Closing time battle in the North End

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January 26, 2011, 12:08 am
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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo - Boston) - Boston's North End - known for its Italian roots, its charming setting, and its restaurants. But the North End has changed over the years.

The owner of Vinoteca Di Monica Jorge Mendoza said, "Boston has grown up, we're not the same little town we used to be." And with it, its restaurants want to change too.

Tresca on Hanover Street and Vinoteca Di Monica on Richmond will petition the city's licensing board on Wednesday to stay open until one a-m seven nights a week, instead of eleven or 12.

Mendoza said, "Times have changed, we are not booking at 6:30 as much as we are booking at 8:30-9 o'clock and people are working longer, particularly during the week, and we like to be able to accommodate our clientele."

Two neighborhood groups have had hearings about the extended hours.

The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council voted unanimously in favor of both restaurants staying open later.

But the North End/Waterfront Residents Association voted against extending Tresca's hours last week.

Nicole Rafter, the secretary of the North End/Waterfront Residents Association said, "When people go to establishments that serve liquor and stay late, they come out, they're speaking very loudly."

Rafter says if they allow two restaurants to extend their hours, others will follow.

"We're reaching a tipping point where things have gone - the balance has been lost," said Rafter.

Aside from members of the North End/Waterfront Residents Association, residents we spoke to here on the street didn't really have a problem with these restaurants staying open later, especially since they say they don't tend to cater to those rowdier crowds.

North End resident Charles Lavery said, "Honestly I think that would be great, I think the North End could use maybe a more late night bar scene, might bring more business to those restaurants."

Maggie Phaneuf, who has been living in the North End for the past three years said, "I think it's okay, I don't have a problem with it one way or the other."

Six year North End resident Greg Johnston said, "It doesn't bother me one iota, I think one o'clock is fair, very fair because most of the restaurants in the Back Bay, I think they're open until two."

The licensing board will hear from both restaurants Wednesday, but will most likely defer its decision until after the North End/Waterfront Residents Association votes on Vinoteca di Monica's hours on February tenth.

Tags: Alysha Palumbo, North End
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