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City questions restaurant’s use permits

Eatery with 56 seats is allowed only eight, and officials also say it shouldn’t be serving alcohol.

January 16, 2008|By Ryan Vaillancourt

ADAMS SQUARE — Weeks after it opened in Adams Square, De Revolution restaurant has fallen under the gaze of city officials who are now looking to revoke the eatery’s conditional-use permit for alcohol sales.

In a letter sent to the restaurant and copied to the city attorney’s office Tuesday, Neighborhood Services officials notified the business owners that their zoning-use certificate and conditional-use permit for alcohol sales are invalid, Neighborhood Services Administrator Sam Engel said.

Both permits were acquired in 2006 for a now defunct deli and coffee and tobacco shop operation that occupied two side-by-side units in the Angela Plaza shopping center. The business owners have since knocked down the wall between the units and created the new restaurant, which is equipped with a full bar and an elevated stage for live music.

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The city cited the business last year for demolishing the wall without permits, but the proper building permits were later secured, Engel said. They still do not have two key permits, however, needed to allow the current restaurant use

While the location’s zoning allows restaurant use, the business still needs to update its zoning-use certificate to reflect the new use, Engel said. The invalid zoning-use certificate, which permits only eight seats as opposed to the 56 places set up in the restaurant, is considered a minor infraction that the owners could easily fix by applying for the proper permit, he said.

But securing a new conditional-use permit for alcohol sales could prove more challenging, he added.

“It’s in a neighborhood shopping center, and it’s adjacent to residential,” Engel said. “Right behind the back wall of where I believe the bar is, that’s houses on the property line, so usually whenever we have these types of operations, they’re very tight on operations that they put on. That’s the purpose of the [conditional-use permit], so you can then revoke it if they violate them.”

The conditional-use permit issued to the former deli allowed only “incidental” sales of alcohol, and stipulated that it should not have or operate as a separate bar use.

“We believe that’s been violated,” Engel said.

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