Mayor Menino Announces New Neighborhood Restaurant Initiative
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For Immediate Release
August 05, 2004
Released By:
Neighborhood Development
For More Information Contact:
DeWayne Lehman
dlehman.dnd@cityofboston.gov

--- Cuts Ribbon for West on Centre in West Roxbury----

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the Neighborhood Restaurant Initiative, a one-year initiative designed to facilitate the opening of up to five full-service restaurants in the city's neighborhood commercial districts. The new initiative is intended to strengthen neighborhood commercial districts and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and residents by creating new jobs and enhanced retail services. The initiative will provide a menu of resources ranging from assistance with licensing and permitting to marketing and design, and will also include a financing option to provide working capital.

Today's announcement was followed by a ribbon cutting for West on Centre, a new restaurant in West Roxbury that was expanded and renovated with the assistance of the city's Office of Business Development (OBD). The restaurant's owners received a $20,000 façade improvement grant through OBD's ReStore Boston program.

"This new initiative will spur the development of more sit-down restaurants like West on Centre in neighborhoods where there are few," said Mayor Menino. "The Neighborhood Restaurant Initiative will also create new jobs in our city and give everyone a nice place to go. It's programs like this that make our neighborhoods stronger and more vibrant."

Mayor Menino was joined by Department of Neighborhood Development Director and Housing Chief Charlotte Golar Richie; Thomas Doherty, Treasurer, West Roxbury Main Streets; City Councilor John Tobin; West on Centre owners Michael Bissanti, Joe Greene and Michael Conlon; West Roxbury merchants/business owners; and local residents.

Restaurants eligible for the Neighborhood Restaurant Initiative are those that promise to create 10 or more jobs and are in neighborhoods underserved by sit-down restaurants owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. Existing restaurants, expansion projects, and locally owned franchises are also eligible. Projects may receive assistance in the form of: technical assistance (business plans, marketing, etc), permitting and licensing (via the Inspectional Services Department), design services, façade improvement grants, and financing. Loans up to $100,000 will be made available to restaurants that meet the qualifications.

West on Centre, formerly Buck Mulligan's, has been renovated into a sit-down, moderately priced restaurant. The West is one of five restaurants owned by Michael Bissanti, Joe Greene and Michael Conlon. They also own the recently renovated Blarney Stone in Fields Corner, Peking Tom's on Kingston Street, the 21st Amendment and Paramount in Beacon Hill.

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