Justine’s Table, the Rte. 9 East restaurant in Wellesley that opened last year, has withdrawn its application for an all-alcohol license after Wellesley Board of Selectmen members raised many concerns and questions during a public meeting earlier this month.
Questions were raised about who really owns the business (various names have been involved over the past couple of years), with the board seeking to straighten that out before considering an all-alcohol license. The current owner, Gordon Breidenbach, and restaurant group’s attorney explained that they’ve worked to clarify ownership in recent months by filing appropriate paperwork. Still, the board said that uncertainty surrounding construction of a residential apartment building behind Justine’s (construction is expected to get underway this summer) raises fresh questions about the appropriateness of granting an all-alcohol license at this time. Terms such as “troubled” and “premature” peppered the comments from the board members.
Board members expressed an appreciation for the business owner’s desire to move forward with an all-alcohol license to help fuel interest in the restaurant. After all, the restaurant group’s attorney acknowledged that business has not been as brisk at Justine’s as hoped for. He said the lack of tenants upstairs (and the lack of residents from the apartment building to be built) has eliminated some potential customers, and noted that feedback from actual customers is that BYOD doesn’t fit well with Justine’s fine dining approach — they’d rather buy their booze on-site.
Withdrawing the application spared Justine’s of having its application denied by the board, and gives hope that the restaurant group can re-apply once paperwork is tidied up and the construction project is further along.