The smallish Tedeschi on Comm. Ave. at Harvard plans to move into the Kelly's Roast Beef space across Harvard.
The move, which will require approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals, prompted the owner of the McDonald's franchise on Harvard Avenue to seek city permission to extend his closing hour from 2 to 3 a.m., at a Boston Licensing Board hearing today.
Bob King, who owns ten McDonald's franchises in the city, said he's worried the new Tedeschi, which might seek to move its 24-hour license across the street, will stock the sort of hot food that might compete with his outlet's offerings - especially if they add tables and chairs to the large space.
"I think they're going to suck the wind out of our sales," he said. An extra hour would give him something approaching "parity" with Tedeschi, he said.
However, at a meeting of the Brighton Allston Improvement Association last month, Tedeschi officials said they are only seeking part of the Kelly's space and would sublease the rest.
King added that people flooding out of local bars at 2 a.m. need a place to eat, and noted that the T now runs late into the morning on Fridays and Sundays.
But that's just why the Allston Civic Association and Boston Police District D-14 opposed the time extension.
"If we start creating places for people to go when the bars close, they're not going to leave our neighborhood," Paul Berkeley, president of the Allston Civic Association said. Berkeley added the city has long bent over to try to accommodate students and other late-night types in Allston, but that it's time the city started considering the needs of long-time residents raising families in the neighborhood again.
Berkeley said King wasn't asking for mere parity, but for an advantage, one that could lead to more places seeking 3 a.m. closing times. He said the neighborhood's Burger King - at Brighton and Allston - shuts at midnight.
Sgt. Michael O'Hara of D-14 said the intersection of Harvard and Comm. Ave. is already one of his district's higher crime areas and that police are concerned that vagrants already congregating there would only see the extra hour as a chance to further gravitate there.
The mayor's office and City Councilor Mark Ciommo also opposed the extra hour for the McDonald's.
After hearing the strong opposition, King said, fine, he'll stick with 2 a.m. if that's what people want. However, he invited them down to take a look at his outlet and the vacant Kelly's to see what he sees.