Three restaurants and a cineplex await word on liquor licenses

The Boston Licensing Board could decide next week whether to grant liquor licenses to a proposed taqueria in Lower Mills, a new Italian restaurant in Adams Corner and a proposed Wahlburgers and movie complex at the new South Bay Town Center mall.

The board plans no action on the requests until at least next week at the earliest, after it completes a third round of hearings on new liquor licenses that became available in Boston on Sept. 1. More than two dozen applicants have filed requests for five available "unrestricted" licenses, which, upon granting, become assets that can be borrowed against and resold. Also available: 20 neighborhood-specific licenses, which can only be used in certain areas - including Dorchester - and which have to be returned to the board when the license goes out of business.

At a hearing today, Brian O'Donnell, manager of the Lower Mills Tavern, laid out plans for his proposed Taqueria at 2297 Dorchester Ave. O'Donnell's attorney, Dennis Quilty, said the proposed 1150-square-foot eatery, in the site of a now closed antique shop, would give the neighborhood a much needed late-night restaurant - its proposed closing time is 2 a.m. - that would also prove attractive to families. O'Donnell is seeking a full liquor license.

The Cincotta family, which opened Molinaris at 789 Adams St., four months ago, asked for a beer and wine license. Family members told the board customers keep asking them for something to drink with their non-pizza food - and that people have actually walked out when told the restaurant doesn't have a license.

AMC is seeking a full license for the 12-theater complex it's planning for South Bay Town Center. Attorney Andrew Upton said the cineplex would have a small bar area, limited to ticket holders above 21. The chain is hoping to begin construction by the end of the year, but was unable to say exactly when it would open, because that depends in part on the state of construction of the rest of the mall. "They are in a hurry to get going," he said.

The mayor's office and City Councillor Frank Baker supported the requests.

Last week, Wahlburgers made its case for a full liquor license in the new mall. Baker opposed the request after Wahlburgers said it might not open for a year, saying it's unfair to let the chain sit on a license for a year when other applicants could open sooner.

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