By SCOTT JACKSON
The owner of Cagney’s plans to open a new restaurant next door to the Quincy Point barroom.
The Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday granted Mark DiBona permission to open the Pouryard at 208 Washington St., which is now home to the Quincy Café, a breakfast spot. The Pouryard will seat 25 patrons; the Quincy Café had seating for four.
The new restaurant will also be taking over Cagney’s 49-seat patio space, which the board gave DiBona permission to build last September. The patio space is located next door to the Pouryard.
DiBona told the board he wanted to open the new restaurant because it is adjacent to the patio space, while Cagney’s was not.
“This will now give us sightlines to the patio,” he said. “It will give the customers easier access to bathrooms, to facilities to wash up or whatever. It will give my staff a lot easier ways to service my customers because we would then put anything we would need in this new space.”
Cagney’s, located at 214 Washington St., and the restaurant space next door are in two separate buildings and there was no easy way to connect the two, DiBona said, which is why he sought a second all alcohol license rather than operate them both under the same one.
Under Quincy’s regulations, the patio will be allowed to open between Patriots Day in April and Columbus Day in October. The hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with final food orders taken at 10 p.m. The board had imposed several conditions in September to limit noise on the patio – DiBona was not allowed to have live music or televisions in the space, but could play background music – that will carry over after the transfer.
DiBona said he would go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for permission to install sound barriers to further limit noise.
Ward 1 Councillor Margaret Laforest supported DiBona’s request for the liquor license. She said he’s been responsive to her and members of the board, and noted Cagney’s has not had a single liquor violation since DiBona opened it in 1991.
“He has really been true to his word and what’s great about him as an operator is if a question does come to me I call him and he’s very responsive immediately, and I know many of the board members have had that same experience,” Laforest said.
“In 25 years, it’s pretty rare that a business has never had a liquor violation…that’s outstanding for an operator in our community.”
Two nearby businesses submitted letters in favor of DiBona’s request. One was from Sean Kenealy of Key Realty at 144 Washington St. and the other was from Frank Calabro, business manager for Laborers Local 88, whose union hall is at 170 Washington St.
Paul Chenette, who owns the building at 204 Washington St. that includes a plumbing shop and three apartments, opposed the request. Chenette said his tenants living at 204 Washington St., which is next door to the patio, called him to complain about noise on the patio when it was open for a special event last October, though the police were never called about the noise complaint.
“My tenants have a right to a safe, quiet environment,” Chenette said.
Chenette’s attorney, former city solicitor Jay MacRitchie, said he was concerned that the 25-seat restaurant could be granted permission to use a patio with nearly twice as many seats.
“Two-thirds of the total licensed seats are going to be outside,” he said.
Inspectional Services Director Jay Duca said the total number of patrons on the liquor license could exceed the capacity of the physical restaurant in such a case.
Concerns were also raised regarding parking – the restaurant has no parking lot.
Health Commissioner Drew Scheele, the board’s chairman, said DiBona could count on on street parking because he is operating a business in an area zoned as Business B.
“Not every building has parking because it’s an old city,” Duca added. “This is not a new building – this is an existing building – so there is a different set of rules and circumstances.”
Police Chief Paul Keenan said the board was only being asked to consider adding a restaurant with 21 new seats, because the patio is already in place.
“The deck is there. Cagney’s is there. We’re adding 21 seats,” he said. “That’s really what’s at issue here,”
Fire Chief Joseph Barron said DiBona should continue to work with Chenette to address his concerns about noise, but supported the request.
“I don’t see any groundswell of opposition to this,” he said.
The board voted 4-0 to grant DiBona’s request.