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A Cleveland Circle Dive Bar May Become a Pot Shop

But there’s opposition

Mary Ann’s
Mary Ann’s in Cleveland Circle
Mary Ann’s/Facebook

Mary Ann’s, a longtime Brighton dive bar (1937 Beacon St., Cleveland Circle, Boston) that recently came under new ownership, may close to make way for a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary — even though the new Mary Ann’s owners previously said that they had no intention of making major changes to the bar or two others they also took over.

But not so fast — the neighborhood isn’t proving especially welcoming to a potential shop from Happy Valley Ventures of Massachusetts. The proposal to convert Mary Ann’s into a dispensary has prompted staunch resistance from business owners in the neighborhood.

The plan is to convert Mary Ann’s into a doctors office-like dispensary, but there are a number of hurdles to clear first, the least of which is obtaining the required approvals from state marijuana regulators and city zoning.

The other hurdle: securing a letter of non-opposition from the city council, which may be hard to earn given the vocal opposition that came out for a Brighton-Allston Improvement Association meeting this week.

The company’s COO and founder, Michael Reardon, was on hand to explain the expected function of the business, and he described the identity checks and pricing models they would put in place, along with the business hours (closing at 9 p.m. — a big change from Mary Ann’s 2 a.m. closing time) and security measures.

Even so, 10 local business owners, including George Haivanis of Reservoir Wines and Liquors, came out against the proposed pot shop, as did Boston College’s director of community affairs.

Happy Valley Ventures, which already plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary in East Boston, reportedly has an agreement to buy Mary Ann’s from the group of developers that purchased the bar (along with Beacon Hill Pub and the Tam) in July. Initially, the group indicated that it planned to continue running the businesses as bars, but with Beacon Hill Pub temporarily closed and with the Happy Valley proposal in the works, that no longer seems to be the case.

Cleveland Circle Merchants, BC and Some Residents Vow to Fight Pot Shop [UH]
Is Mary Ann’s in Brighton’s Cleveland Circle Being Replaced By a Dispensary? [BRT]
Beacon Hill Pub Closes, but Not for Good [EBOS]