FOREST HILLS—The voice of determined community opposition was heard and reflected in the Boston Licensing Board’s denial of BiCon LLC’s request to obtain a liquor license for the proposed Da Vinci Ristorante on the third floor of the BiCon building at 501 Arborway.
The board denied the request after a hearing last Wednesday due to previous heated public opposition as well as a lack of support from the Mayor’s Office, according to Jennifer Mehigan, spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office.
The rejection came in response to a heated August meeting of the Public Services Committee of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) where angry community members’ voices led to disapproval of the request and after BiCon’s first scheduled hearing with the licensing board on Aug. 8 had been withdrawn.
At that meeting, members of the West Roxbury Courthouse Association (WRCA) as well as others decried the attitude and demeanor of the financing group’s manager, Vincent Morgan, Jr.
“Our lives are going to change drastically for the poorer if this license is granted,” said David Vaughn at that meeting.
BiCon group representatives said they chose not to listen to the advice of the JPNC and leaflet the neighborhood in advance. This left some community members feeling disrespected.
“I’m appalled now,” said Kaye Scherer, “I’m just taken aback by the lack of respect. That alone should disqualify you.”
“The bottom line is this guy never once took five minutes to sit down in a meeting with the neighbors in two years,” said Vaughn.
The community was also concerned about the location of the proposed restaurant, citing the third floor as a strange place for a food and drink operation.
WRCA members also said they were angry over construction that has taken place at the BiCon building over the past two years outside of permitted hours and in violation of buffering requirements.
“At this time I have no comment,” said Morgan.