Thursday, June 20, 2024

The entrance to the former Phatt Boys inside 50 Church St., Harvard Square, is now blank and utilitarian — but could someday lead to The Sinclair music and comedy club and restaurant. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A 525-person live music and comedy club could join Club Passim on Church Street in Harvard Square, and an indoor-outdoor restaurant space could be revived, with the appearance of a request for a License Commission hearing Tuesday.

The three-member commission would have to allow the transfer of a restaurant and alcohol license to a venue called The Sinclair from Phatt Boys, the firehouse-themed barbecue restaurant with the hip-hop name that went bankrupt and closed in February 2006, and an entertainment license to include live music and dancing, five televisions and a comedy show.

The Sinclair is a venture of Bowery Cambridge, the local extension of a New York-based concert promotion company that took over some programming at Boston’s Royale nightclub last year. Parent company The Bowery Presents also owns venues in New Jersey and New York City and Albany, N.Y.

The manager for the music component, at least, would be the same as for Royale: Boston-born Joshua Bhatti. But it’s less clear who will run the all-day restaurant, now set up to hold 175 diners inside and another 52 on a seasonal private outdoor patio. The former Phatt Boys location is behind Dado Tea at street level and above a Fire + Ice restaurant in a building leased out by 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.

Bhatti’s proposed hours for The Sinclair are long — from 8 to 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 8 to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and the night before legal holidays.

Although the commission’s Chris O’Neil notes that The Sinclair is only moving into existing space, there are neighbors wary of the 10,000-square-foot, multilevel size (as well as the hours) of The Sinclair, which could make the License Commission meeting Tuesday a lively one. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the basement conference room of the Michael J. Lombardi Building, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, where The Sinclair project will be represented by the ubiquitous attorney James Rafferty.

O’Neil and contractors in the cavernous former Phatt Boys space — now stripped of its furniture and tchotchkes and reduced to bare concrete and plywood — referred questions to Rafferty. A message was left with Rafferty on Monday morning.

This post was updated Jan. 8, 2013, to correct that Royale is not owned by the Bowery companies.