The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let the owners of Lala Rokh, which closed in 2018, sell their 97 Mt. Vernon St. location and its liquor license to Kristin Jenkins, an antiques dealer who hopes to open a "neighborhood American bistro."
If she wins the license, Jenkins, owner of Leonards New England in Seekonk, would follow her lifelong dream to open a restaurant, her lawyer, Gene Richard, told the board at a hearing today.
Richard described a space that would have antiques hanging on the walls, with upholstered seating and, in general, "the ambiance of a private club" that would feature "American seasonal fare," including steaks, seafood and pasta, with "all the side dishes and desserts you might expect," and, of course, classic cocktails and beer, including two on draft.
Although she will become the face of the restaurant, Jenkins will also hire an experienced restaurant general manager, chef and staff, Richard said, adding she will also be aided by her life partner, Aaron Sells, who has extensive experience in the Boston restaurant scene.
Richard said the space has been a restaurant since 1905, but with only four owners in that whole time, and that Lala Rokh owners Azita Bina-Seibel and Babak Bina spent considerable time to find just the right person to take it over.
The mayor's office supported the proposal, as did district City Councilor Kenzie Bok, who fondly recalled having both her high-school and college graduation parties at Lala Rokh. "The whole Beacon Hill neighborhood has been missing a restaurant in this space," Bok's aide, Kennedy Avery, told the board.
The Beacon Hill Civic Association issued a letter of non-opposition.