By SCOTT JACKSON
The restaurateur hoping to open an 81-seat hot pot restaurant in the former home of Fashion Quality Cleaners at 67 Billings Road in North Quincy will need to go before the zoning board before the license board considers granting an all alcohol license.
The Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday continued the hearing on the application by Chung Shing Wong for the liquor license for his proposed establishment, Top Pot Asian Cuisine Restaurant, until Jan. 19. He could appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals prior to that, on Jan. 12, so that board can review the parking situation.
Fashion Quality Cleaners had 13 parking spaces, seven less than would be required for an 81-seat restaurant. Because of concerns about the parking situation raised by residents, both at prior license board hearings and a community meeting in September, the applicant commissioned a traffic study to determine how much parking would be available.
Jack Gillon, the former city traffic engineer who undertook the study on behalf of Wong, said there would be more than sufficient parking available on Billings Street and an adjacent parking lot on Vane Street to meet the requirement for seven additional spaces.
Jay Duca, the city’s director of inspectional service and a member of license board, said he did not feel comfortable waiving the zoning board hearing and issuing a finding allowing the conversion of the former dry cleaners into a restaurant given the concerns about parking raised by residents previously. Jack Milgram, the attorney representing Wong, asked Duca if he would be comfortable approving a 52-seat restaurant – which would require same amount of parking spaces as the dry cleaners did – but Duca said he would not be comfortable doing so.
The applicant had yet to apply for ZBA approval of the proposed restaurant as of Tuesday’s license board meeting. Milgram said he would submit the application as early as Wednesday to get on the agenda for the next ZBA meeting Jan. 12; Duca said there would be enough time to do so.
The license board on Tuesday did approve several requests, including:
A transfer of the retail liquor license held by Brewer Corner Liquors at 372 Granite St. to Discount Liquors at 380 Granite St.
A transfer of the all alcohol license held by the Granite Rail, 16 Cottage Ave., to 16C, a new restaurant that will open in the same space as early as January.
A common victualler license for a new Marylou’s Coffee location at 22 Independence Ave., which was previously home to a CVS. This Marylou’s, like the one on Willard Street, will share its space with a convenience store that will require a separate license.
A common victualler license for Elyse O’Connell d/b/a Babycakes at 163 Beale St.
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council has awarded Quincy a $680,000 grant that will allow the city to replace its current boat launch ramp at the public landing in Houghs Neck.
The current ramp is only accessible from two hours before high tide until two hours after. The new ramp will be usable in all tidal conditions, increasing access to Boston Harbor.
Officials also said the new ramp will drive new tourism, fishing, and recreational boating activity.
Quincy was among a host of seaside communities that will share in $6.6 million in grants to support pier, port, and boardwalk improvements as well as a tidal energy testing initaitve in the Cape Cod Canal.
Other communities receiving grants were Chatham, Gosnold, Marshfield, New Bedford, Salem, Saugus, Salisbury, Winthrop, and the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative.
The economic development and infrastructure grants will advance the maritime economy in a diverse set of coastal communities, officials said.
The transportation agencies of Massachusetts, including Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MBTA and Port Authority (Massport), announce plans designed to help ease holiday travel frustration during the busy travel season.
The travel experts at AAA are predicting 300,000 additional holiday travelers this year, bringing the total close to 47 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving. This marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel. The holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29. The association expects 41.9 million Americans will travel by car and that air travel will increase by 0.1 percent, with 3.6 million Americans flying, the most since 2007. More information can be found at www.newsroom.aaa.com.
“I encourage safe and smart travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, through every mode of transportation,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “I encourage all of our customers to take advantage of real time information that is available to help them catch their train, plane or to avoid any congestion along the highways.”
Travelers are urged to use the multiple options for public transportation this holiday season. The MBTA is adding additional service to the Silver Line for customers headed to the airport during Thanksgiving holiday week. At Logan and nationwide, TSA security checkpoints will be fully staffed as they remain committed to processing passengers as efficiently as possible, while maintaining screening effectiveness.
“To ensure prompt and convenient service to and from Logan Airport, the Silver Line will operate with additional service during peak travel periods,” said MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola. “Also, we want to remind everyone at this time to check our website www.mbta.com for schedules throughout the week as well as upcoming scheduling changes being made in December for trains through North Station.”
Travel tips from the different agencies include:
- However you’re traveling, by car, train or plane, allow extra time;
- For those driving, AAA recommends you ensure your vehicle is properly maintained; you map your route in advance, and have roadside assistance contact info on hand;
- When possible, use public transportation instead of driving;
- The MBTA subway system will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving, please check www.mbta.com for information about commuter rail schedules;
- If parking at Logan, subscribe to get updates at www.massport.com/logan-airport/parking-information/;
- Go to www.tsa.gov for any questions about what you can take in your baggage. Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection;
- Public awareness is key for supporting TSA’s security efforts; therefore, TSA encourages travelers to remember, “If You See Something, Say Something.”
“We want to do everything we can to ease the travel experience for everyone traveling in and out of Boston Logan Airport,’’ said Massport Director of Aviation Ed Freni. “This is a busy time at Logan, and we are urging travelers to plan ahead to help make their traveling experience as easy as possible.’’
For travelers getting to and from Logan Airport:
- MBTA Silver Line provides service between South Station and Logan’s terminals every 10 minutes. Outbound service from Logan Airport to the South Boston Seaport District and South Station is FREE;
- MBTA Blue Line provides subway service between Boston and Airport Station;
- Water transportation is also available from Downtown Boston and the Logan dock;
- Logan Express serves 5 locations including Peabody, Framingham, Woburn, Braintree and Back Bay. Until 11/20, park for 4-14 days for only $22;
- There are also several bus and taxi options available.
“MassDOT anticipates a high volume of traffic on our highways and at Boston Logan International Airport this Thanksgiving holiday, with particularly heavy traffic volume on our highways Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday after the holiday,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “We encourage all drivers to use caution along the roads and for people traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, we urge you to leave either after 8 p.m. or early in the morning.”
For those driving:
- Along our highways in years past, the exits with the heaviest volume were on the Turnpike at Exit 9 at the interchange with I-84, Exit 11A for I-495, Exit 14 for I-95 and Route 128, and Exit 24 for I-93 North and South;
- Plymouth Rock Assurance will sponsor tolls once again this year on the day before Thanksgiving and will sponsor Tolls at Plaza 19 east and westbound (Allston / Brighton) Wednesday November 25th from 7 AM to 8 AM. Motorists traveling late on Thanksgiving night can advantage of FREE coffee at all 18 of Service Plazas from Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26th from 10 PM to Friday November 29th at 5 AM;
- To assist motorists, additional emergency service personnel will be on patrol to quickly respond to accidents or disabled vehicles. Motorists can also expect real time traffic information boards to be deployed on both sides of the Pike to provide drivers with information about travel delays and backups.
The UCT Gives Back to Special Hockey video contest for special hockey teams is into its third week of the voting phase to win $10,000 with over 21,000 votes tallied so far! The top 10 special hockey team finalists are all part of the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). Quincy’s Boston Bear Cubs team has made it into the top 10 – and they need our support!
The UCT Gives Back video contest is an online contest to help promote special hockey in North America. The contest was open to all special hockey programs in North America, with the top 10 videos making it into the final voting phase. Each team was required to create a short video up to 2 ½ minutes long explaining how the $10,000 would help their program. The top 10 videos are posted on the UCT Facebook page for voting, and the video receiving the most votes will win $10,000. The video with the second most votes will receive a second place prize of $5,000. Voting will end on Dec. 4, 2015. You can vote at www.facebook.com/UCTinAction.
UCT, a non-profit membership organization with a focus on community service, is based in Columbus, Ohio, and is a longtime supporter of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A partnership was formed in January 2010 between UCT and ASHA, and UCT is helping to promote special hockey nationally.
UCT has been helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 60 years. Members support schools, workshops, camps and other programs that benefit those with disabilities. UCT also supports Special Olympics and the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) and awards scholarships to college students who wish to teach special education. UCT also helps through the UCT Gives Back video contest. In the past UCT has given $25,000 to three deserving schools through UCT Gives Back.
ASHA is a volunteer-driven association created especially to benefit hockey players with developmental disabilities. Some of the most common of these disabilities as autism, traumatic brain injury, Down syndrome, Tourette syndrome, cerebral palsy and ADD/ADHD. There are currently over 50 ASHA programs in more than 30 cities throughout the U.S.