‘The Gate’ Aims for New Year’s Opening in Eggie

Paul Byrne of The Gate, right, gestures toward Jose de la Rosa (white shirt) of Coco's Lounge during a committee meeting of the JP Neighborhood Council on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

Chris Helms

Paul Byrne of The Gate, right, gestures toward Jose de la Rosa (white shirt) of Coco’s Lounge during a committee meeting of the JP Neighborhood Council on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

A reincarnation of James’s Gate could swing open as soon as January, according to Paul Byrne, manager and owner of the proposed pub.

“The Gate,” as the new venue would be called, would open in the Egleston Square space occupied for the last four years by Coco’s Lounge at 3171 Washington St.

A neighborhood board voted unanimously to support the project at a hearing Tuesday.

Byrne, a fixture in JP restaurant circles, co-owned James’s Gate with Christy Page. The two parted ways over the abrupt closure of the McBride Street landmark a year ago in September. That parcel is slated to become a five-story mixed-use building. A local group has looked to open a community-owned bar at the site.

Byrne declined to discuss the dissolution of James’s Gate when asked at Tuesday’s meeting by Michael Reiskind, chairman of the committee running the hearing.

The patio at James's Gate

Chris Helms

File photo: The patio at James’s Gate

The Gate would open in Egleston in a space already given a wholesale makeover by Jose de la Rosa, former proprietor of Coco’s Lounge. De la Rosa, who attended Tuesday’s meeting in support of Byrne’s project, said he closed Coco’s in August to focus on his main line of business: home care.

“I’m delighted to have found this place on Washington Street,” Byrne told the 20-plus people packed in a meeting room on the first floor of Curtis Hall.

The Public Service Committee of the JP Neighborhood Council recommended support for transfer of the food and alcohol license held by Coco’s Lounge to The Gate. The JPNC is an elected advisory board. Its recommendations are usually — but not always — taken by the City Hall boards that really have say. But the thumb’s up from this committee will help when The Gate goes before the city’s Licensing Board.

The new Gate would have 75 seats. Byrne will seek an entertainment license allowing three TVs and as many as five live musicians playing Irish sessions.

One neighborhood group representative, who supported The Gate, did say parking may be more of an issue at the Egleston location than it was in Centre/South, where James’s Gate had its own parking lot.

De la Rosa said he expected parking would be less of a problem than it was with Coco’s Lounge, arguing that his clientele often drove in from Lawrence and Lynn whereas The Gate would attract more of a local audience.

Keith Harmon, a business partner with the Tres Gatos group of JP restaurants, spoke in favor of Byrne’s plan.

“James’s Gate was part of JP’s DNA and has been very badly missed,” he said.

One wrinkle apt to disappoint new regulars at The Gate is that it cannot have a fireplace. James’s Gate opened in the mid-1990s just before the Boston Fire Department banned fireplaces in restaurants.

Byrne told Jamaica Plain News he hopes to be open by New Year’s.

Proposed layout for "The Gate" at 3171 Washington St.

Courtesy of Paul Byrne

Proposed layout for The Gate at 3171 Washington St.

  • Robert Ellis

    Interesting… Could attract a new type of clientele to the neighborhood.

    • Money is Powerful

      Why don’t you say what you really mean? Don’t be cryptic. Speak!

  • Andrew Breton

    The Boston Fire Department banned fireplaces in restaurants? I think we’ve found our next activism cause for the city! Bring back fireplaces! It’s cold here!

    • Monster

      Now this is a cause I can get behind.

    • Jameson

      Why would that be a ban?

  • Money is Powerful

    The whites are coming to Egleston. The Gentrification train is coming and no one knows how to stop it. Fuck!

    • Scott

      fuck off racist moron

  • JamaicaPlainNews

    Hi all, this is Chris at Jamaica Plain News. We’ve deleted some comments that contained cursing and/or personal attacks.

    • Scott

      and RACISM!

      • Money is Powerful

        This country is racist. Actually, it was founded upon it.

        All I was saying is that this bar place will bring in more white people to Egleston and the gentrification that comes with them.

        • JamaicaPlainNews

          Thanks for reposting without the curse words. Much appreciated.

          • Scott

            Glad you’re enabling racism

        • Robert Ellis

          How do you know it won’t bring more well-heeled people of all backgrounds? Do only white people go to bars and restaurants?

          Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your nips at the Chauncy Liquor Mart. Sorry if nice things make you mad.

          • Money is Powerful

            Nice little zinger about “nice things”. The quintessential arguement in favor of gentrification, “sorry if nice things make you mad”.

            Why would you synthesize my statement about the marginalisation of blacks and Latino spaces in Boston into arguement about “nice things”?

            It reminds me of how folks turned Colon Kaperknicks’ protest against police brutality into one about anti-patriotism.

          • Robert Ellis

            You’re the one who has a problem with, quote, “more white people” in Egleston. What do you suggest? Should a wall be built around Egleston and no whites can go in and no blacks or Latinos can go out? We can call it a “ghetto.”

        • Scott

          There is nothing wrong with white people you pathetic racist. Why are you still here? Leave

          • Marty

            Methinks you should follow your own advice.

  • Concerned Neighbor

    Perhaps the concern should be on Mr. Byrne’s ability to open a new establishment after the abrupt, corporate like closure of James Gate. The fact that Mr. Byrne declined to discuss the dissolution of James’s Gate should raise concerns in the community.

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