Credit: Stuart Cahill
Serafina’s new Newbury Street location will have a liquor license and its patio open until 11 p.m., over the objection of neighbors.
Newbury Street will soon have another late-night spot to crash: The Boston Licensing Board told the Track that Italian restaurant Serafina was just granted a liquor license with permission to stay open until 1 a.m., with a patio going strong until 11 p.m. And the news comes to the chagrin of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay.
“Ninety percent of the time, we reach an agreement (with restaurants),” said Elliott Laffer, co-chairman of the Back Bay group’s Licensing and Building Use Committee.
“This time, we did not. We’re particularly sensitive about the north side of Newbury Street because it backs into Commonwealth Avenue, which means there are residences right across the alley. The later restaurants are open, the later … there’s noise.”
Earlier this week, the group was joined by City Councilor Josh Zakim, requesting that the licensing board restrict the restaurant’s closing time to midnight, with a 10 p.m. curfew for the outdoor portion, because of its intended location on the corner of Newbury and Fairfield.
“We’ve had long-standing guidelines with Newbury Street restaurants,” Laffer said. “It might sound like a small-time difference, and you might wonder why we didn’t roll over or why they didn’t roll over. But it matters.”
With the support of the mayor’s office, Serafina’s attorney, Joseph Hanley, pointed out to the board that there are already restaurants on the same side of the street closing at 1 a.m.
The board obviously agreed and is now letting Serafina buy the beer-and-wine license at 235A Newbury Street that was previously owned by Scoozi.
While the Back Bay organization didn’t get the outcome it wanted for its residents, it can’t be too bummed about it.
“We do want to keep bringing successful, interesting restaurants to our Newbury Street,” Laffer acknowledged.
Let’s toast to that, Boston — at Serafina’s perfect patio.
Olivia Vanni / Inside Track / Boston Herald