Sofá Café, a small Brazilian group of coffee shops with three São Paulo locations, goes before the board tomorrow for a seven-day common victualler license for 217 Newbury St., a lower-level space underneath a pet supply shop. "Sofá" is, predictably, the Portuguese word for "sofa," so you can bet this will be a cozy spot.
The ten-seat cafe plans to offer sandwiches, soups, pastries, and non-alcoholic drinks, according to a July bulletin from the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, which expressed concern about current zoning laws' lack of differentiation between "a small café with a non-vented kitchen, and full-service, large-scale restaurants that have much more impact on their neighboring residents." The cause for concern is that the planned cafe could change itself into a full-service restaurant without further public review if approved for both restaurant zoning and takeout zoning, so the committee only voted in favor of takeout zoning, with the cafe agreeing not to cook on the premises.
· Sofá Café [Official Site]
· NAAB 7/2013 bulletin [NABBonline.com]
· Licensing Board hearing agenda 8/21/2013 [CityofBoston.gov]