Upham's Corner Online

Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street - Licensing Board issues License to Operate

Posted: December 14, 2010
Nancy J Conrad

Stephen BinghamStephen and Michelle Bingham are the owners of the Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street

They acquired the property through foreclosure on April 23, 2010.  As is the custom and the law in the City of Boston, obtaining permission to open and operate a restaurant requires meeting with community organizations as well as obtaining proper licensing.

Mr. Bingham applied to the Boston Licensing Board (BLB) for the several licenses he needs to prepare food for his day care centers and to eventually open 33 Hancock Street as a public restaurant. 

He then met with both Jone's Hill Civic Association and the Hancock Street Civic Association, stating his objectives and getting to know the concerns of the neighbors based on the history of the building.

Mr. Bingham also met with Zachary Cohen of Upham's Corner Main Street.  UCMS reviewed his basic objectives in light of the potential for an improvement in the economic viability of Hancock Street.

Both civic associations considered his background, his character, the building's history and neighborhood concerns.  They wrote letters stating the terms by which they would approve the opening of 33 Hancock as a public restaurant.  The two most important and constraining issues were the hours of operation and permission to sell alcohol.  Both neighborhood organizations supported a closing time of 5 PM and no alcoholic beverage license. 

Upham's Corner Main Street supported a closing time of 11 PM.

All of these organizations provided letters to the Boston Licensing Board indicating that Mr. Bingham had met with them and stating the terms their organizations approved.

On December 9, 2010 the Licensing Board approved a Common Victualer's license for Restaurant at 33 Hancock Street with closing hours of 11pm.  This was particularly good news for the restaurant.  
  • Mr. Bingham responded with a letter of thanks to the civic organizations for their help and with a promise for continuing cooperation
  • A couple days later he received a supportive letter from Kearney Kirby emphasizing the importance of building trust

    [Both letters are reproduced below]

33 Hancock StreetWe asked Mr. Bingham when he plans to open.  His answer was consistent with his interview at the beginning of November.  

He likes to move "slowly", he said.  He wants to make sure the preparations are complete and meet his standards.

"I'm thinking about Spring time.  I like the idea of 'springing into action' if you know what I mean."  We both laughed. 

"Signage is still missing," he said.  "You have to have a sign on the restaurant so people know they have arrived at the right place.

And there's still more tweaking to do inside.  We've got almost all of our staff in place, but not quite."   See more photos Fall 2010.

"Opening day ... ," he said musing, "Think SPRING."     We look forward to that day with hungry hearts.

Friday, December 10, 2010 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: Letter of Notification to Associations

DEAR Hancock Civic Street, Jones Hill and Upham's Corner Main Street Directors:
Due to a previously scheduled event, I regretfully will NOT not be able to attend the December 16th Hancock Civic Meeting.
Additionally, please note that Restaurant 33 at Hancock Street has been approved for a common victualler license for the hours of 7 am to 11pm. At present, our plan is to ONLY serve my daycare centers and open for breakfast and brunch. If and when we seek to change the hours of operation, our first priority will be to meet with the Neighborhood associations to discuss any and all proposed changes and of course to keep you all abreast of our .
I thank you ALL for your time and cooperation in this matter. Please do not hesitate to call me should you have any additional questions and/or comments.
Best regards and Happy Holidays,
Steven Bingham

Sent: Sun, Dec 12, 2010 11:48 am
Subject: Re: Letter of Notification to Associations

Hi Steven,

Thank you for the heads up about your license regarding hours of operation.

Essentially, what is going to create and maintain a great relationship is transparency. Carlos pulled a bait and switch on the neighborhood so many times that even the whiff of inconsistency now raises huge alarm bells for us.

So it's really about building trust.

I'm sure there will be issues we will have to work out,and we won't have to reinvent the wheel to do that. We want a well run business, we need more amenities, but that has to come with good communication,cooperation and accountability.

I look forward to my first breakfast/brunch/lunch.

Kearney Kirby
Hancock Civic Assoc
32 Payson Ave 

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