A Boston Licensing Board hearing turned heated this morning when City Councilor Maureen Feeney accused the new owner of the Ka-Carlos building at 33 Hancock St. of lying to residents and city officials about his plans for the building.
Stephen Bingham, who bought the building at auction after Ka-Carlos closed following a triple shooting that left two dead, said he wants to open "a family restaurant."
But Feeney told licensing-board Chairman Michael Connolly that Bingham's license application simply had too many discrepancies.
"At every turn, Mr. Bingham has been untruthful to the community," Feeney said. Feeney noted Bingham's license application called for a 2 a.m. closing, in a building with no parking in the middle of a residential area, and said Bingham has no experience at all running a restaurant. She even wondered if one notation about "live dancing" meant he was planning to bring in strippers.
"I don't like the implication of her calling me a liar," Bingham retorted. He said the problem was that his secretary, who filled out his application, basically checked off everything on the form without checking with him. He said he has no plans to serve hard liquor but that he might apply for a license to serve beer and wine - but that he would be fine serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner even without that.
Connolly said there's nothing wrong with him running a catering operation in the building, as long as he doesn't open it to the public. Bingham said he is cooking meals for 100 kids at two nearby day-care centers.
Bingham agreed to have the board defer any action on his request until after he meets with the Jones Hill Neighborhood Association and the Hancock Street Neighborhood Association.
C-11 Capt. Richard Sexton noted the location's troubled past and said he would oppose late hours for any restaurant there, in part because of past issues with patrons parking in spaces belonging to a neighboring condo complex. The offices of Mayor Tom Menino and City Councilor Felix Arroyo opposed any license until after Bingham clarifies his request and meets again with neighborhood groups.
Feeney then said she and neighbors want to see a good restaurant succeed at the location and would be willing to work with Bingham if he details exactly what he's planning.
Separately, the licensing board will vote on a proposal tomorrow to let the owner of a planned steakhouse on the South Boston waterfront buy Ka-Carlos's last asset - its liquor license.