A Connecticut chain that serves Japanese ramen and Vietnamese pho wants to open its first Boston restaurant at 44 Thomson Pl., but the Fort Point Neighborhood Association is asking the Boston Licensing Board to scale back its proposed 12:30 a.m. closing time to a more Boston time of 11 p.m.
Mecha is seeking permission to buy the liquor license from the closed Whiskey's on Boylston Street in the Back Bay to open what its attorney, Kristen Scanlon, would be a "high energy, fun, communal environment" serving "Southeast Asian comfort food" that, in addition to broth-based ramen and pho would also offer various types of dumplings and bubble teas.
She said that Mecha is pronounced "Metcha" and comes from the Vietnamese for "mom and pop," rather than "Meka," from the Japanese for giant battling robots.
Scanlon said Mecha, which recently won approval for a restaurant in Brookline, said it wanted a 12:30 a.m. closing time in part because the Seaport restaurant would be its first in "a larger urban market," in part so it could have the opportunity to serve larger private events. She said that many of the nearby restaurants nearby already have closing times of 1 or even 2 a.m.
Only the neighboring Trillium Brewing Co. has an 11 p.m. closing time, but Scanlon said that's an entirely different kind of business - where the main offering is beer and they offer live entertainment. In contrast, Mecha "is ultimately a noodle house" where most of the sales would come from food orders.
Tom Ready of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association, however, said 11 p.m. would be a better closing time for the restaurant, at least for the first year of operation, so the neighborhood could see if it would prove a good neighbor.
An aide to City Councilor Ed Flynn asked the board to defer any vote on the proposal to allow Mecha and the neighborhood association to find a compromise on the issue.
The board could vote tomorrow whether to approve the liquor-license sale or whether to defer it for further bargaining between the restaurant chain and the neighborhood group.