Despite Reservations, License Commission Renews Licenses for the Quality Inn Hotel

The Revere License Commission addressed a full agenda of items at the commission’s regular monthly meeting last Wednesday, February 16.

Chairman Robert Selevitch and fellow commission members Daniel Occena and Linda Guinasso were on hand for the meeting. 

The chief highlight of the session was the approval by the commissioners of renewals for the various licenses for the Quality Inn hotel on Morris St.

The hotel had been at the center of controversy last fall when then-Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey had suggested that the hotel, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic, be used to provide housing for the homeless population in the encampment at the so-called Mass. and Cass intersection.

Mayor Brian Arrigo, other city officials, and residents pushed back strongly on Janey’s suggestion, which ultimately never went forward. The new mayor for the City of Boston, Michelle Wu, has taken steps to clear the homeless encampment since she took office and has moved the individuals, most of whom suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues, into temporary housing in the city.

However, the possibility of the Quality Inn being used for the purpose of a shelter and drug treatment center for the homeless has lingered in the minds of city officials. Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino submitted a letter to the License Commission, which chairman Selevitch read into the record, in which Serino stated, “There is trepidation (by the community) about the Quality Inn’s long-term goals.”

The commissioners questioned the representative of the hotel, Jamin Patel, at length about the future plans for the hotel and eventually gave their approval for the license renewals.

The full discussion of that agenda item (Item #9), as well as the commission’s discussion and votes on the many other items that came before it, are as follows:

Item #1:

Lixi Hospitality Revere, Inc., d/b/a Springhill Suites Boston Logan Airport Revere Beach 400 Ocean Avenue, Neil Dang, Manager, Application for a Hotel/Innholder License: Application of Lixi Hospitality Revere, Inc. d/b/a Springhill Suites Boston Logan Airport Revere Beach, 400 Ocean Avenue, Neil Dang, Manager, for a Hotel/Innholder license, to be exercised at the same location. Number of rooms is 168.

Lixi Hospitality Revere, Inc. d/b/a Starbucks, 400 Ocean Avenue, Neil Dang, Manager:

Application for a Common Victualler License: Application of Lixi Hospitality Revere, Inc. d/b/a Starbucks, 400 Ocean Avenue, Neil Dang, Manager, for a Common Victualler license to be exercised at the same location. Requested seating is 38 inside, 48 outside, and requested hours are Sunday – Saturday 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Mr. Deng appeared before the commission. 168 guest rooms and meeting rooms. There will be a Starbucks and restaurant.

There were no questions from the commissioners and no proponents or opponents.

The commission unanimously approved both the inn holder and common victualer licenses, contingent on the final fire inspection, which was scheduled for the following day, being successfully completed.

Item #2:

Argueta & Piche Corp, d/b/a Nino’s Restaurant & Bar 7B Everett Street, Julia Duarte-Alarcon, Manager

Application to Amend Entertainment License: Application of Argueta & Piche Corp. d/b/a Nino’s Restaurant & Bar, 7B Everett Street, Julia Duarte-Alarcon, Manager, to amend an existing Entertainment license to add Jukebox, and Dancing by Patrons. Current entertainment is: Widescreen Cable TV, Radio, DJ, Amplifiers, Karaoke, & Vocal/Instrumental Music, with the condition that music must end at 12:30 a.m.

Julia Duarte appeared with an interpreter to present the application.

The commissioners emphasized that athough the business can remain open until 2:00 a.m., the music and dancing has to end at 12:30 pursuant to the current parameters of the license.

“All of the music is supposed to end at 12:30,”  said Selevitch.

There were no proponents or opponents and the commission voted 3-0 to approve the application.

Item #3:

Boston Renegades, Harry Della Russo Stadium, Park Avenue, Benjamin Brown, Event Manager, Application for (5) 1-day Malt/Wine Licenses: Application of Boston Renegades for five 1-day licenses to serve malt/wine beverages at Harry Della Russo Stadium on five separate Saturdays, as follows: 1) Saturday, April 30, 2022; 2) Saturday, May 7, 2022; 3) Saturday, May 21, 2022; 2) Saturday, June 11, 2022; 3) Saturday, June 25, 2022. Requested hours for each event shall be from 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Events are professional women’s tackle football games.

This matter was continued until the next meeting.

Item #4:

Four Partners, Inc., d/b/a Antonia’s at the Beach, 492 Revere Beach Boulevard, Jezabel Rodriguez, Manager,

Application for a Change of Officers/Directors, Change of Manager, and Transfer of Stock: Application of Four Partners, Inc. d/b/a Antonia’s at the Beach, Jezebel Rodriguez, Manager, for a change of officers/directors, change of manager from Rodrigo Angulo to Jezebel Rodriguez, and a transfer of stock.

Atty. James Cipoletta appeared on behalf of the applicant and explained that this basically was a housekeeping matter involving a transfer of the business. The commissioners had no questions. There were neither proponents nor opponents. The commission approved the application by a vote of 3-0.

Item #5:

Lupita Revere, LLC, d/b/a Lupita Restaurant, 111 Shirley Avenue, Erasmo Antonio Guevara, Manager.  Application for an All Alcohol Restaurant License: Application of Lupita Revere, LLC d/b/a Lupita Restaurant, 111 Shirley Avenue, Erasmo Antonio Guevara, Manager, for an All Alcohol Restaurant license to be exercised at the same location. Requested seating is 120, requested hours are Sunday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., and requested entertainment is Widescreen Cable TV, Radio, Jukebox, Vocal/Instrumental Music.

Atty. Cipoletta appeared with Mr. Guevara to present the application to the commission. 

“This is a family-owned business that also owns the building and the Guevara family has invested a lot of money to upgrade the block of buildings,” said Cipoletta. “They also own a sports bar in Lynn which they have operated successfully since 2003. They will serve Caribbean food and they are ready to open.”

The new establishment is on the location of the former Buster Bar.

“It seems like we’re getting inundated with liquor licenses on Shirley Ave.,” said commissioner Guinasso. “But we have them from the state and we have to give them out.”

Guinasso complimented the applicant for the great amount of work that they’ve done to the real estate. She also noted this is a restaurant license, not a pouring bar.

There were neither opponents nor proponents and the application was approved unanimously.

Item #6:

AM Salgado, LLC, d/b/a La Hacienda 2, 306 Revere Street, Aldo A. Callejas, Manager:

Application for an All Alcohol Restaurant License: Application of AM Salgado, LLC d/b/a La Hacienda 2, 306 Revere Street, Aldo A. Callejas, Manager, for an All Alcohol Restaurant license to be exercised at the same location. Requested seating is 131, requested hours are Sunday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 a.m., and requested entertainment is Cable TV, Karaoke, Instrumental Music.

Ada Perez and Mr. Callejas presented the application to the commission. 

“This a family-owned business,” said Perez, who noted that the family presently operates similar establishments in Everett and East Boston and are seeking to expand to Revere.  

Guinasso asked about the parking, which will be contained in a lot across the street. Mr. Callejas said his family owns the lot as well. 

Occena noted that in the East Boston restaurant there is a live mariachi band, but was told by Callejas that the band shuts down at 11:00 p.m.

There were neither opponents nor proponents to the application. The commission voted 3-0 to approve it.

Item #7:

Kenneth G. LaFauci, d/b/a Brothers Auto Body 16 Naples Road, Kenneth G. LaFauci, Manager:

Application for a Class 2 Motor Vehicle Dealer License: Application of Kenneth G. LaFauci d/b/a Brothers Auto Body, for a Class 2 Motor Vehicle Dealer License, said license to be exercised at 16 Naples Road. Requested hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and requested number of cars for sale is two.

The applicant requested a continuance until the next commission’s meeting and the request was approved.

Item #8:

Jia Liquors Corp., 535 Broadway, Nirav Patel, Manager:

Application for an All Alcohol Package Store License: Application of Jia Liquors Corp., Nirav Patel, Manager, for an All Alcohol Package Store license to be exercised at 535 Broadway.

Atty. Larry Simeone appeared with Mr. Patel to present the application. Simeone said that Mr. Patel presently operates a similar business in another community. There currently is a convenience store, Breadbasket, at the 535 Broadway location and that it is Patel’s intention to purchase the existing business and convert it into a package store.

However, Occena raised a number of issues with the application. Chief among them is that there presently is a malt and wine license at the location, but the new owner is seeking a full liquor license, which means that the existing license will have to be turned back to the city and the applicant will need to seek a brand new license. There also were issues with the proper documentation that accompanied the application.

“We’ve applied this standard to other applications and to be fair, we should do so here,” said Occena.

Guinasso agreed that the paperwork has been confusing, but suggested that the license be granted contingent upon receipt of the paperwork.

However, Occena was adamant that the application should not be approved without the proper paperwork being filed first. 

Selevitch also had questions about the paperwork that had been presented to the commission. 

There were neither proponents nor opponents and the commissioners then discussed the issue. 

“In the past I have been in favor of granting licenses contingent upon receiving the proper paperwork,” said Guinasso. “We will not be giving the license out until every ‘i’ is dotted.”

However, said Occena, “There is no sense of urgency and the parties have plenty of time in order to get us the proper paperwork. I do not feel comfortable approving this application, contingent upon receiving the paperwork.”

Selevitch added, “I don’t like to see businesses not being given a license. I want to see everybody thrive in the city. But the process is important. The paperwork needs to be filed and put in properly. We can have a special meeting if we need to do so before the next monthly meeting.”

Item #9:

Sudguru Hotel, LLC d/b/a Quality Inn, 100 Morris Street, Beth Scherer, Manager:

Application for Renewal of Common Victualler, Entertainment, and Innholder/Hotel Licenses: Application of Sudguru Hotel, LLC d/b/a Quality Inn, Beth Scherer, Manager, for renewal of existing Common Victualler, Entertainment, and Innholder/Hotel licenses. This matter is continued from the January License Commission meeting.

Jamin Patel presented the application and discussed the present plans for the Quality Inn, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic two years ago.

“We had hoped to have opened last summer, but that never materialized and then the Omicron variant hit in the fall, which resulted in a lot of cancellations in our business,” said Patel. “We hope to reopen at some point this year, though we do not have a set date. Hotel bookings in the area have increased from 25% last year to 45% this year, so the trend is in the right direction. We want to reopen as soon as possible at some point this year. No one is more motivated to reopen than us because of the fixed expenses that we have to meet.”

Selevitch asked about the reports of the hotel being converted into a temporary homeless shelter. “The neighbors have a right to know what’s on the table for this property,” Selevitch said  

Patel acknowledged there had been discussions with state officials about using the hotel for a full-range drug rehabilitation program, but that he had not been personally involved in the discussions.

“This was presented to us in a way that was different than what was reported in the media,” said Patel.

Selevitch then read aloud a letter that had been submitted to the commission by Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino. 

Serino’s letter, in pertinent part, stated, “I lean in to denying the application. Prior to COVID-19, the hotel had been a good neighbor. However, the relationship between the hotel and the neighbors has deteriorated. For almost two years, the hotel has not been operating as a hotel, even though other hotels have resumed operation. However, the Quality Inn has remained shuttered and has acted in a way that is unneighborly. It has not put the same emphasis on being a community partner with the No. Revere neighborhood and the city of Revere as a whole. There is trepidation about Quality Inn’s long-term goals.”

“What are you going to do to change that perception?” asked Selevitch.

“I understand the concerns,” said Patel. “But the hotel industry is far from getting beyond the pandemic. When we had tried to remain open, there was a problem with abuse that was terrible for our staff regarding mask-wearing. We had thought this was only going to be a short-term closure.

“But without a license renewal, we’ll be set back even further from reopening,”Patel continued. “We’re hoping to be back in business as a community partner and bring jobs for local people. We’re a family-run business and want to partner with the community once again by helping the community as we have done in the past.”

“There is a concern that it will not be a hotel,” said Selevitch. “But your reassurance that it will be a hotel going forward is good for re-establishing that neighborly feeling for the community.”

Other than Serino’s letter, there were no proponents and no opponents to the application.

The commission voted 3-0 to approve the application for the license renewals.

Late application:

Local resident Diana Cardona appeared before the commission to seek a one-day entertainment license with food trucks at RHS on Sat., March 12, from 7-10 p.m. 

“About 600 people are expected,” said Cardona. “This will be a comedy show with a comedian from Colombia. He is touring in America and will make a stop here. It will be a family event. Tickets will be $30-$50.”

Cardona previously had received a similar one-day license for an event that was held at the high school for Hispanic Heritage Month last October.

The commissioners asked about security and were told that there will be four custodians for the event. However, the commissioners felt there may be a need for a police detail and directed Cardona to speak to the Police Dept.

There were no proponents and no opponents.

The board voted 3-0 to approve the application with the proviso that Cardona contact the Revere P.D. to inquire about the need for a detail.

Communications:

1. The Revere Fire Dept. sent a communication re: blocking of fire lanes at the Hampton Inn during a recent emergency event.

“This is a serious problem,” said Selevitch. “A fire truck answered a call and could not enter the parking lot to handle the situation. We need to have the people from the Hampton Inn come in and explain to us how they will rectify this problem,” said Selevitch.

The board agreed to bring representatives from the Hampton Inn for the next meeting to clarify the parking situation.

License Renewals:

The board voted to approve the following license renewals:

Entertainment:

Café Montecristo, Inc. d/b/a Montecristo Mexican Grill, 364 Broadway, 

Common Victualler:

Ambros Foods, LLC d/b/a Pizza Hut #37230, 5A Everett Street

Café Montecristo, Inc. d/b/a Montecristo Mexican Grill, 364 Broadway

Casablanca House of Pastry, Inc., 151 VFW Parkway, Suite 60

Diya, LLC d/b/a Subway, 339 Squire Road

Romero Jimenez Corp. d/b/a Olympia Market, 5 Atlantic Avenue

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