By John Lynds
Josh Weinstein, the East Boston resident proposing a new bar on Sumner Street in Jeffries Point, went back before the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association last Tuesday night. Weinstein proposes to convert the former East Boston Kitchen building into a concept bar and restaurant called The Quiet Few. Weinstein’s proposal was voted down at the JPNA’s November meeting 14-9 and many in the audience that night let out audible gasps when the vote was read aloud. Many neighbors and JPNA members expected the proposal to be a sure win considering the approvals of several other restaurants/bars in the area like the Cunard Tavern.
Many who voted against the Quiet Few proposal did so because Weinstein proposed a 1 a.m. closure for the establishment. Some felt the 1 a.m. closure was far too late for the mostly residential neighborhood although Weinstein argued that being open late would add life and activity in an area of Jeffries Point that is desolate at night.
At last week’s JPNA meeting, Weinstein changed the hours of the proposed neighborhood pub with a closing time of 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and a 1 a.m. closing time from Thursday through Saturday.
The change won over some in the neighborhood but still others, like longtime JPNA member Karen Maddelena, said Weinstein should shoot for an earlier closing time until he ‘proves himself’ to the neighborhood. This was done in the past with establishments like K.O. Pies on the waterfront and Maverick Marketplace Cafe. Both started with earlier closing times and came back before the JPNA and were supported by members to petition the Boston Licensing Board (BLB) for a later closing times after establishing a good reputation in the neighborhood.
Weinstein’s purchase of the former EBK building is contingent upon him gaining a full liquor license for the site. Weinstein is hoping to get one of the new neighborhood restricted licenses to be able to open up shop.
Weinstein recently deferred a vote by the BLB because he wanted to received neighborhood approval from the JPNA.
“Getting community support from the JPNA is very important to me,” he said.
Again at last week’s meeting Weinstein assured the crowd that he would not cater to a rowdy crowd.
“Not looking to serve people that want to come in, get rowdy, get drunk and cause trouble,” he said. “My concept for The Quiet Few is a neighborhood pub and restaurant where you go to relax, forget about the outside world, catch up on neighborhood news, meet old and make new friends. discuss things that make us laugh and have a good time. It’s a place to drop your guard and meet the community.”
Weinstein, who has 15 years of bar and restaurant experience, worked for the past four years for a restaurant and bar group in New York City. Weinstein moved to Eastie recently with his wife and lives on Eagle Hill. He said he was looking for the right place and opportunity to bring his neighborhood pub concept to fruition and found the EBK space available.
“My wife and I moved here to set up roots because we want to be here for a long time,” said Weinstein. “I want to be able to create something that I can pass on to my kids when we start having a family. That’s something that is really important to me. This will be my second home and you don’t invite people into your home that mistreat it.”
On food, Weinstein said his proposed opening would be 11 a.m. and the food would be comfort food and pub fare like sandwiches, burgers, wings, and appetizers for lunch and dinner. If the bar and restaurant is successful he would consider opening earlier for breakfast and capture the morning commuters heading past his establishment on the way to the MBTA.
The inside would consist of a kitchen, dinning room seating and a bar with a capacity of about 40 or so people.
The JPNA will vote again on Weinstein’s proposal at its February meeting.