The Public Service Committee of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) met virtually on April 6, where members and residents heard from Jason Waddleton, owner of The Haven restaurant, about his proposal to move the restaurant.
Waddleton has proposed to move his restaurant from Perkins St. to the former Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge space at 284 Amory St. in the Brewery complex, where he said it will have more room.
He is asking for a seven day all alcoholic beverages license, as well as an entertainment license for instrumental and vocal music for up to seven performers, as well as DJ and karaoke options with a closing hour of 1:00am. Additionally Waddleton is requesting a 60 seat seasonal outdoor patio that will close at 11:00pm.
“My background has been in restaurants since 1988,” Waddleton said, having worked as a bartender and a waiter in Scotland before coming to Boston, where he also managed Matt Murphy’s Pub. He also has a background in music and performing.
He said that The Haven, Boston’s only Scottish restaurant and bar, never closed when the pandemic hit, and “went right into takeout on March 17.”
With this larger space, Waddleton said that The Haven “could offer a lot of” what Bella Luna/Milky Way did, “with a different slant, of course.”
He said that The Haven is known for its “Burns Night” throughout the country, which is a special dinner that pays tribute to Scottish poet Robert Burns, and looks forward to continuing that in the new space with the space’s dedicated stage room.
“JP’s got an amazing array of talent,” Waddleton said, and he looks forward to having performers come to the restaurant, as well as hosting things like comedy nights and soccer brunches on the weekends.
“Once we get our liquor license, we’ll be able to really transform The Haven,” Waddleton said, adding that he “fell in love with the idea of single malt,” and can’t wait to share it with customers in the new space.
Currently, The Haven has a small kitchen space which has limited the ability to have a larger menu, but Waddleton said that he and his team “want to offer a more expansive offering of Scottish cuisine along with some other beautiful offerings, too,” such as pizzas.
“We’ve always been known for our comfort food,” he said. “We feel confident that our offerings will be well received.”
There was an outpouring of support form neighbors who attended the meeting, with each one saying they are excited for the Haven to move to the Bella Luna space.
“I totally support this and the neighborhood, from my interaction from folks, is really excited about this,” said Scott Shear, a resident on Brookside Ave.
“In their current space, I always enjoyed being there with friends,” resident Joshua Decosta said of The Haven. “I look forward to them having a larger menu and larger space.”
Denise Delgado, Executive Director of Egleston Square Main Street, “we’re just really excited to have the idea of The Haven being in the Bella Luna space and the idea of having live entertainment.”
Nobody spoke in opposition of the project, but there were a few questions about the proposal, such as when the restaurant would open in the new space.
Waddleton said that after applying for the liquor license, it could take about three months at the city level and the state for approval, and then the restaurant would open “no earlier than the end of July.”
He said that the proposal does not require “a lot of buildout,” as the stage room is set and the patio will have to be prepared.
“Let’s just shoot for August or September,” he said.
The Public Service Committee unanimously voted to approve this request, and it will go before the full JPNC at the end of the month for an official vote.