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Board Recommends Approval of New Ethiopian Restaurant; City Feed Could Sell Beer and Wine

The Blue Nile will re-emerge in Hyde Square as a small 20 seat Ethiopian restaurant, a world away from its original life as a nightclub. Plus other news from last night's JP Neighborhood Council committee meeting.

In a small but well attended monthly meeting of the 's Public Service Committee, five people spoke in favor and none against the petition by Ellena Haile of Marathon Food, LLC, to open a small Ethiopian restaurant.

Haile seeks a seven-day common victualers license that will include beer and wine, as well as an entertainment license for non-live performance, specifically a TV and recorded music.  She has leased the vacant space and plans seating for twenty with no bar at 389 Centre St., the former location of . She will go before the Boston Licensing Board a week from today with the unanimous support of the committee. 

The new restaurant will be known as The Blue Nile, the same name as Haile’s previous JP venture, a nightclub that operated largely without serious incident for 15 years at the corner of Huntington and South Huntington.  Although Michael Reiskind, chair of the committee, did raise the spectre of the many noise complaints associated with the previous incarnation of The Blue Nile, Haile defended her record there and added that she had voluntarily closed the business, implying that she had not been forced out of business by financial or management concerns.

She and her supporters pointed out that the new restaurant would close at 11 pm and would not have live entertainment.  She expects to sell authentic Ethiopian meals in the mid-to-low price range from about $8-$12 and employ about 10 people. Haile lives within yards of the new location. She also owns residential property in the area and has lived in JP for 30 years. In addition to neighborhood support, her three children, ages 13-23, were with her. 

Drambuie for The Haven

In the second petition of the evening, Jason Waddleton, of Anglo Hospitality, LLC , a 12-year JP resident and owner of the recently opened “” asked the committee to approve his request to add liqueurs to his wine and malt license.  In a lilting Scottish accent that seemed to intensify as he spoke, Waddleton recited a list of about a half dozen specifically Scottish liqueurs that he would like to offer.  Again, the committee voted unanimously to support the petition.

Alison Moronta, the Business Development Director of the was there in support of both businesses and did not vote in the proceedings.

In other business:

  • The committee was informed by Reiskind that Wok N Talk Café, the approved operator at 23 South Huntington, coincidentally the former site of The Blue Nile, had been approved for a takeout license in a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.
  • is seeking to expand into 734 Centre St. a vacant space adjacent to its current location.
  • has begun the process to acquire a license to sell retail packaged beer and wine at its Centre Street store.

The meets on the first Tuesday of each month at various locations.  The next meeting will be held Tuesday, April 5 at the .

DirtySouth March 02, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Sweet on all fronts. Nice get for City Feed. Whole Foods doesn't have the luxury of beer or wine sales (already used its max 3 elsewhere) and it'll be a nice way to differentiate. Works for Harvest, though none of them have Blanchards' selection. Good for the Haven, too: A Hyde Square business that routinely manages to improve and invest in its location.
Anne May 26, 2011 at 05:49 PM
So thrilled.

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