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The City that Always Sleeps: Seaport could get Japanese/Vietnamese noodle bar, but neighborhood group opposes 12:30 a.m. closing time

A Connecticut chain that serves Japanese ramen and Vietnamese pho wants to open its first Boston restaurant at 44 Thomson Pl., but the Fort Point Neighborhood Association is asking the Boston Licensing Board to scale back its proposed 12:30 a.m. closing time to a more Boston time of 11 p.m.

Mecha is seeking permission to buy the liquor license from the closed Whiskey's on Boylston Street in the Back Bay to open what its attorney, Kristen Scanlon, would be a "high energy, fun, communal environment" serving "Southeast Asian comfort food" that, in addition to broth-based ramen and pho would also offer various types of dumplings and bubble teas.

She said that Mecha is pronounced "Metcha" and comes from the Vietnamese for "mom and pop," rather than "Meka," from the Japanese for giant battling robots.

Scanlon said Mecha, which recently won approval for a restaurant in Brookline, said it wanted a 12:30 a.m. closing time in part because the Seaport restaurant would be its first in "a larger urban market," in part so it could have the opportunity to serve larger private events. She said that many of the nearby restaurants nearby already have closing times of 1 or even 2 a.m.

Only the neighboring Trillium Brewing Co. has an 11 p.m. closing time, but Scanlon said that's an entirely different kind of business - where the main offering is beer and they offer live entertainment. In contrast, Mecha "is ultimately a noodle house" where most of the sales would come from food orders.

Tom Ready of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association, however, said 11 p.m. would be a better closing time for the restaurant, at least for the first year of operation, so the neighborhood could see if it would prove a good neighbor.

An aide to City Councilor Ed Flynn asked the board to defer any vote on the proposal to allow Mecha and the neighborhood association to find a compromise on the issue.

The board could vote tomorrow whether to approve the liquor-license sale or whether to defer it for further bargaining between the restaurant chain and the neighborhood group.

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Comments

Is the biggest choke job in the history of urban development.

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Voting closed 45

Or perhaps even a modicum of forethought.

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Voting closed 4

The seaport wants to be a gated community so bad

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Voting closed 58

I guess that it’s comforting that the seaport, “everyone’s” most hated neighborhood, is just like every other Boston neighborhood! Welcome!

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Voting closed 20

11 p.m. would be a better closing time for the restaurant, at least for the first year of operation, so the neighborhood could see if it would prove a good neighbor.

So are "bad neighbor" restaurants all right if they close at 11? This is such obvious bullshit that's got nothing to do with neighborliness and everything to do with kissing the licensing board's ass.

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Voting closed 45

So are "bad neighbor" restaurants all right if they close at 11?

No...I think the point is, if the restaurant has a closing time of 11 pm, and proves to be a not-good neighbor, the impact on the neighborhood is at least mitigated somewhat by an 11 pm closing time. If the restaurant won't manage its refuse at 11 pm, they're not gonna do it at 2 am.

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Voting closed 7

Don’t go hoisting yourself on your own petard, old wound.

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...balancing those meds.

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But thanks for trying.

You’ll have other chances.

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Voting closed 6

...at least mine made sense. Yours was just word salad, pure gibberish. But you believe what you want.

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I’ll leave you with this last word.

Quack.

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Voting closed 6

If the new licensee has problems, the problems need to be dealt with swiftly via existing mechanisms, regardless of whether the closing time is at 11:00 or 2:00. Treating the first year of the license as a "learner's permit" is insulting and demeaning to the restaurant owners and directly affects their ability to turn a profit and establish their business. It's bullshit that serves no purpose except to remind the restaurant owners who's in charge.

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Voting closed 19

Particularly when other businesses in the area have later closing times.

The Seaport’s battle not to be a late night entertainment zone has already been lost. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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If you are a shitty licensed neighbor at 11PM, that's still a problem that should be addressable, the same way there should be adequate recourse against shitty licensed neighbors at 2AM.

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Voting closed 11

Exactly. The two have no relationship. Also, isn't this a brand-new district dedicated to businesses, hotels and entertainment? Exactly where the fuck else would it be appropriate to open a new late-night eatery? People who move into the neighborhood aren't expecting to live in Mayberry.

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Voting closed 8

…. built with luxury perks such as triple paned windows, roof decks, balconies, plus size living spaces. This is not a low income neighborhood with ancient housing stock and no waterfront like Chinatown, which still bears unhealed wounds from the Combat Zone.

Everyone in the city has the right to quiet enjoyment of their home, but I don’t see how the Seaport residents have been threatened in this way by a late night eatery. They don’t mind tearing through Chinatown in their SUVs on their way downtown or for larks. Or having their food delivery drivers clog up the Washington St. bus lanes and bike lanes so they can get their grub.
This was a planned community, with more or less foresight.
Seems like a case of I got mine so nobody else can have theirs. Hey, they’ve got a Trader Joe’s. And easy access to their noisy boats. Need I say more?

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Voting closed 7

Tom Ready of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association, however, said 11 p.m. would be a better closing time for the restaurant, at least for the first year of operation, so the neighborhood could see if it would prove a good neighbor.

This is such a consistently NIMBY group. They should be paid no heed.

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Voting closed 19

There is way too much power in this neighborhood association if their opinion has even an iota of effect on the decision here.

Opening up every single permit application to the whims of a few loud mouthed a-holes is a surefire way to hamstring small businesses and subject them to arbitrary classist, racist, and xenophobic restrictions.

This is why we can't have nice things.

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Voting closed 19

I too oppose an 12:30 am closing time.

Let them stay open until 2 am instead.

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Voting closed 27

Like the rest of Boston, there are not enough late-night dining options in the area.

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They’ll all be underwater soon.

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Voting closed 8