Commission OKs jazzy Liberal Servings for Harvard Square

The proposed Harvard Square restaurant Liberal Servings got 3-0 approval this week from the License Commission, with few Cambridge residents showing up but quite a few folks bused in from Boston’s South End as character references for the proprietors.

The team — Jack Bardy and Bertil Jean-Chronenberg — have a South End spot called Beehive that seems to be a model for Liberal Servings. When the bar and bistro replaces The Tannery on Brattle Street and starts serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurateurs say, residents and tourists will find “a neighborhood brasserie” where the entertainment license will provide “primarily live ‘background’ music such as a jazz quartet that complements the dining atmosphere without being overwhelming and noisy.”

The commissioners seemed convinced, with Fire Chief Gerald Reardon suggesting the three-member board vote at the Tuesday hearing instead of waiting, as usual, for a follow-up hearing, according to a resident who attended and worker at commission offices.

The vote of Reardon, Police Commissioner Robert Haas and retired director of the Personnel Department, Michael Gardner, means closing time at Liberal Servings will be 2 a.m., and licensed capacity grows to 368 from 210, although the additional capacity is considered “no value, no transfer,” meaning a license transfer returns the site — referred to as 13 Brattle St. — to the original 210-person capacity.

“We have to realize that we have just added 1,000 seats in just a few months to this small area,” Gardner is reported as saying, alluding to the addition of The Sinclair, a 525-person live music and comedy club on the other side of the block at 50-52 Church St.

Both sites belong to Trinity Property Management. Trinity, also owner of the Harvard Square parking garage and leaser of shops in The Garage Mall and around the square, is run by John P. DiGiovanni, also chairman of Harvard Square Business Association’s board of directors.

This post was updated April 10, 2012, to correct Liberal Servings’ capacity.

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