Proponents of a new Cape Verdean restaurant at 33 Hancock St. contended with the building’s troubled history at an abutters meeting in Uphams Crossing on Tuesday night. The management team of the proposed eatery spoke to nearby residents and business owners in the first of several planned neighborhood briefings.
The Kriola Bar and Restaurant is pitched as a family-oriented sit-down bar and restaurant.
“Our vision is to have a restaurant that is inclusive, diverse, both ethnically and generationally,” read a statement on a proposal document distributed at the meeting.
In 2009, a double-homicide at what was at the same Hancock Street location —the called Ka-Carlos Bar and Grille — left a lasting impression on the surrounding community. After a fight around 1 a.m. inside the bar spilled out onto the street, chef Manuel Monteiro, 47 was killed by a shot from outside. Jovany Eason, 20, was found fatally shot on on a nearby street. Police charged Emmanuel DePina, 26, of Fifield Street in Dorchester, with the two murders.
It is with that as a backdrop that the management team of Joao Timas, Gabriel Livramento, Carla Teixeira, Carlos De Pina, and Adalberto De Pina pitched the idea for a new restaurant to about 20 people gathered in the lobby at 350 Columbia Road on Tuesday. Each member of the company — the Dorchester-based Capital Green Corporation, DBA — has lived or worked in Dorchester.
Kriola would serve Cape Verdean and American cuisine and host wine tasting nights accompanied by Cape Verdean food tastings. The restaurant would open at 6 a.m. each day, closing at 11 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and at midnight on Friday and Saturday. All alcohol served after 8 p.m. would need to accompany food, Livramento said.
Livramento said the team was entering talks with the neighborhood “with an open heart,” and assured them “We’ll be partners on the whole thing.”
They plan to solicit feedback on concerns regarding parking, noise, cleanliness, and operations. Livramento said they would be willing to commit to serving only beer and wine.
“This is not a party place, this is a family-oriented place,” he said.
Security will be vigilant, Livramento said. Two members of the management team will be on site at all times of operation and on call 24-hours a day. Interior and exterior security cameras will be added and a third-party security firm would provide round-the-clock monitoring of the restaurant and immediate area.
The restaurant's design would change, with sit-down tables covering what had at one time been used as a dance floor. Those at the bar would not be permitted to disturb the dining patrons, and soft jazz and Cape Verdean music would play over a speaker system.
And the one clear pane of glass, installed after the decorative pane was shattered by a fatal bullet in 2009, would no longer stand as a stark reminder. All of the windows will be clear glass, as will the new door, Teixeira said, “to stay open to the neighborhood.”
The proponents plan to meet next with the Hancock Street Civic Association at their next scheduled meeting on April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pilgrim Church, 540 Columbia Rd.