeting that the roughly $75 a head cost per customer is one indication of the establishment’s “premium nature,” with a clientele that wouldn’t be limited to only students.

​Elliott Laffer of NABB said that their biggest concern is potentially having up to 400 patrons in the space, especially since large corporate groups are expected to account for about one-third of business.

​Over 95 percent of patrons pre-book at Swingers’ other locations, said Simmonds, so the Boston outpost expects to maintain a steady flow of customers, with peak hours typically coming in the early evening. Customers typically spend about an hour and a half to two hours at Swingers’ other locations, added Simmonds. The business would request a 2 a.m. closing time from the city for its Boston outpost, however, he said, as a few customers typically trickle in between 8 p.m. and midnight at other locations.

​“This is a seated venue…so we’re always way under the code capacity,” said Simmonds, who added that the schematic design and full egress plan, which would ultimately determine the establishment’s capacity, hadn’t been finalized yet.

​In another matter, Peng Jia, the owner of Teazzi Tea Shop – Newbury at 232 Newbury St., was on hand to discuss her recently opened business. (Jia was originally scheduled to appear at the committee’s March 5 meeting.)

​Besides bubble tea, the business, which operates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, offers a variety of flavored cream puffs, said Jia, and has no plans to provide any alcoholic beverages. The shop seats 20 patrons inside and has no additional seating outside, she said.

​Teazzi Tea Shop – Newbury eventually intends to partner with apps to offer delivery, added Jia.

​The committee also heard about  an application from Zuma – the Japanese restaurant located on the second floor of the Four Seasons hotel at 1 Dalton St. – to add an entertainment license for a deejay to provide ‘ambient background music,’ along with one television.

​The proposed deejay situated in an approximately 5-by-5 foot area next to the lounge, would play constant background music from a laptop, said Teddie Kind, the restaurant’s manager of record.

Zuma has received a series of one-day entertainment license from the city in the past to provide background music, said Kind.

“This is a fine dining establishment, and we no interest in becoming a nightclub,” said Kind, who added that tables would be strategically placed in front of the deejay booth to discourage patrons from dancing.

​The volume for the music would be capped at about 60 percent, said Kind, and while the establishment currently has a 2 a.m. closing time, there would be no change in its operations or occupancy.

“Everything stays the same,” said Attorney Dennis Quilty, who added that the applicant was waiting to meet with NABB before scheduling a hearing date with the city.

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