(Image from Google Maps)
A restaurant promising quality Italian food could open on the corner of East Broadway and L Street by next summer.
Property owner Michael Norton and his attorney Kristen Scanlon appeared before the Boston Licensing Board Wednesday seeking a beer and wine license for Sobo Bistro. It would be a 60-seat restaurant with a 12 a.m. closing hour, at 749 East Broadway. The restaurant would also include a 15-seat bar area, separate from the main dining section.
It is not clear whether a beer and wine license is available, but Norton said he would still open the restaurant even if he is not granted a license by the board.
The proposal must also go before the board for a license to serve food.
The project has received permission from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to covert the former retail structure into a restaurant space.
The property, a former electrician’s shop just up the block from the Tasty Burger, is being rehabilitated by Norton. Once the rehab work has been completed, the restaurant will occupy the structure’s ground floor with the above two floors dedicated to residential uses.
Norton, a life-long South Boston resident, is the landlord of Tasty Burger and also owns several properties in the neighborhood, he told Boston.com.
The restaurant is also located not too far from a space on L Street and East 4th Street proposed to house a Dunkin’ Donuts.
At Wednesday's hearing Scanlon told the board that the restaurant would fill a void on the busy neighborhood street, catering to those looking for a sit-down dining experience, which Scanlon said can’t be found at many of the pubs and sports bars that populate the area.
"There aren't a lot of restaurant dining options in the neighborhood," said Scanlon. “It’s adding an element to the neighborhood that doesn’t currently exist.”
At Wednesday’s hearing the proposal received the support of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and from the office of at-Large City Councilor Stephen Murphy.
A representative from the office of City Councilor Bill Linehan spoke in opposition to the proposal, saying the proponent needs to meet again with the community to discuss closing hours and other potential impacts.
Nicole Murati Ferrer, the chair of the board, said that community involvement is important, but encouraged the Mayor’s Office and Linehan’s representative to speed up the community process so that it would not unfairly impact the proponent and drag out the licensing process.
The board will make its decision Thursday.