The owner of Brodway's Pastry, 258 West Broadway, has plans to create what could be the neighborhood's first place where older residents could relax with an espresso after a day of shopping or just after dinner, like Caffè Vittoria or Caffè Paradiso in the North End.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing today, Arian Hysenaj's attorney, Carolyn Conway, says he's already hired a pastry chef from Mike's on Hanover Street to kick his pastry game up a notch. Letting him serve beer and wine would provide an even more welcoming ambiance for people who have no truck with the neighborhood's rowdier watering holes.
"We want to go towards the more mature people in the neighborhood," Conway said. "We're not going towards the younger set [but] people who live around us to come and have coffees. ... We want give them something that's not there in the neighborhood right now, which is an upscale coffee shop, basically, that serves alcoholic beverages."
Hysenaj has run his bakery for several years now. He formerly owned the L Street Diner, where he never had any of the sorts of problems that bring the BPD's licensing unit in for inspections, she said.
The mayor's office and aides to City Councilors Ed Flynn and Michael Flaherty spoke in support, as did an aide to state Sen. Nick Collins. Two nearby residents also supported the idea, saying Hysenaj has proven a great neighbor.
If the board approves the request, possibly at a meeting tomorrow, it would also have to see if there's a free license floating around its offices. If not, Hysenaj would either have to wait until one becomes available or go on the open market, where one could run more than $60,000.