Community Group Supports Two Requests

NEWRA President Stephanie Hogue (standing center) moderates the discussion on the application by Giovanni Oliva (left) for Trattoria Pulcinella.

The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association gave broad support to two new businesses planning to open in the North End. The group also heard legislative reform proposals regarding the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and management of the Greenway parks. The membership meeting was held on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at the Nazzaro Community Center.

In a vote of 21 to 4, NEWRA supported the application at 78-80 Salem St. by Giovanni Oliva to the Licensing Board for a beer and wine license transfer for a new restaurant called Trattoria Pulcinella. The one-story building was formerly “Michael’s Salon” and is located at the corner of Salem and Stillman Streets. The license is being transferred from Cibo Con Amore (Marissa Iocco). The new trattoria will have 42 seats (49 capacity) with hours from 11am-11pm on weekdays and a closing hour of midnight on Friday and Saturday.

A feature of Trattoria Pulcinnella will be an Italian fresh mozzarella bar, set up similar to a chef’s table. Alcohol will be served only with food on the first floor. The kitchen and storage will be in the basement. An exhaust stack is expected to be installed on the side of the building with no windows up to the roof level.

“Thinking Cup” coffee shop also received NEWRA support, in a vote of 20 to 8 for a zoning “change of use” at 236 Hanover Street, owned by Matteo Gallo. Operators Hugh Geiger and Andre Sadowski operate a similar Thinking Cup coffee shop at 165 Tremont Street at Boston Common. The owners will subsequently apply for a C.V. license for food service. The operators said their business plan does not include alcohol service or live entertainment. Proposed hours of operation are 7am-11pm, Sunday through Wednesday, and 7am-midnight, Thursday through Saturday. This is a change from the originally proposed closing hour of 1am, in response to neighborhood feedback.

Featuring “Stumptown Coffee” in a European-style cafe with about 60 seats, Thinking Cup will offer espresso, lattes, teas and pastry. Limited use of convection ovens will not require venting, according to the operators. Stumptown coffee originated in Portland, Oregon and the operators will source beans from a roasting facility in Brooklyn, New York. On Monday, April 9, 2012, the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council also voted to support the new coffee shop on Hanover Street.

NEWRA members discussed reform proposals for the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and the management of the Greenway parks. Invited guests State Representative Aaron Michlewitz (D-North End) and former chair of the Greenway Gardens, Diane Valle, presented two legislative efforts currently pending in the Massachusetts legislature. Rep. Michlewitz has introduced a bill that would require the Conservancy to have open meetings, some budget oversight by the Greenway Leadership Council and annual State funding to a maximum of $4 million (versus $5.5 million currently). Ms. Valle showed slides of her horticultural vision for the parks and spoke in favor of a second proposed bill introduced by State Representative Peter Durant (R-Spencer) that would eliminate funding for the Conservancy and turn control of the parks over to the State’s Department of Conservation and Recreation with a new 11-member Greenway board appointed by city and state officials.

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