Report: Latin-Themed Restaurant Proposal Off the Table
Stella restaurateurs cite community concerns in decision to abandon proposal.
Stella owner Evan Deluty had hoped to fill the vacant property at the corner of Washington and West Newton streets with a Latin-themed restaurant offering affordable entrees and a full bar. Now, plans have been taken off the table, according to a report.
In a letter to the community published in the South End News, Deluty and business partner Kevin Sullivan announced their decision to withdraw their proposal after several heated community meetings.
"[We] have realized that despite offering concessions and proposing compromises, we will be unable to reach a consensus without deteriorating our own business plan and concept," the letter states.
At a meeting in September, neighbors voiced strong objections to plans for outdoor patio seating along the garden side of the restaurant as well as the request for a full liquor license. A neighboring condo association objected to the idea of patrons sitting outside after 11 p.m.
At the meeting, Deluty and Sullivan insisted that the restaurant must have a full license and patio seating in its side garden area if it was to go forward.
In September, plans to redevelop the Hite Radio and TV building on Washington Street met a similar fate after complaints from neighbors led developers Jim Robertson and Jay Hajj to abandon plans for condos and a street-level restaurant. The pair sent a letter to the community announcing their decision after several community meetings.
South End Patch columnist and real estate professional John Keith attributed the behavior to the increase in homeownership in the South End.
"When Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner settle down, they will end up looking around and assessing the situation... And then, (OH NO!), they get involved. Suddenly, there’s opposition to a restaurant with outdoor seating, a coffee shop, a doggy-day care."
Read the full column here.
Despite the drama surrounding their recent proposal, Deluty and Sullivan alluded to the possibility of future enterprises in their letter.
"Although this location will not host our new restaurant, we look forward to the opportunity to bring a new neighborhood-friendly eatery to South Ender’s in the near future," they wrote.